Monday, October 22, 2007

Havin' It All: A Myth

I have to admit that the latest Sharon Cuneta commercial caught my attention. She's endorsing a product that claims to give her the ability to "have it all".

In the past, I would have bought into the marketing blitz and taken the multivitamins if only to extend my energy, or shall I say, power. The world brings that out in me - the desire to "be all", to "have it all", and to "be complete". I'm reminded of another multivitamin brand that promises to give me everything I need from A to Zinc in order to help me fulfill my dreams and realize my passions, whether it be of opening a business, or of saving the world (the actual claims of the product endorsers are even grander).

If there were any truth to this advertising, then I would probably stand to benefit a lot. I could wake up earlier, prepare my lunch, have a healthy breakfast, spend time in prayer, squeeze in enough time to exercise, avoid traffic, arrive at work cheerfully and look my gorgeous best, go through the work day with passion and dedication, leave the office early to attend mass, meet up with friends or go home for dinner with my parents, help out young people with their homework, do volunteer work for the church, attend baptisms and birthdays and weddings, hang out with friends at the latest "It" mall, clean the house, organize my room, read books, watch movies, and blog. Those are only the major things I want to accomplish in a week. I have a thousand other dreams, the complete fulfillment of each being the condition before I could contentedly purr that "I have it all".

If I took the capsules and found the results wanting, then I would just be my usual, human, self - a stress magnet who is forever anxious to get one more task done, a frustrated artist who refuses to create for fear of failure, and a hard-to-please child who throws a tantrum every time she gets less than the best that the world has to offer.

I think it is a myth to say that anyone can have it all in this world, for St. Augustine correctly put it - our hearts are restless 'til they rest in God alone.

Up until my college days, I tried to be perfect and complete, but naturally, I met disastrous results. Then when I was 19, I met a Man, Someone who taught me that it's better to "give than to receive". That was my paradigm shift - instead of wanting to receive it all, I learned through my growing, personal relationship with Jesus that I would find more meaning in life and gain eternal life if I strove to "give it all". He changed my life completely.

In Tagalog, I would call this "todo na 'to", roughly translated, it means to give full blast, without holding back, into whatever it is I commit to do. Last year, I prayed for my finances to stabilize so I could be free to pursue my passions. Now, I have the opportunity to do that. For this job, my mantra is "todo na 'to".

I've reviewed the aspects of my life that I gave up temporarily as I was studying the path God wanted me to take. There were many things I could not give full attention to before - mundane things that I thought the saints like Francis of Assisi or Teresa of Avila shunned - but which turned out to be things I had the ability to do without betraying my identity as God's daughter. I would probably write about them in detail in some future time.

Tonight, my Lingkod friends are gathered in a national conference in Ormoc. Some of them have texted me that they miss me out there. I miss them, too. I miss everything about Lingkod, the NLTC, and most especially, the brothers and sisters. But even my time in Lingkod had to end, in order for a new life to begin. Who knows, I might find myself serving in Lingkod again, in my small way. But I've let go of my attachment. I miss them but I'm not incomplete without them.

Todo na 'to. I'm experiencing how it is to be disciplined anew and to be open to blessings I had not thought myself qualified for before. The next Ella will use her Bachelor of Science degree in Business Economics, combined with her Bachelor of Laws degree. *

* With apologies to the writers of Ate Sha's ad.

No comments: