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The Power of Five

Do you ever fret? In today's materialistic age, sometimes fretting is inevitable. With so many goals to achieve and needs to meet, fretting has become the "official emotion of the generation."

A few weeks ago, I was having another fretting day. I had so many conflicts to deal with and personal affairs to attend to that I was eating my heart out the whole day I was moving around. I could almost hear the song playing in my head:" Fretty woman walking down the street, fretty woman...lalalala..."

That night, after retiring from the day's toil, I remembered the time when I was diagnosed with SLE (Systemic Lupus Erythematosus) a.k.a. Lupus, an incurable autoimmune disease. I started re-grieving over the part that SLE took away from me. I began to fret about all the things I used to do so well.

I thought about how I used to take the jeepney for an hour's trip to the city just to get to pre-Med school everyday. I remembered how neat and pretty I looked with my white college uniform and how all my male neighbors used to have a big crush on me. I lamented that because of SLE, my college days are over and I'm never going to fulfill my dream of becoming a neurologist...ever!

I also recounted those days where I used to bum around with my friends. All those shopping sprees and dating schemes with a pool of suitors not to mention the series of soirees in schools and dormitories and a string of sorority mischiefs. Again, I lay the blame on SLE for cutting my frolicsome moments abruptly.

But as I was pouring out my grief, a crazy question popped in my mind: "Rachelle, give me five reasons why you should be happy today."

At first, I took the idea for granted thinking it was utterly ridiculous to entertain. Nonetheless, it remained lodged in my brain that a moment after, I felt like I just couldn't give it up. I thought for a moment and then, I started reiterating.

"Well," I mumbled, "my first reason to be happy would have to be my life, I think. The fact that I am still breathing the air of life would be a good reason at that. I have knocked on Death's door several times in my life and yet he never took me in. With dengue fever at 9 years old, malaria at 10, dengue fever again at 12, severe UTI at 19 and cardiomegaly at 20, and recently SLE, i think it's a miracle that I'm still alive. Second, I have a beautiful family who loves me so much. When I was at the darkest hours of my life and felt like everybody turned their backs away from me, they were there, enduring every sadness and pain with me. Third, I have great friends who were always there through thick and thin and were willing to sacrifice just for me. Fourth, I have a loving boyfriend who, despite our distance, never ceases to send his cares through the distance and loves me more than life itself. And fifth, I have a God who unwaveringly shows His love and care for me if all else fails."

And before I realized it, I felt good again. My lost fervor was revitalized and I felt joy overflowing inside me. I just realized that everything I need to be happy is right before my eyes and I was just overlooking them all along. It dawned to me that joy does not reside "out there" but within each of us in our hearts. It worked so well that I decided to incorporate it in my daily routine. Each day after rolling out of bed, I would grope for five things in my life that I am most grateful about. It soon became a habit that my life gradually changed.

Three days after the experience, my brother came up to me and asked,"What's with you? What's making you so happy these days?"

I just told him, "It's because of the power of five". My brother furrowed his brows not knowing what I meant. I just smiled.

Copyright(c) 2005 Rachelle Arlin Credo. All rights reserved.

Please visit http://cebu.freemethodistchurch.org

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