the ugly writers

Good Faith in Retrospect: When Truth Plays Life’s Chords

Truth is Life’s most flowing melodic piece. It is characterized by its highs and lows that are sharp in their falls yet quite flat in their upbeat tones. It’s ironic- life- but so are we in our relative needs and propensities. To each his own business for one’s sacred space is his and only his to embrace. To face life one needs to face the truth about himself and his surroundings with good faith not compromise or shaping people’s convictions to fit his.

Good Faith in Retrospect: When Truth Plays Life’s Chords

Truth is bad in a time that’s cold because it leaves you wondering about what you’ve been told and who to hold. We are like trees that grow tall clinging to the very earth we towered above through roots that run deep. We may seem to be stuck in one place while aiming for our spot in space but our roots are just all over the place. They go and come free though tangled, disrupted, cut, and even mangled. Still we spread them out as we reach out wandering around. It is only when we trip or stumble over a rock that we stop and look down beneath our feet to check our rooting. Not all rootings are physical for many of our rootings are moral, mental, and temporal. And so we strive to keep going whilst holding on to the very barks we branched out from. We spread our branches entrenched in leaves draping our souls like sheaths. We color memories with joys or sorrows waving them like banners across the morrows. Truth is a musician playing life like an instrument bleeding memories for melodies until the musician shuns his instrument due to a shocking realization or petrifying tragedy. In the end, we find ourselves afraid to even steal a glance on that instrument we neatly sheathed fearing the chords they strike in our hearts and minds. And so we go on with this long distance relationship of truant love wallowing in placebos, hoping they take us back to yesteryears.

What’s sad is that we conceal with consolation an unbeatable sorrow covered up in lame excuses for being absent or simply indifferent. We condition ourselves to accept abuse imbibing on tolerance and adaptability, forgetting who we are and what we deserve. Where does good faith fit in this? Well, that’s a whole new story on how roots can sometimes go off route or uproot an entire tree. Have you ever experienced a free fall into a body of water? If you have then congratulations for you’ve experienced what it’s like to be at peace. Growing up to face life doesn’t come burdened with worries and cares only, it comes with a total change of perspectives and notions. Things suddenly don’t seem to be like what you were used to. Basic principles of what we call home and family change and so do our concepts of comfort zone, personal space, and what we can live with. Sometimes, it takes more to keep up with the changes that are required to keep true to ourselves especially when that means you pay from what you hold dear. Growing up, I never knew how to dissect good faith. Being reasonable kinda defined it because everything added up eventually or initially made sense. Fast forward a few years later, life took me for a spin leaving me flustered trying to grapple with my newly discovered self. My personal identity revealed itself of course in the course of choices I made off course from things I could live with. Career and family redefined good faith for me to be that of reasonable expectation and reliance.

The world had evolved around me from a promise of being there always no matter what turning into I will be there but I have my flaws and bad days. Some days were just doom gloom others were sheer confusion leaving me to question my notions of loyalty, family, and fluctuating emotions. The sad part is not what constituted expectation or reliance eventually but rather what constituted the term reasonable. Simple things easily spin out of proportion like how a conversation or discussion turning into a tempest or a silent cold war. Stating the truth became grounds for being inconsiderate due to communication styles and tone. Then agreeing to simply disagree became a carefully thought out exit strategy. I realized that as I learned the hard way how hard it is to talk to people who are dictating when you think they are negotiating with you. In time, I realized even discussions need road maps because for some people certain notions are not just dead ends but rather a Bermuda triangle where familiarity sinks reliance to breed contempt. Don’t get me wrong, but for me a negotiation is never a compromise nor an attempt to convince people of my vision or views. I say this because people change horses when they argue changing topics of discussion to issues warranted in wrong assumptions as grounds for personal attacks. It’s one thing for strangers to assume things about you due to a misunderstanding or a personal experience based on one case evaluation or escalation when compared to your friends or family assuming things about you. As a fine example of this, assuming they know you or how you’d act or think in a given scenario. Truth is, families raise us hoping we become like someone they know but who we turned out to be is something totally out of the box they had. Don’t get me wrong, I do appreciate their hopes and aspirations but good faith includes refusing advice and warning as well as doing the total opposite of what they expect and rely on. Friends have their share too in this truth-good faith business.

Many times they expect us to accept being taken for granted or just there in the background yet lose their shit when we call them out on their shit. In the end of the day, care shouldn’t turn into something used to blame you for your or their misfortunes when you step out of their shadow or social circle. And though they may mean well by stating their view as a mere opinion, hurtful exchanges still take place. But does that cut the bond? No. Does it change you and how open you are to receiving them and their feedback? Yes. Why? Well, hurts differ in impact which makes processing them and how we heal from them even more complex. It’s one thing to resent an idea but it’s a totally different thing to associate an idea with a person that caused you pain. It makes you less receptive to closeness and disclosure. This in turn reflects on a tightening on your definition of good faith when dealing with truth. You find yourself skewed between facing life and truth like the musician who just faced a shock or tragedy. He knows how to play. He misses playing but doesn’t have the heart to play or listen to the melodies he once knew. And so he finds placebos in escaping into isolation’s reality. Many will say, life just happens with its joys and hurts but I say never hold back on expressing your direction and opinion. So What happens to good faith, truth, and trust? Basically, you either grow a heart or harden yours beneath a fancy kind of art: The Art of Not Giving a Fuck. It comes with a highlighting filter called maturity. It makes you good at getting things done by letting shit slide. Some battles you just can’t afford to win because they are sheer loss.

The problem is that life is something that has its own reasons that differ with what once seemed to be reasonable. You find yourself shutting out from the world only to be immersed in a different part you think you can tackle or understand. Families and friends are people and like people they judge you by your hits or missteps. It’s harsh and leaves a bitter taste in the back of your throat but that’s all you can do- accept it all. For some reason, we are all somehow bad in someone else’s book no matter what we do or don’t do. In the end we are all creatures of habit summarized in errors midst trials and battles of expectations. You start by defending what you believe in including your current position on matters but end up choosing silence hoping time proves them or you wrong. All goes well until you realize everyone thinks you don’t care or simply don’t want to be bothered. They see you as the rebel they are trying to bring home or the indifferent vegetative individual they are trying to re-engage. What changed between little you and older you? Nothing really. It’s just that life has rehashed your weaknesses or revealed how different who you really are compared to what they were expecting to see come out of that idea they had about who you are.

Like everything in this world, every one in life has a meaning and propensity in the lives of the others they think they know. It’s quite easy to get overwhelmed, excited, lost, distraught, or simply anguished. People will sulk or ignore you. Others will simply walk past you avoiding the occasional look at who you have become. It’s a painful transition that undresses good faith in front of truth stopping the musician from playing life’s up beat tunes. It will all pass because in good faith’s playbook, every spin has an end. Some spins go on for years bobbing you up or pushing you down but don’t despair. Good faith is there but as always, it requires an ability to recognize entrenched situations from those that can be straightened with time. Family and friends will always be there not out of equal love or a sense of belonging but mostly out of duty and a pack’s pact to stick together through thick and thin. People may look back and wonder where you’re heading or whether you know where you’re going or what you’re doing. It doesn’t matter not because you don’t care anymore but because your personal sanity and space require that you don’t lend an ear to their cares. Just keep going and don’t ever look back to see who got offended or stop to answer their offenses with aggression. But if you do, just check if everyone else is still there and still able to do their thing. It’s a very cramped mental space, crawling with issues, unsaid words, and things you can’t take back. Still, don’t live in regret. Ground yourself in finding your path to knowing your true self. It’s okay, not everybody necessarily wants to know you let even listen to what you have to say. The trick is in being good at listening only to what makes sense to you, doing what you feel is right, and living with what you know damn well you chose because you know you can live with. In retrospect, I believe in good faith; only I now qualify it with what lets me be without offending others. Even though, many believe that I live in my own world with my own principles. It’s fine with me as long as they understand, it’s a lifelong negotiation wherein compromise and convincing me are not in the equation. Stubborn? I sure am and you should be the same. Don’t expect to be understood or to be able to rely on the world or its people because what is right right now won’t be a moment later. So for now, let’s all agree to smile as we walk away with whatever is left of us. Maybe tomorrow, we will all be able to speak in a language we all understand. After all, no one can always be wrong or right. We are all still learning how to live with who and what we know: good faith- a two way traffic not a concept shaped by crossing the same path more than twice.

Author’s Notes: Truth is Life’s most flowing melodic piece. It is characterized by its highs and lows that are sharp in their falls yet quite flat in their upbeat tones. It’s ironic- life- but so are we in our relative needs and propensities. To each his own business for one’s sacred space is his and only his to embrace. To face life one needs to face the truth about himself and his surroundings with good faith not compromise or shaping people’s convictions to fit his.

Thank you for reading this piece. #Life #truth #goodfaith #reliance #expectation #personalspace #identity #family&friends #realization #freedom #mental space


Give some love to Pasithea Chan by reading her previous posts here. You can also find her brand of poetry on Facebook.

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Pasithea Chan
Pasithea is a budding Lebanese Filipino impressionist who enjoys writing poetry in symbolism laced with philosophy and psychology. Given her legal background having worked as legal and risk management consultant in MENA and the far east; she also writes legal and academic articles. Her creative writing has been read on several podcasts and radios and was featured in several magazines and anthologies including: Envision Arts, Rigorous, Fevers of the Mind, Osprey's Empire, Voices of the Real and Suicide. Having written 2500+ poems and more than 12 short stories; Pasithea writes in various styles but prefers pieces that have double meanings to allow a reader to delve deeper into her works.
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