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HWLF || Perspective

I've been running.

Further and further, going far far away. I've been running for a long time now. From familiar places, faces… People I know, people I don't. Situations that have hurt me or confuse me or stare me right in my face. Trying to find a hideout or even an escape. I've been running. And the worst part is, I didn't even know when it started or how to stop. I've been running. And I chose to keep running.

But I’m tired. I’m so sick and tired. And honestly, I’m done.

I'm done running.

I have been thinking a lot about legacy and the impact that you can leave on people. I feel as though now more than ever this idea of “who do you want to be” has been becoming more and more apparent as this new year and decade begins. What a loaded question. “Who do you want to be?” It seems easy right? Because there’s a lot of things that we, as humans, WANT. But what if what we WANT isn’t what we NEED or who we are CALLED to be? Like I want to lay in bed and rest and do nothing, but what would doing nothing get me? What impact would it leave on my life and those that surround me? How is that going to help me get to where I NEED to be?

So as I sit here and think of all the things I want, I push that all aside and try to ask myself one simple yet daunting question....

Who am I?

The snarky part of myself wants to say “Oh well I’m Jeannine Cheryse Mari. Youngest daughter to Joue and Au Mari, sister to Johannah Mari. Catholic. Filipino. Artist. But while all of these are true, they are all the most surface level answers one could give. They are just the outside. And while they may be crucial, they really don’t tell you anything on WHO I am.

So again, I sit here alone and I ask myself.... WHO am I?

Well.... I am the lover.

It’s been two months into this year and I don’t think I have to tell any of you that this new year and new decade have gone off to a pretty rough start. Heroes have passed, work is piling up, hearts are hurting. And now more than ever, it just proves this point in my heart that life keeps going. It stops for no one. And when the going gets tough, you have to keep pushing on. You have to be persistent. You have to show up.

So show the fuck up.

It’s so easy to hide. To run away and pretend or quote unquote “start over.” To neglect things or people and to run to whatever you deem as your hideout. Whether that be alcohol and partying, work, friends, people who help fill that void, sleep. We all run and more often than not it’s so easy to push things aside and say “I’ll deal with this later, the timing is just not right.”

But with where life has taken me and the events that have happened even within these past few months, it goes to show that life is so incredibly short and not guaranteed. And the one thing that keeps coming back to me is that you can waste a lot of time waiting for the right moment. Because guess what? There is no such thing as the right or wrong moment.

There is only now.

At the end of 2019 I made a promise to myself. For the first time in a long time, I was going to make me the priority. For real. No distractions, no excuses. I was going to choose me. For the first time maybe ever. I finally made the choice to pick myself.

Because in this time of my life of always wanting to be the beloved, I never ever stopped to take a moment and realize that I never saw myself as that in the first place. I never made myself the beloved in my own eyes. So who was I to expect anyone else to choose me first when I failed to do it too?

Love is incredibly complex. Like a jigsaw, we are all just people trying to put two and two together and make a beautiful masterpiece. We try to find references or clues to help us figure out what we are doing or what the big picture should look like, but the thing about jigsaws is that it is a lot of work. It is a lot of time, effort, energy… It requires all of you. But the most important part to anything, is the choice. You have to choose to do it. You cannot just set it aside, take a break, revisit it later, and hope that it just figured itself out. It stops. If you want it, you have to show up and go get it.

It is all about the choice.

You have to have the intention and the execution. You have to try. And it all simplifies back to 2 sentences, 8 letters, 8 words.

What Would Jesus Do? He Would Love First.


Whether you're religious or not, whether these 8 words mean anything to you or they are simply just a couple of words in a sentence… I truly believe that as humans, we are all called and have this yearning to love and to be loved.

We don't have time. Not enough of it. We don't know when our time is done or our last moments with one another are. We must learn to appreciate the now and every second that we have with each other while we have it. Do not succumb to the unfortunate phrase of only knowing what you have when you don't have it anymore. Be here, in the now. Treat me like you'll never see me again.

You don't always get to say goodbye or get to justify your thoughts or actions or get the answers you long for or deserve. Life is simply just not always fair like that. But we can do better. We may not always get what we want, but it is okay, because we are called for something more and something greater.

So as this year pushes forward, rather than running or trying to hide. Take a deep breath and sit with me. Sit in this moment. For the first time, ever, I am choosing me. I am choosing possibly one of the hardest loves to ever figure out. And trust me, it has not been easy. I have wanted to run and push myself away. The shame, the ugly, the pain. But that is not who I am or who I want to be.

It is hard getting here, but you can do it. All you have to do is make the choice.

So be bold, show up, and choose love. Choose to Love First.


-- Unseen

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