Monday, June 25, 2007

Tangible reminders and Self-regard

Luanne Rice’s Follow the stars Home evolved on the lives of four females who struggle in order to savor the gift of love each of them deserves:

* Dianne, left by her husband giving birth to a sick child, and years later faced with a possibility of second chance at love with her brother-in-law.

* Lucinda, an adoptive child of violent parents was given hope by her belief on kindred spirits which she had read from Anne of Green Gables. She is Diannes mother.

* Amy, age 2, loves her clinically depressed mother dearly but hardly feels loved back. She found a mother image in Dianne and a friend in Julia.

* Julia, age 11 is Dianne’s daughter who is inflicted with Rhett’s syndrome. Her reactions were assumed to show affection for Ammy.

As a gift on Lucinda’s retirement as librarian, Diane took her mother, Julia and Amy to prince Edward island, the setting of Anne of green Gables. When they were about to leave the old apple-tree gardens of Lucy Maud, Amy suggested they take something for souvenirs. She gathered four withered-up apples ---apples with struck out stems and smelled like vinegar or wine. Dianne asked Amy why she took old apples. Amy said “They’re us.” Lucinda explained that the apples are ugly, unlovable things lying on the ground… until someone picked them up. The apples are tangible reminders of who they were and who they love. Personally, I take the sponge as a tangible representation of who I am. Like the sponge, I absorb as long as I can hold. I absorb even those that leave stains to the extent of my limit until someone, usually a confidant, squeeze me little by little so I could pour out whatever I had absorbed and so I may breathe. When I am back in shape, I am ready again to absorb.

Upon reading this novel, I have realized that the story offers more than touch and warmth on one’s heart, it conveys an outlook in life that enhances one’s self-regard (also self-worth) or how one see him/herself. The four heroine’s withered apples reminded me that ugly things or painful experiences in naked eyes are all only skin-deep---their effects disappear in time, they heal. Introspection made me understand that unpleasant things occur in order to bring out the beauty and luster within me. Besides, I am the one who know and see the beauty and worth in me, who else? I am the one who should initiate the discovery of my worth so others will also know.

In all the hurtful and disagreeable things that happen to me (us) how will be able to start to appreciate and see the positive side of things? I remember one session I, and the rest of my batch mates, had with bro. Boy. He told us to hug ourselves tightly or cuddle a pillow whenever we feel so lonely, unloved, and down so as to give ourselves the warmth we need--- it works!, at least on my part. The rationale is that we feel secured and attached by being hugged or cuddled. It is a relief to put into words how I feel; that despite the difficulties I encounter I still feel needed, appreciated, loved, useful, and kept --- and I know I be worthy of all these… I regard myself as I deserve.