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Many follow the dictum: Look good, do good, feel good. It sounds like a very positive outlook on life. Strictly followed, people hoped that life would be more beautiful and community life would be easier to undertake. Even the President repeated this principle during the recent Philippine Military Academy graduation ceremonies.
Let us look into the principle more deeply. Is it really possible to feel good and look good all the time? Sometimes, our experience tells us when we do feel bad, we cannot help but look bad. Unfortunately, because of this life principle, so many of us take up so much energy trying to please others and look good and feel good. It can be very tiring. Into each life, some rain must fall, the poet says. Pleasers can be very unhappy in life.
When we look bad and feel bad, it would be best to be true to ourselves. The only thing that we must remember is that the bad days are shorter than the good days, that the sunshine lasts longer than the nights, and that only those willing to walk through the night can see the stars and the beautiful moon.
We are in Holy Week. Jesus always tried His very best to feel good and look good and think good. He repeatedly said in the Gospel of John, “The Father and I are one.” That was the perennial source of consolation for Him. And yet, during this holiest day of days, this same Christ who always felt so good and secure about the Father’s love cried out: “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” It was a cry of desperation. It was a “feel bad” cry. It was a moment of His life on earth, and He did not hesitate to express it. He was not a pleaser; He was not an entertainer. He was Himself. In being true to Himself, He also pleased the Father.
Jeremiah also cried out in desperation to the Lord. He was a hard-hitting prophet. At his lowest point, he cried out loud to the Lord and expressed his “feel-bad” situation. The only thing that he needed to remember during those feel-bad days was that these low days were passing. Secondly, when we avail of that privilege of expressing how we feel, let it be expressed with love. Let it not land as devoid of love of neighbor and love of God. Love and do what you please. If we feel good, let us share it. If we feel bad, let us allow others to share in our load. Let us give them a chance to love us. Telling our friends our “feel bad” days can significantly help us. Problems shared are cut in half. Joys shared are doubled a hundredfold. It always pays to be true to ourselves.
Even as we express our feelings honestly, let us remember that all things are passing. We are transients in this valley of tears. In our moments of desolation, let us not forget our consoling and heartwarming victories. In our moments of glory and triumph, let us relish and give thanks always.
If you feel good, look good, and do good. If you feel bad, be open and recognize the gnawing pain. Into each life, some rain must fall. The happy days are always more and always longer than the “feel bad” days. There are forty days of Lent and fifty days for Easter. There are five mysteries for sorrow and ten mysteries for happiness.
Jesus Our Light