Testimony by Noel Chris, Malaysia.
Always Remember that Collateral Beauty.
The meaning is simple. Collateral beauty is the beauty within a tragedy.
For example, the damage of a child’s death can be so severe that a parent will not be able to see the full picture because of the tragedy or going through a relationship where you’ve found out that the person you thought of spending the rest of your life with was actually having another partner behind your back, turning out that he or she was just playing and using you.
It may cause a damage so brutal, it may take a lifetime to understand that within that dark place, there was a beauty and there was a love so strong that nothing could dishevel it.
This was something I’ve learnt to slowly understand last year. Let me explain.
The ones that left earth.
2017 was the most mind-opening year for me. I’ve lost so much and learnt so much more. Let’s start off with the ones I’ve lost who have went back Home. I lost 2 friends, one through an accident and one through heart disease due to him having a hole in his heart. On Christmas Day, all so sudden we’ve got a call in the morning saying one of my relative’s aunt has passed away.
At the time, my uncle was also admitted in the hospital already about a month. I’ve never told anyone this besides my sister, but ever since he got admitted, there was a voice in my head telling me, “By this year”, (which was 2017). It came down to the final three days of 2017, my uncle was still there, able to have a conversation with me. So I dismissed the thoughts and the voice in my head. Well, there came New Years Eve, and yea.. I woke up to the news that my uncle has passed away. There were signs, but I chose to ignore.
The ones that left me.
Now let’s come to the ones who left me. Now this, this were the ones where God gave me so many clear and obvious signs which I chose to ignore. Different beliefs, different dreams, different mindset and high levels of ego which I failed to see. When I was asked about my dreams for the future, I said I wanted to be happy and to make others happy while their dreams was to be rich, yes with money and wealth with no proper explanation. I still chose to pursue these relationships.
The voice in my mind kept on giving me cautions and warnings. But I still chose to pursue. Yes, this particular one was a relationship and it was one which I chose to pour out all the love I had onto that person to make it work. Only to find out that she had someone else behind my back. Long story short, I called it off. I took the blame and allowed them to move on while I just moved aside. Ever had that feeling of being used like a toy? Where kids play with one until they see a new toy, then they leave the old one aside? Yeah, I felt like that.
I hid the truth and blamed myself for everything so that no one else would get hurt or misunderstood. Getting stares from mutual friends and receiving hate messages was a norm and I let it happen. Some told me I was fake, that used her and that my love was not strong. I took it all in so that they could live on peacefully even though I was the victim. Then I prayed and came to realize that I couldn’t fully move on because I was lying and living a lie for them, and I was not forgiving myself. I wasn’t loving myself anymore.
So for months and months, I gave myself time and love I needed in me. Going places and taking long walks alone at times. Sharing my thoughts and joy hoping it will be able to help even just one person through their day. I’ve learnt to do what I love and how I can share it.
Of course there were people asking me why I was doing all these. Most of them, my close friends. Saying it was weird, stupid and pointless. Asking me why I would react to things in a different way than most people, ‘the normal way’.
But trust me. Right now, my mind and soul is at total peace and calmness. All because I listened, but still chose to be myself. Through this time, I have learnt that it’s hard for all of us to feel the same way towards those who’ve hurt or those who’ve left. Because most of the time, we don’t see those who are with us because we can only think of those who left and hurt us.
But you don’t have to worry about those who left, if they left they’re gone. You can’t be mad at them, I still love them the same, because I needed the ones who stayed to be here with me, but I needed those who hurt or left to get me to where I am now. Those are the people who help us get us to the place we needed to be to do what you and I have been called to do by God.
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” – Romans 8:28
It takes a stab in the back, it takes being played, it takes a broken heart, to realize that some of the people who left or hurt you, were actually teaching you to love the people who were still there.
The beauty is that love continues even after and through death or a heartbreak. The impact of that trauma is actually bringing us closer to the love that we shared for that person and all the ways love of that individual has affected our lives and the lives of others.
It’s all about the quality and not so much the quantity. Life is a teacher and Love is the reward in all its forms. When we can see love where darkness used to reside, we can finally turn our lives and those around us into something glorious.
I’ve come to understand that the voices in my head and the signs coming my way were all from God. Love is so powerful, it overcomes everything. That’s how I learnt to see the beauty in all of these tragedies and heartbreaks.
Life is beautiful. You are Beautiful.
Stay Humble. Smile More.