Funny, my lunch today included bitter melon :D
Anyway, a small painting I finished last month: The Bitter Melon In The Silence of No Stories Allowed.
It took me a while to post this piece because the supposed content that accompanies this brewed in my mind and waited until it was the right time to be written. However, it has come to a point that it did not have to be written in the same detail as it was in my mind, because Things have gotten quite lighter and, as the title suggests, better.
Basically the illustration was an outlet of my frustration about feeling like I "just cannot" be happy when the people around me are not given the "privilege" to be just as happy if not happier. And perhaps I needed an outlet because it was one of the patterns in my life - when I simply allowed myself to be shushed when I am happy just because some people cannot find it in themselves to be happy for me; when they only found comfort in my company when I am miserable or sad or at most blah, so that they would not feel so alone or so unhappy. This time though, I just chose to, yes, I still kept quiet, but I chose to just make art in my silence and then lived the happy parts with those who are happy to see me live them. I told myself I must give people time, and that I should sort of share that I, too, despite the happy parts of my life, still have miserable moments once in a while. Not that I am being ungrateful, but that even as I glow with happiness, I still have my feet on the ground and am still dealing with difficulties and the challenges that are always there anyway, whatever our life situation is.
On the other hand, this recent phase also reminded me to not be the bitter melon myself. More than just learning how to deal with bitter melons, I also learned how I can avoid being one. Where others shine and I suck, I need to see what I must and can do in order to move forward and to grow in my own way. Where I shine, I must cultivate what I have in order to evolve and not to simply "prove" to myself that I am not on the "losing" end. In the first place, there is never any competition, except in a bitter melon's head.
So, while it is natural for anyone of us to feel a little discouraged or disheartened when we feel that we are slowing down in our paths while others are just breezing through or even flying high, we must always remember to return to our centre and just simply keep moving forward. We may stumble and repeatedly fail, but retrying and pushing forward is definitely better than stopping and staring bitterly at those passing us by.
Then, if we are the ones on the receiving end of a bitter melon's glare or unkind words and disparaging comments, we must not let it hold us back or affect us, nor do we need to pretend that we are on the same page as it, and then let it slow us down or weigh us down with its negative energy. However we must also not "get back" at them by flaunting our fortune even more, because we just made ourselves worse than bitter melons.
Just as we must prod on when we are at a seeming disadvantage, we must also keep moving on while things are on our side. Either way, we can only move forward and make the most of the current situation. I know, it is much easier to say it, but sometimes, things happen or certain phases take place, which remind me to look at both sides of a situation and figure out which is the best way to go - the one that is most beneficial to everyone.