Focus on the breath
By Virginia Jasmin Pasalo
I do not pretend to be perfect. I accept myself with all my flaws and try to work around it. Don’t come to me for answers, I cannot offer you any. My life has been a story of unanswered questions.
“Ma’am, what do I do with my life? My husband left me.”
“How do I move on? I cannot even move to Lingayen. I have no money.”
“Find the money. Work for a change.”
That advice is not good enough, coming from a person who has never been married and who has not seriously looked for money. What do I know about husbands except from the stories my friends tell me and the stories I read in books? They are just stories from where I experience the experience others have experienced. I do not know enough about money to teach a woman how to create it, except for some loose change.
But this I know. I can focus on a seed growing to become a seedling. I can look into a man’s eye and see what I want to see. It is not true that from the eyes, you can see a man’s soul. I have not seen a soul. So what I see is really what I want to see. This “looking” is actually seeing a part of me in another human being.
How does a woman understand a man’s heart? It is impossible. Those who pretend they do will be surprised. While it is easy to appreciate the vitality of the biological network that connects his heart with his brain and the other organs of his body, what specifically goes on inside his heart is his alone, no matter if he says that he has told you everything. If he reiterates he has told you everything, you can be sure, he is lying. So don’t ask, live with the reality that the evolution of truth is long, like the evolution of the human species.
What you can begin to understand is how your mind and body works. An exercise I learned from my yoga class is how to focus on my breath, going in and out of my nostrils and sometimes, my mouth. It is not an easy task, but I get better by trying harder, to isolate the distractions that encroach on it, like the smell of a newly-baked pancake.
Over time, I learned how to focus on my breath. And then, I focused on other things, like my anger and pain. Why is this person/ situation making me angry? Why do I feel pain? Understanding emotions is the first step to mastering yourself, and eventually, the situation you are in.
Also, focus on the love. Let every breath you take be filled with love. Let every breath you exhale smell of love. Love yourself, even for just a bit, at the start. Then love yourself some more. That way, you have more to give to those who actually deserve it.
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