When things get toxic

Posted by watchmen
March 12, 2021
Posted in OPINION

Bad days do happen! Let’s hope they will just be few and far between. But there certainly are days when we will have a perfect storm, when everything seems to conspire against us.

Physically we can be a wreck. Emotionally we are shattered. Mentally we seem to be numb and frozen. Even spiritually we seem to be dead. Deadlines seem to be chasing us like hell. And disasters and crises seem to be all around: in the family, the office, with friends, in love life, etc. There are times when we seem to drown in our helplessness.

We have to make sure that we do not over-react to this phenomenon. We have to be ready to face them. Ignoring them or thinking that there will be no toxic times and that everything will just be sweet and fine, is quite naïve. Things will just get worse. There is always hope, a light at the end of the tunnel. Morning will surely follow the night.

A good reaction can be what is suggested in a responsorial psalm of a Mass: “Turn to the Lord in your need, and you will live.”Perhaps repeating those words would reconnect us to the source of hope that does not defraud us ever.

Sometimes we just need a little of self-psychologizing to keep ourselves going and ride out the storms. We have to learn to play little tricks with our own selves. This idea may sound insignificant, but actually, with it, many have succeeded in turning around their predicament.

But, yes, it is always with God that we can manage to deal with our difficulties. Christ himself reassured us: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, andyou will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden light.” (Mt 11, 28-30)

With these words, we have the formula for how to properly handle our toxic days. We always need to go to Christ. We should never just go through them by our own selves, simply relying on our powers that definitely cannot cope with the burden.

We also need to realize that whatever toxic burden or yoke we carry, be it physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, whatever, can and should always be regarded as the yoke of Christ since he has assumed all the problems we can have in this life.

Like Christ, let us be gentle and humble in heart, because this is the only way we can manage to bear whatever toxicity would come our way. With him alone, we will realize that the yoke is actually easy and the burden light.

Thus, it is all worthwhile to spend time meditating on these words of Christ and on his passion, death and resurrection that put the truth to these words. It is amazing that even now, after so many centuries after Christ spoke those words, many of us still are unaware of the significance and power of those words.

It’s truly high time to deeply instill these words in the consciousness of the people, making them a vital and operative part of our culture, especially nowadays when toxic days are becoming more common. We cannot deny that many people do not know how to cope with their difficulties and are falling into all kinds of sickness. Some have even gone insane.

Obviously, one of the things that we need to learn is how to suffer. We have to understand that suffering, in one form or another, will always be around. It is part of our human condition here.

With Christ, our suffering can be borne calmly, joyfully and meaningfully. We would know that suffering brings with it many benefits: purification, development of more virtues, and ultimately, our salvation.

With Christ, we will revive when we suffer, we will resurrect when we die!


Fr. Roy Cimagala is the Chaplain of the Center for Industrial Technology and Enterprise, Talamban, Cebu City (roycimagala@gmail.com)./WDJ

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