As a person who grew up listening too much to other people’s opinions, I developed a layered indifference toward what is truly in me. I say “layered” because it had to do with the way that I functioned as a person. I was too driven by a sense of “musts:” life to me was a race to fulfill all the obligations that other people expected me to do. Deeper there was this sense of inner void, one that I tried to patch by busying myself around. I was very afraid that my life had no meaning and that I would be nobody in life. This fear, unrecognized, used to dictate the way that I behaved, creating a sense of confusion, desperation, and failure to my everyday efforts. 

My journey in PRH led me to join the FRA program. The program necessitates me to find the significance of being more actively involved in my growth journey. It is then that I learn to see the workshops and pedagogy of PRH from a different point of view: I learn to use it not as a consumer but as a crafter and a wielder. I am asked to be more conscious of the way I relate to myself and to other people. I learn to put trust in the growth dynamism that is within me and to direct my resources – energy, intellect, time – to things that support my growth as a human person.

When I do this, two things emerge within me. One is the understanding of the difference of the sensations brought by things that truly vitalize me in my core from those that brought fleeting satisfactions. I begin to recognize that there are things that can rejuvenate me much once I tap into them – things such as a sense of perseverance, altruism, and faith. The other one is a deeper appreciation of the importance of living according to who I am in depth. The realities of my identity are not to be taken lightly; they are to be integrated and manifested through my actions and decisions, my way of being.

Does it mean that the fear that controlled me tyrannically previously has disappeared? Sadly not. In a sense, it is even more accentuated because now I really have to face it when it starts to creep in. But this is where the work to be done lies. I need to dis-believe the negative thoughts I have for myself that used to linger around in my mind when I am faced with realities I do not favor. I also need to learn to rely on the strengths of my identity to face my fear instead of letting myself being ruled by it. Each day then presents a choice for me: to be swallowed by my fear, or to recognize it and to still choose to exist anyway.