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The Good Stuff
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The Power of Five
  by Rachelle Arlin Credo 
Length: 667 words

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The Power of Five

A few days ago, I was having another fretting day. I had so many conflicts to deal with and personal affairs to attend to that I was eating my heart out the whole day I was moving around. I could almost hear the song playing in my head: "Fretty woman walking down the street, fretty woman ... lalalala ..."

That night, after retiring from the day's toil, I remembered the time when I was diagnosed with SLE (Systemic Lupus Erythematosus) a.k.a. Lupus, an incurable autoimmune disease. I started re-grieving over the part that SLE took away from me. I began to fret about all the things I used to do so well.

I thought about how I used to take the jeepney for an hour's trip to the city just to get to pre-Med school everyday. I remembered how neat and pretty I looked with my white college uniform and how my male neighbours used to have a big crush on me. I lamented that because of SLE, my college days are over and I'm never going to fulfil my dream of becoming a neurologist ... ever!

I also recounted those days where I used to bum around with my friends. All those shopping sprees and dating schemes with a pool of suitors not to mention the series of soirees in schools and dormitories and a string of sorority mischiefs. Again, I lay the blame on SLE for cutting my frolicsome moments abruptly.

But as I was pouring out my grief, a crazy question popped in my mind: "Rachelle, give me five reasons why you should be happy today."

At first, I took the idea for granted thinking it was utterly ridiculous to entertain. Nonetheless, it remained lodged in my brain that a moment after, I felt like I just couldn't give it up. I thought for a moment and then, I started reiterating.

"Well," I mumbled, "my first reason to be happy would have to be my life, I think. The fact that I am still breathing the air of life would be a good reason at that. I have knocked on Death's door several times in my life and yet he never took me in. With dengue fever at 9 years old, malaria at 10, dengue fever again at 12, severe UTI at 19 and cardiomegaly at 20, and recently SLE, I think it's a miracle that I'm still alive.

"Second, I have a beautiful family who loves me so much. When I was at the darkest hours of my life and felt like everybody turned their backs away from me, they were there, enduring every sadness and pain with me. 

"Third, I have great friends who were always there through thick and thin and were willing to sacrifice just for me. 

"Fourth, I have a loving boyfriend who, despite our distance, never ceases to send his cares through the distance and loves me more than life itself.

"And fifth, I have faith in a Divine Love that sustains and uplifts me if all else fails."

And before I realized it, I felt good again. My lost fervour was revitalized and I felt joy overflowing inside me. I just realized that everything I need to be happy is right before my eyes and I was just overlooking them all along. It dawned on me that joy does not reside "out there" but within each of us in our hearts. It worked so well that I decided to incorporate it in my daily routine. Each day after rolling out of bed, I would grope for five things in my life that I am most grateful about. It soon became a habit that my life gradually changed.

Three days after the experience, my brother came up to me and asked, "What's with you? What's making you so happy these days?"

I just told him, "It's because of the power of five". 

My brother furrowed his brows not knowing what I meant. I just smiled.

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