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It's Okay to Not be Okay

Updated: Dec 7, 2021

Watching this K-Drama Series will definitely make one appreciate his/her humanity and that includes confronting his/her broken self. With these pivotal characters namely: Ko Moon Young, Moon Sang-Tae and Moon Gang-Tae, the audience are set on the journey towards recovery and healing!


KO MOON YOUNG

She had a dark and troubled childhood as she did not get to experience a mother's nurturing love and care. Soon, this little girl became like her own mother. Detached. Unmoved by what is happening around her. Void of feelings. No wonder, she was living but dead inside.


Her past has definitely shaped her present. But there's something this girl wants to happen to her future... to be truly FREE to love! Unfortunately, something is stealing her happiness and was keeping her in bondage. The memory of her mother's voice and cruelty was causing frequent nightmares...


In order to let go of the shadows of the past, there is one thing she needs to do: FORGIVE... No wonder Jesus asks his disciples to love and pray even for their enemies. Indeed, to forgive is like setting a prisoner free and that prisoner is “you”… It was a long, arduous process for Ko Moon Young. But with the help of real friends and the support of her community having the same struggles, she was able to finally believe that she can move forward. And she can be happy.


Her story tells us, OUR PAST DOES NOT DEFINE OUR FUTURE...





MOON SANG-TAE and MOON GANG-TAE

Perhaps, one of the most lovable characters were Sang-Tae and Gang-Tae who had very close relationship as brothers. They only have each other since they were left orphans at a young age. Gang-Tae had no choice but to look after his brother Sang-Tae who had autism. Like any person who was mentally challenged, Sang-Tae's innocence was unimpaired, he always says what he wants and expresses what he feels without having to think of what others will say.


This was in stark contrast with his brother Gang-Tae who just bottles everything up to the point of not knowing anymore how to express what's inside. Given the big responsibilities he had to take on growing up. As a result, Gang-Tae became aloof and disconnected from people.



We may not completely understand but a peek in Sang-Tae's world will enable us to see how creative and wonderful their world could be. People with austism are usually musically and artistically inclined and they can also be extremely blunt and sensitive. Sang Tae would tell his brother Gang Tae:

“Your body is honest. When you’re in physical pain you cry. But the heart is a liar. It stays quiet even when it is hurting.”

The character of Sang-Tae on the other hand, reveals up to what extent a brother would do. Because of his mentally challenged brother, Gang-Tae had to forego his own needs so he can attend to the needs of his brother... He ultimately understood what it means to LOVE and part of that was his willingness to SACRIFICE…


This is the kind of love that Jesus has for us on the Cross. His sacrificial love has freed us from the bondage of sin and evil that we may have the fullness of life.


Such sacrificial love was reflective in the lives of these two brothers. The seemingly burdensome brother who was diagnosed with autism became a great blessing in Gang-Tae’s life! His brother made him see what he’s capable of doing-- to love and to care for someone unconditionally! Sang-Tae, actually saved his life!





OVERALL

I absolutely love how this K-drama tackles issues on mental health as it clearly shows how certain experiences of loss or trauma can have direct impact on a person's mental and psychological well-being. It also affirms how we, as human persons remain a mystery even to ourselves! Mystery in a sense that there is more to know, to learn and to understand... Our life is never static as it constantly evolves. At times we get to wear many masks that our lives become complex and so we lose that deep connection within ourselves. We lose sight of who we are.


I love how interconnected the characters were in the story who each has invaluable life lessons to impart. These three main characters all suffered from a loss but destiny brought them TOGETHER so that they can eventually journey towards healing and wholeness.


This series made me reflect on my own journey as well: How am I dealing with my own brokenness? And in the face of all these scars, to whom do I truly belong?



 

[Photos from Google Images Public Domain]



 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Alexa Nuñez


She worked as a Religious Educator at St. Paul University in Manila and was part of the faculty for seven years. Currently, she is working in the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), a government office that has opened new doors for her. However, she still does part-time teaching when there is an opportunity since her love for teaching remains. She is also an active contributor of the Youth Today Magazine, Foundation for Christ Love (FCL-Asia).

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