At My Worst

Self worth has been a constant battle for me for a very long time. Until over a month ago, I was sitting in a darkened room surrounded by people in deep prayer that I’ve decided to let go of my battle because Jesus was telling me “You are beautiful”. That was all it took for my tears to spill and overflow. It was finally nice to wake up each morning with peace in my heart because I was loving the person that I was despite my imperfections.

But then with just one stupid mistake, everything I’ve believed about myself POOF! gets thrown out the window. How unfair that beyond my control I’ve become someone else in the eyes of others leaving so little room for self redemption. Just like that I’m back to questioning myself.

WHY? Why did it have to happen? Why now? Why weren’t someone there to stop me from making a stupid mistake?

I could not understand why God allowed it. It took me sometime to realize.

When I thought God had abandoned me, He was there in the face of people who chose to embrace me despite the embarrassing part of myself. It happened probably for me to learn how to accept and love myself at my worst.

images

 

We must learn to embrace those imperfections that are and those that will be.

0c007a4fa0f88de3c20f962f10867ae8

Shoe Boxes

Since I was a kid, I kept shoeboxes of my ‘stuff’. Photos, memorabilia,  letters, small gifts, anything that meant something or made me remember something and things that were too cute to throw away. I always had these shoeboxes. Even when I moved away from home and lived with my sister, I carried with me the shoeboxes. When the shoeboxes got too old, tattered and ugly, I would replace them with newer ones. Sometimes, I would clean up the boxes, throw away things that didn’t mean anything anymore but I always carried them wherever I moved to.

These shoeboxes are a part of me. They hold the memories that gets pushed away through the passing of years. Opening them is like opening a journal that was written years ago. Rereading old letters, going through old photos, browsing through things that were long forgotten would always always make me smile. It reminded me of how silly I used to be and how complicated growing up could be.

The other day, I sat at a cafe with someone who used to be one of my best friends. The hours went by with me trying to hold back tears and spilling tears, hearing words that were like daggers to my heart, and all the while my heart was screaming “No. You are so wrong.” I could not understand how she could think that I betrayed her.  I was still weeping while I drove back to the office. What happened  felt unreal and vague at the same time. I left the cafe knowing that the friendship we had was lost.

That afternoon, I decided to put the morning’s event in a box and I stowed it away. Our emotions are very powerful. A person gripped with anger and grief can easily twist a story into something as ugly as what they are feeling. I realized that everytime I replayed the words that I heard that morning, it burned a different emotion which I recognized could easily turn from defense to anger. I just wanted to forget it so I put it in a box. I could always choose to open the box again but at this point, it won’t do any good. I hope someday that girl in the cafe and I could both open the box and laugh at how ridiculous it was.

I know it would take some time for her to heal. I’m not expecting a reconciliation very soon but I’m not losing hope. For now, it’s enough that I found out her reasons. I hope someday she will realize that I never betrayed her.

We could always choose to revisit a painful memory, replay it over and over until it gets uglier than it really is or choose to put them in a box and stow it away.

“The soul always knows what to do to heal itself. The challenge is how to silence the mind.” – Caroline Myss

Borrowed People

“People come into your life for a reason, a season and a lifetime”

It is a ridiculous, sad part of life that there are certain people who are meant to be in our life for only a season. They are the people whom we wish we could keep forever or thought of keeping forever but for some reason: they drifted, walked away, changed or were too far away. And that’s the sad thing about friendship, when people walk away you let them. There’s no holding-on-fighting-for bullcrap that goes on with romantic relationships. When a friend walks away, you let them because you know that it was their decision. Friendship is simple. It’s either you stay or you don’t. There’s no grey area in between. There’s no uncertainty of feelings.

I could count a few people who I thought were going to be lifetime friends and there are those people I met who I wish I could keep as lifetime friends. But … as what I was saying… the universe shifted and well the seasons changed and the season for them to be in my life ended. Some stayed longer than the others, some just for a very short time but all the seasons I spent with them brought extreme joy and happiness.

2000: It was the first few days of my life in college. I sat in my chair, bent over, filling up some form.  “Pareho kayo ng birthday ng bestfriend ko”. a girl declared. I looked up to see her beaming at me. Four years later, we were both standing infront of the panel, wearing our navy blue suits and confidently defending our “so-called” thesis. She was the same girl who drove me every day to the review center, a few months after graduation and the one who sat next to me on my first job hunting exam. She was the same girl I watched get broken, years later. The last thing I expected was for us to be in the state we are now. We have probably lost each other.

2008: It was my last night in Shenzhen. I stood outside some bar bidding goodbye to the people whom I became friends with in the one month that I stayed there. I was crying. Thanks to social networking I didn’t feel alone in a foreign country. In fact, it was one of the happiest months of my life. Two years later, I was back in SZ and my friends were still there. We all changed within those two years but they remained to be my SZ friends. But the season is over. Everybody moved somewhere and created new lives. When I go back to that country, they won’t be there anymore.

2010: It is the year I’ve built new friendships with people in the running community. It’s the year I met awesome friends. And just like the others, the season has ended. Some moved out of the country while some moved to a different community and some changed preference of social hangouts.

I think it’s part of growing up and getting older. It’s part of the losing and gaining scheme of the universe. Some people may have left or walked away but some will surely pass by again. And those who have left, those whose season ended–I’m sure God lent them to someone else so they can be the friend they were to me, so they can share the same joy they’ve showered me.

And just as Isa Garcia wrote, “”But for all its messiness, I think that friendship persists. In a photograph. Or an old story. In memories that can’t be snatched or taken away……..I do believe that our history will always keep us bound. I believe that we will always be able to use it to find our way back to one another when we need; that it will be more than enough to bridge the gap. “

Random Letters #101

Although only a year has passed, somehow it feels like ages ago, ages ago that seem like only yesterday. This is one of those strange moments, those that are in between being forgotten and being remembered.

I wish you find that big amount of COURAGE. The kind of courage you need to be who you are, to stand up for your dreams, to live up to your decisions, to forgive yourself and most especially, to let go. As I have repeatedly told you before, live in the present.

We’ve made our mistakes and no matter how many times we go back to those memories, they will never change. Our mistakes will remain to be but we can’t allow regret to keep us from moving forward.

Forgive yourself for hurting other people. It was a time of weakness, a time where our characters were tested. But here you are, older and wiser. It’s time you let go of the past because I already have.

Wherever you go, I hope that you find the strength and courage that you wish you had. You are blessed with people who love you enough to accept your shortcomings and give you second chances. Love them back. Give them what they deserve.

 

 

 

Not That

One of those days when I feel so inadequate. Was it the cheesy films I just watched that brought me to these thoughts while I lay down on bed last night? Or maybe that awkward breakfast with my parents and my godfather and his wife wherein they tried to fix me up with their son? Achk! Has my parents gone desperate to save me from a life of singledom that they even thought of that crazy idea? Am I really a desperate case?

Don’t get me wrong. I love who I am but one thing about mirrors is that it shows you what you want to see and not how the world sees the object infront of it.

No matter how happy you get… sometimes insecurities will weigh on your shoulder. It’s quite embarrassing to admit to these insecurities and I don’t want to sound ungrateful but I guess it’s part of being a woman and being human so allow me to just spat out the pathetic, silly part of myself that says “I’m unattractive, undesirable, unlikeable…”

Put in some pretty, some smart, some nice, some kind, some funny but maybe it just never measures up to the world’s standard of attractive which somewhat boils down to not pretty enough, not smart enough, not nice enough, not skinny enough, etc. Someone who is quite but not really or maybe there’s just something there that I don’t see. But what is more disturbing aside from the physical aspect of unattractive and far more important is the feeling of being inadequate in terms of character. 😦 Something that says that my personality and character ain’t good enough or that my notion of the best of me does not even measure up to mediocre. Or maybe there’s just some scientific excuse for my singlehood (aside from the several self-destructing-not-so-much-of-a-relationship I had in the past) like a pheromone disorder perhaps (hmmm…is that even possible?).

I know I know…these thoughts shouldn’t even be entertained and that I should believe that I am a beautiful creation of God and that somewhere out there someone is meant to love me but sometimes… I just don’t feel like it…and sometimes believing in the positive things sounds silly.

But I do know that letting these thoughts get to me won’t do any good. No matter how ridiculous it sounds, it is still better to trust in God’s plan. It is a tea party with the dark side to entertain these insecure thoughts and it’s a battle I just have to keep fighting.

I am Ready. Bring it On!

We’ve all had our hearts broken….

It’s never easy…

But one thing is for sure… unlike broken things, a broken heart can be stitched back together and it can work more wonderfully than it did before.

I was browsing through my files when I came a across some things I wrote a few months back. I clicked them open one by one. As I read through the words, memories came flooding back… some things I couldn’t remember anymore…not until today. I laughed out loud at one point seeing the word “soulmate” and shaking my head. “Really? How’d you come up with that idea?” was all I could ask myself. Funny how our thoughts change after a while.

Although, it is a part of my past that I don’t want to revisit anymore I realized that it is still a part of who I was and who I am, for that matter. It will always be something that changed me and after reading those writings I finally realized that it’s finally a closed chapter. I am happy with where I am right now and I believe I am ready to face what life has in store for me. I have forgiven the people who’ve hurt me a long time ago but more importantly I have forgiven myself too.

Now, I can finally write about it. I have refused to write anything about this before because I told myself I won’t delve in too much drama anymore.  This time though, I will write about it for the reason that I want to remember how far I’ve come.

In my attempt to forget what happened, I’ve deleted most of the files a few months ago. The following are the ones that survived my rage. Haha.

Sometime in March

“The words pierced though like daggers or maybe a slap in the face or a punch in the stomach. “If ever…”. As the words registered through my brain I couldn’t help having that sinking feeling. The next words were like distant echoes. I pulled away instantly. He noticed the sudden change in my mood and asked me what was wrong. I shook my head and said “Wala.” The tears threatened. He really didn’t have any plans. He really couldn’t do it. I knew that but the confirmation made it feel ten times more difficult to digest. Wow. I cursed myself for expecting. I hated him for popping the “What if” question.  I couldn’t help thinking how I’ve let it come this far. I cried. I punched him. I screamed at him. “How could you?” was all I could ask. “Sinabi ko naman sayo wag mo ako paaasahin.” I sobbed. He tried to pull me close but I kept on pushing him away. He was speechless. He didn’t have any reassuring words and that made it worse. “

Sometime in June

“In the middle of reading the book, of waiting for an email, of explaining my absence, I realized the only vivid emotion I have right now is FEAR. I have to admit to myself that I’m scared. I’m scared about the future. I’m scared about moving on. I’m so scared to be sucked in this moving on phase. I don’t want it to last for months or years. And this is something I have to get over with.

I need someone who will take away the fear. Someone who will assure me that the future is going to be beautiful. “

Sometime in September

Was it because people stick with those who fight for them? She never did. All she ever did was ask him to let her go. Would have it been any different if she fought, if she made it her battle? Did he love her any less because she didn’t fight for him?

Her eyes fluttered open soaking in the rays of light peeking in through the blinds. Was it a dream? A bad nightmare? The words still echoed in her head. It played over and over like a refrain or a bad last song syndrome. She reached for her mobile phone and typed in a quick message to her boss. Work didn’t appeal to her today. In fact, she didn’t feel like doing anything at all. She lay on her bed replaying the phone conversation from yesterday. She clicked on her playlist and John Mayer’s words floated around the quiet room.

“When you’re dreaming with a broken heart waking up is the hardest part. You roll out of bed and down on your knees and for a moment you can hardly breathe.”

Is love really a decision? “I’ve already decided”, he said more to himself than to her refusing to answer the question directly. How she wished it was just as easy to tell herself that the feelings were gone, that the words meant nothing, that everything was just a big lie. They’ve been through this before only this time there were no ‘somedays’, no ‘tomorrows’, no hopes because he has already decided. How unfair it was that she had to ask him a thousand times to let her go but he was the one who kept holding on, dragging her deeper and finally to let her go just when she started to believe in his ‘somedays’.

Did he mean it? Was it really gone? Whether he did or he didn’t she had to believe it for her own sake. It was probably absurd to beg him to say those words. Though it would have been easier to believe it if he didn’t say it with hesitation, if she didn’t have to plead and beg him to say it. Did he say it only because she agreed to be friends or did he say it because it was really the truth?

There was silence. Then he finally said it “Hindi na kita mahal.”

She caught her breathe. For a while everything seemed to stop. Those words were like daggers to her heart. “Thank you”, she whispered.

O diba ang drama lang? Hehe.

Reading back through those just made me smile. Ang corny na, ang drama pa. Haha. No wonder kulang nalang pagulungin ako sa hills ng mga kaibigan ko (you can gag now, my friends =p). Kidding aside, I guess we all go through these emotions.  They’re real. I might have felt like losing something before but now I’ve realized that I gained more from losing. These dramas, roller coaster of emotions, holding on, letting go, grief… in the end, they all teach us a lesson. I learned that we should not wait for someone to fix us. If we need to fix ourselves, it’s a DIY (do it yourself) thing.

And if you have gone through the same agony, remember that you should use these life experiences to make yourself a better version of who you are. Allow it to make you stronger and wiser so that the next time you put your heart out there you know how to set the bar high… set it high in terms of who treat you right.

This is something I’ve learned through all the brokenness; There’s nothing really wrong in loving someone too much. In fact, we should love someone with all that we have. The real problem is we love ourselves too little.

When you have the courage to look back at your past and feel love for yourself when you see the monsters you have battled, it means you are ready to move forward. It may take a while…. but you can only hurt as much as you allow yourself too. Be someone you can love and allow that love to grow in you.  When you love yourself, you’ll never settle with something less than great.

When you’re ready, everything will fall into place. Bring it on, universe! I know you have planned  something wonderful for me.

DAD’s Advice

I was able to talk to a friend today. He wanted to break his marriage. It was sad but I knew that as long as he was in that relationship, none of them would ever be happy. I believe in the sanctity of marriage, in fighting for it, in doing everything to make it work. I believe that marriage should be indispensable. But when you marry someone for the wrong reason it seldom works out. A failed marriage is one of my biggest fears. I really believe it’s just a matter of ending up with the right person. I think that’s the biggest mistake couples make… they SETTLE for less than what they truly want and deserve.

I’ve always been a fan of Dad-isms (check out www.dad-isms.com), a collection of advice from a wise father. Here are some of his advice when it comes to relationships.

ADVICE No. 1

http://www.dad-isms.com/post/15452981544

ADVICE No. 2

The important thing to ask yourself before going back into the dating pool after a tough break-up is:  Are you simply trying to fill a void?

That isn’t an easy question to answer (honestly)…because honestly, we all have a void of some kind or we wouldn’t be searching for love in the first place.  But what if you came from a different angle altogether?  From a place of abundance instead of scarcity?

Abundance is overflowing.  Scarcity…like a sponge.

ADVICE No. 3
I hope you find the person that cherishes you…and doesn’t simply love you back
ADVICE No. 4

I just don’t want you to want Love so bad that you fall in love with the idea of Love and forget one of the essentials to great Love…and that is finding the right person (for you).

It is true that you can make a person your conduit to Love, but they may not be the one that willsacrifice a part of them for a part of you.  And I know, no person wants to hear the word sacrifice andlove in the same sentence and these people that despise those words are (later) the most frustrated over it because they think that love just works somehow, minus sweat?

Giving a part of you for a part of them isn’t an either/or proposition and to gloss over the ‘work’ part, which is vital to the long-term viability of your relationship, is to say sewing and reaping only works on the farm, when the truth is, that concept applies to every part of your life especially your relationship(s) with other people.

http://tmblr.co/Z-2ARy1T6NMf

ADVICE No. 5

Most happily married men I have met in my life all say, “if I had it to do over again, I would have married her sooner”

 
ADVICE No. 6

How will you know if he or she is the right one before getting married?

My standard advice for years has been this:

Find three things you absolutely can’t stand about a person and if you can love them despite those things, then you probably have the right one.

Mom said, “Find someone you want to change the least”.

In this case, I think I like Mom’s answer better

ADVICE No. 7
I hope you marry the person…that in a crowded room, makes you feel like the only one they see