Iwas-Rupok Tips

Kung secure ka sa position mo kay Lord, no need to be insecure sa mga friends mong pumapag-ibig na.

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Ilang araw na pero halata pa rin ang eyebags mo. Ilang gabi ka rin kasing napuyat kachat yung taong akala mo may something din sayo. Ramdam na ramdam mo yung kilig, yung excitement, yung spark na kumiliti sa mga senses mo. Bilib na bilib ka pa nga sa witty punchlines niya na alam mo namang galing din sa mga memes. Sa maikling panahon na nagkakachat kayo, naplano mo na agad yung motif ng kasal niyo at pangalan ng mga magiging anak niyo. Kung hindi ka nga lang nakapagpigil, baka tinawag mo na siya sa endearment na pangarap mo kahit wala pang ligawan na nangyayari eh. Ganyan ka karupok, bes.

Di ka naman masisisi, pa-fall siya e. Pero sa susunod na may darating ulit at magpaparamdam, paano mo ba tutulungan ang sarili mo na maging mas matatag?

1. Don’t compare your story. Yes, may times talaga na mapapatanong ka na lang kung bakit sila meron na tapos ikaw wala pa. Pero sa mga panahong naghahanap ka ng sagot, convince yourself na iba ang story nila at iba rin ang sayo. Don’t fall into the comparison trap, you will only end up defeated. Hindi ka loser kung wala ka pang lovelife hanggang sa ngayon. Magiging loser ka lang kapag nagpadala ka sa idea na mas blessed sila kaysa sayo. Hindi mass production ang love stories na binibigay ni Lord kaya no need for comparisons. Pang best-selling novel ang story mo, hindi pang tabloid. Kung secure ka sa position mo kay Lord, no need to be insecure sa mga friends mong pumapag-ibig na.

2. Don’t rush your timeline. Baka kaya ka madaling ma-fall kasi ang dali mo ring madala sa matatamis niyang salita. Huwag mong masyadong madaliin ang proseso. Nag-wave lang sayo sa messenger, post ka agad ng “could this be love, Lord?” Honor God’s timing. Nire-ready ka pa ni Lord para maging responsible at mature bago ka pumasok sa relationship. Ganun din ang future partner mo. Relational maturity takes time. Think of yourself as “mangga” and not “munggo”. Ang munggo, overnight lang magbu-bloom agad, pero walang tibay at hindi nagtatagal. Ang mangga ay nadedevelop underneath, hindi nagmamadali. In its appointed time, magbu-bloom, magiging fruitful at matibay, tatagal sa mahabang panahon. Sa panahon ng mga munggong relationship, seek and be mangga.

3. Don’t settle for less. Aba, you are meant for greater things! Wag ka naman umasa sa bahala na. Not because everyone around you are in a relationship na ay papatulan mo na agad without ever thinking kung sino ang unang magparamdam, para lang hindi ka mapag-iwanan. People flaunt their good side and their achievements and all the positive things about them to impress others. You have to look beyond that. Kung hindi ka discerning, baka magsisi ka lang sa huli. Hindi pwede ang pwede na. Ikaw nga pumipili ng best angle mo para sa profile picture mo, ganun din dapat sa relationship. Seek, wait and pray for God’s best. Don’t hesitate to challenge his or her intentions. Dun lalabas ang totoong kulay niya. Di mo alam, baka pang-3 weeks relationship lang pala capacity niya. At least hindi mo pa siya naipakilala agad sa parents mo. Less hassle pa.

Huwag kang masyadong maniwala sa mga nababasa mo sa social media na kapag may jowa ka na, magiging kumpleto ka. You are already complete in the first place. Remember, people often flaunt in social media so you might end up believing a false reality na relationship is pure bliss. Mali yun. Relationships that are true, lasting and satisfying are those that honors God’s will and timing.

The Dream

Then a stirring came upon my heart. I need to protect the lady.

 

It was bit amusing yet chivalrous, bizarre yet encouraging, finding myself in a dream fighting to win someone’s heart. I know, it is imperative not to over-spiritualize things, especially dreams which are most of the time product of our ‘subconscious’ personality, but I believe my dream speaks of every man’s journey to search for his ‘better half’ and upon finding her, to serve and protect her with all his might. After all, God sometimes speaks through dreams. And while I do not claim any direct, divine explanation for my story, allow me to just sprinkle some thoughts I pondered as soon as consciousness hit me on my bed that day.

The Dream.png

The story unfolds inside a mansion with many rooms; contemporary in design yet the expanse so big it is comparable to an ancient castle. Some of the rooms are breathtaking in design and intricacies; some are so plain and dull. A fine, attractive lady is escorting me in my trip inside the mansion, bringing me from room to room boasting of its beauty. Her facial expression goes along with the design of the room – plain and mediocre when inside the plain rooms, radiant and spirited when inside the beautiful rooms.

As we progress in our journey that day, I noticed that the rooms are depreciating in splendor. The surrounding becomes damp and crowded; cobwebs begin to be visible and there emanates a stinking smell. Then I also noticed the embarrassment in her face. Our pace reduced and I can see the hesitancy in her eyes. It’s as if all the pain and doubts and worries and fears in life came upon her that moment. But I admired her for being strong. We moved slowly and she led me to the rooms with the worst condition compared to the first ones. She cries as she was telling me the stories behind the rooms. For some rooms, she can cite reasons, for others, she just returned blank stares, suggesting her lack of idea. I joined her in tears until we reached the terrace, which is also the end of my journey with her inside the mansion.

[I joined my friends outside the mansion. There we talked about our respective journeys in life. We poured out ourselves to each other as a band of brothers, ready to protect one another.] But when I gazed at the terrace, there I find visions of men and women contributing to the ugliness of the rooms I have witnessed inside the mansion. Some are even attempting to create new ugly rooms. Then a stirring came upon my heart. I need to protect the lady. I need to rescue her from people who try to add tears from her eyes by building ugly rooms in her mansion.

But we fought on the same battlefield. Our weapons seemed to be small and weak compared to our antagonists’, but we can retaliate. It is as if Someone stronger than anyone else in the field is backing us up.

With friends alongside, we fought the forces. We fought our different battles. They had their own motivations. Mine is to rescue the lady. But we fought on the same battlefield. Our weapons seemed to be small and weak compared to our antagonists’, but we can retaliate. It is as if Someone stronger than anyone else in the field is backing us up. Ultimately, we won. We ended up victorious. And a celebration awaits us.

I gazed again at the terrace. There she is, surrounded still by the horrors of the ugly rooms behind her. With her as well are the people who love her and care for her welfare. But now I can see her welcoming countenance. Without hesitation, I asked her to come down from the terrace. She turned around and bade farewell to the people behind her, as if asking for their approval, which they gave. And with just a glimpse, she joined me at the celebration below; with the happiest face I can ever imagine, ready to build beautiful rooms in our own mansion.

Lavished In Love

Naaalala mo pa ba yung unang beses kang na-inlove?

23

Day 22: God says you are…

LAVISHED IN LOVE

While I’m writing this post, I am listening to NSYNC’s “That’s When I’ll Stop Loving You”. The song is about a guy na titigil lang daw sa pag-ibig kung yung winter comes on summer, at kung sakaling may hangganan na daw ang “forever”. Rhetorically speaking, hindi siya titigil sa pagmamahal.

One of the things I love about 90s music, particularly RnB – punong-puno ng emosyon ang mga kanta. Tapos samahan mo pa ng mala-dramang music videos na may pa-sway-sway pa ng mga kamay at hawi-hawi ng buhok, ewan ko na lang kung hindi ka mapa-emo. Mula sa puso, maganda ang pagkakasulat, raw emotions. Love songs talaga, hindi mga sex songs. A trip down the memory lane. Buti na lang may Spotify at Youtube, pwedeng balikan anytime ang 90s RnB.

Naaalala mo pa ba yung unang beses kang na-inlove? Yung buhos-buhos ang kilig at ang attention na ibinibigay mo sa taong pumukaw ng iyong damdamin. Sino bang makakalimot sa emotional roller coaster nang first love mo? Yung emotional bliss nang sinagot ka ng nililigawan mo? Yung tila pagtigil ng oras habang lumalakad ka sa aisle at hinihintay ka ng groom mo? Kung nasaan mang yugto ka ng iyong love story, I’m sure you will agree with me na sa buhay mo, nagbuhos ka nang immeasurable amount of love. Kung sinuklian o hindi, ibang usapan na yun.

While we long for lavish love from others, take into heart that we have already received in Christ a lavish amount of love. Sobra-sobra, more than we deserve pa nga. Gusto mo ng proof? Look at the cross. Spreading His arms, He’s telling you: anak, this is how much I love you.

Lahat tayo ay nagnanais na makaranas na tumanggap ng buhos-buhos na pagmamahal. Yung love na hindi kinukwenta, boundless at unconditional. Pero sa takbo ng mga relationships ngayon sa mundo, medyo nagiging incapable na yata ang tao na tumanggap at magbigay ng ganung klaseng pag-ibig. Iba rin kasi ang influence ng media, ng mga failed stories at syempre, dahil na rin sa selfishness ng tao. Nagiging bukambibig na rin nga, kahit ng mga bata na “walang poreber” na hindi natin alam kung san ba talaga nanggaling. Medyo distorted na ang perspective ng tao pagdating sa pag-ibig.

While we long for lavish love from others, take into heart that we have already received in Christ a lavish amount of love. Sobra-sobra, more than we deserve pa nga. Gusto mo ng proof? Look at the cross. Spreading His arms, He’s telling you: anak, this is how much I love you. Kung ang ibang tao hindi tayo kayang ibigin ng totoo, kay Kristo makakasumpong tayo ng higit pa sa kayang ibigay ng sinumang tao. We are lavished in love.

Imagine God serenading you with his own version of love song, mas emosyonal pa kaysa NSYNC:

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!

1 John 3:1

#PPAP

Pag-Ibig, Pananampalataya at Pag-asa

Napadaan ako sa paborito kong bookstore one time and I was drawn sa isang book with title “Love and Respect”. Drawn ako sa book unang-una dahil sa naka-sale siya, pangalawa dahil isa siya sa pinakamakapal. Ok, I judged the other books dahil sa cover nila – mas makulay kasi yung cover nung kinuha ko; mas makapal so inisip ko na mas maraming tinta akong binayaran. Ewan ko ba kung bakit yun ang naging pamantayan ko that time.

ppap

The book is about marriage. Wow. After reading a few chapters, sobrang nag-enjoy ako sa content. Na-confirm ko na normal nga lang pala talaga sa mga mag-asawa na pag-awayan kahit na pinaka-simpleng bagay sa mundo na kung tutuusin wala namang dahilan para pag-awayan: tuwalyang naiwan sa sahig, hindi ibinabang toilet bowl cover, at kahit na kung saan banda pinipisil ang toothpaste tube. Ang saya pala ng marriage life, sa isip-isip ko. Haha.

During the course of my existence, I’ve met and personally known wonderful couples whom I’m hugely indebted sa mga examples na ibinabahagi nila sa akin, both directly or indirectly. More than the examples written in the book, it is more encouraging to see marriage through the lens of reality. Mas makulay, mas madrama, mas kapana-panabik.

We want to set things in order. Kung tayo nga lang ang masusunod sa script ng ating buhay, mas pipiliin natin ang mala-pelikulang eksena kung saan tayo ang “knight in shining armor” ng ating “damsel in distress”, or kung babae ka naman, dudungaw ka na lang sa iyong bintana habang inaawitan ka ng iyong prinsipe. We want, as much as possible, a happy love story, like those in the movies. Pero the reality is, God’s gift comes not in a generic package. Walang mass production si Lord pagdating sa ating mga istorya. Lahat ay customized, tailor-made, suitably fit and handpicked. He knows what’s best for us. And most of the time, hindi iyon ang “order” natin. He knows what we want but He gives us what we need.

So hindi lang basta pareho kayo ng belief ay “equally yoked” na rin kayo. Hindi lang basta pareho kayo ng language ay talo-talo na. It’s not about trusting our own senses and promptings of the heart and emotions – it has to be God’s prerogative. Anything surrendered unto the will of the Lord He will honor and recognize as long as tama ang ating puso. Hindi naman Siya madamot. He just wants to set things in order. Kasi mahal Niya tayo. And that is the heart of the matter. Masu-surprise ka na lang.

The good thing about the book I mentioned, and many other books about marriage na nabasa ko na (apparently beneficial kasi talagang basahin yun kahit ng mga singles), is that it remains to be positive in the institution of marriage itself. There’s blessing and beauty in it na dapat nating kasabikan. Yes, marriage is somehow frightening and countless stories of failed marriages lurk around us. Hindi natin mapapasubalian yun. However, the disappointments of the few does not weigh the same as the joy of those who remains committed to it, no matter how hard they’ve been through. Maniwala pa rin tayo sa poreber.

Ang totoo niyan hindi ko rin alam kung bakit ako nagsusulat tungkol dito. Napaka-random lang talaga. Kasing-random lang ng song na ito: #LSS and stuck.

 

The Power of Rebuke

An open rebuke is better than hidden love.

Ayaw natin, as much as possible, na pinanghihimasukan tayo sa mga bagay-bagay na ginagawa natin. We feel offended when somebody cares enough to point out the wrong in us, aware man tayo o hindi sa mga ito. May pagka-sensitive tayo, ayaw natin na nasasaktan tayo.

On the flip side, hindi rin natin gusto ang makasakit ng damdamin. Marami rin sa atin ang hindi confrontational type. Sa halip na sabihin natin ang mali sa iba, we try to sugar coat our criticisms para hindi masyadong masakit pakinggan. To us, di bale nang masaktan, wag lang ang makasakit ng iba.

ON NOW

There was a time when I made a sensitive joke about a certain Facebook video. For me then, talking about (and laughing about) that joke is no big deal. Until someone who cares enough about me rebuked and reminded me how disappointing it is for a Christian like me to join the world in humiliating the person in that video by watching such over and over again, to my heart’s content. In fairness hindi ko naman ni-like and share, pero just the same, I took time to laugh about the misery of the person. Kitams, nag-justify pa ako. Haha!

An open rebuke is better than hidden love! Marahil sa iba, madaling i-brush off ang mga ganung remarks sa atin. “Ang KJ naman”, “masyadong sensitive”, “parang yun lang” to some even we have this snide remark: “masyado namang pakielamera”. Different responses – ang iba umiilag, ang iba naninisi, ang iba nagju-justify ng sarili, yet the best response I should say, ay ang pagtanggap ng rebuke without holding any grudge.

A rebuke is like a bitter herb given to us by people who cares enough to help us get rid of our “attitude” disease. Parang gamot na kung hindi natin tatanggapin, maaaring hindi tayo maging maayos.

There is power in rebuke. Hanggang ngayon ay naaalala ko pa rin ang lesson na dala ng rebuke na tinanggap ko out of my insensitive patronage sa video na yun. Ngunit marahil kung hindi ako napaalalahanan sa bagay na iyon, I am still living in the futility of my so-called entertainment. A rebuke is like a bitter herb given to us by people who cares enough to help us get rid of our “attitude” disease. Parang gamot na kung hindi natin tatanggapin, maaaring hindi tayo maging maayos.

May mga taong masyadong tolerant sa atin. Sila yung mga taong ayaw tayong nasasaktan. Kahit sobrang evident na ng mga bagay na dapat nating ayusin para sa ating sarili, mas pinipili pa rin nilang manahimik. Nakikita na nila ang dumi sa mukha natin pero wala pa rin silang imik. Hindi sa hindi nila tayo mahal o wala silang pakialam. Their dilemma is that they don’t want us to get offended. Subalit ang ganitong uri ng pagdadamot sa tao ng dapat niyang itama sa kanyang sarili ay hindi pag-ibig kundi pagiging makasarili. It’s the same as saying, “I don’t care if you’re living a lie or being destroyed by your misbehaviour – as long as you feel good about yourself you’ll be fine”. Again, ito’y isang pagdadamot. Kung malaman mo ang mahal mo sa buhay na may sakit at ang gamot ay nasa iyong mga kamay, ibibigay mo ito kahit gaano pa ito kapait. The same goes with our rebuke.

There is power in rebuke – and it is given to encourage, and not to bring a person down. Maybe a rebuke is the most loving thing you can ever give to a struggling person, something that sweet, flattering words can never become. Sabi nga ni King Solomon,

An open rebuke is better than hidden love! – Proverbs 27:5 NLT

Kaya naman thankful ako for people who take courage in rebuking me. Masakit, mahapdi, pero kailangan natin para matuto. In fact, they are the most loving person one can ever have.

Gusto mo bang maging mas loving sa iba? Maximize the power of rebuke. Pero word of caution lang, do this in the spirit of love and not with a motive of bringing someone down.

Splendor

The splendor of creation won’t be complete without you.

SplendorI believe that God created the moon and the stars

But why do they all sparkle in your eyes?

That God sends lightning in the skies,

But why do they flash every time you smile?

While lilies grow and tomorrow die,

Your beauty fades not with the passage of time

God has commanded mankind to love

But towards you, I would give more than enough.

The splendor of creation won’t be complete without you

For you work wonders even with simple things you do

Each day of my life I desire to win your heart

In this life, to keep you forever will be my lasting part.

You are a treasure in the deep

A diamond I’m willing to keep

And if you can be reduced to anything of value

You can only be measured by my love for you.

Loved

Love and being loved will always be a good feeling to desire.

14

Day 14: God says you are…

LOVED

Valentines Day, araw ng mga puso. I just noticed that unlike before when I was still in grade school, mas commercialized na ang Valentines Day ngayon. With all the roses and teddy bears on malls, streets and on almost everywhere, mahirap nga namang itanggi that V-Day marketing has really gone a long way.

Love and being loved will always be a good feeling to desire. C’mon, who doesn’t want to feel that sudden gush of emotion of kilig whenever you see your crush, or hold the hands of your special someone? When, as a married couple for a long period of time, you both reminisce your early moments as sweethearts, di ba sobrang nakakatuwa yun?

Pero on the opposite side of the spectrum, meron din talagang mga bitter sa araw na ito. Sila yung mga hindi pinalad sa naging partner, nadisappoint sa kanilang loved one, at talagang iniwang heartbroken.

Iba-iba man ang ating naging karanasan when it comes to human love, there is a kind of love that far exceeds all the efforts, all the mushy feelings and sweet-nothings we receive from a person. And this love is incomparable and unimaginable, dahil ang totoo sa lahat ng klase ng pag-ibig, dito lang nabigyan ng hustisya ang salitang forever. Marahil alam mo na kung Kanino galing ang pag-ibig na yun.

God loves you. 🙂

I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.

Jeremiah 31:3