Of Life and Facials

After work, I went to a facial cleaning center. I went to one referred to by a family friend. It’s been five years, I think, since I last had one. So, imagine how much dirt my big pores have accumulated through the years.

It was a bit painful. Some tears fell uncontrollably. Haha. Lumuluha yung mata ko kahit nakapikit.

While the extraction and cleaning are being done to my face and while I’m on my way home, I’ve realized how it could relate to life.

1. There are times when beauty comes after the pain and the breaking.

Though the facial procedure somehow hurts a bit, soon, it will reveal a better, cleaner skin. My face may look a bit sore now from the extractions, but it will look better soon. I hope! Haha

The same goes with life. There are times when a better, more beautiful version of us emerges after a painful situation. BUT, this could only happen if this pain is experienced under the hands of a professional. With facials, the dermatechnician. The extractions may be a bit painful, but she sure knows what she’s doing.

With life, it’s God. Under His supervision, pain can turn to something good.

2. If there’s something to be fixed, don’t wait toooooooo long before addressing it. Doing so can spare us from unnecessary pain.

If I only went to a facial center earlier, there won’t be as much whiteheads and blackheads to be removed through painful extractions. There won’t be much to be removed to have a cleaner, better skin.

The same goes with life, if we would only come as early as we can to have our lives and character be fixed by God, we can spare ourselves from additional pain. Mas patatagalin, mas maraming aayusin, pwedeng maging mas masakit.

3. Our version 2.0 should be maintained and regularly brought back to the one who made it that way.

It takes effort and discipline to keep a clean skin always clean and free from impurities. Although impurities can’t be completely eliminated, with discipline (eating healthier, going to the derma regularly, and having healthy habits) it can be less and less.

In life, as a Christian specifically, it also takes discipline on my/our part to make every effort to protect our salvation so we won’t go back to our old, sinful ways. More than feeding the soul with the Word and thinking of Godly thoughts, I should always go back to Him who made me new. Always.

So, yeah. That’s how my afternoon facial cleansing went. I think it did way more than just clean my face. 💛

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What It’s Like to Find Love That’s Better Than the Fairytales

Growing up to fairytales and Disney, we somehow dreamt of having a fairytale love story of our own someday—magic-filled moments, happily ever after, and someone to share it with. But as we grow older, we realize that our realities are way, way different than the fairytales we dreamt of having.

But, at one point in our life, we’ll meet someone who can give us the kind of love that goes beyond the love shown in fairytales. A bigger kind of love. A love that goes beyond the promise of a happily ever after.

I’m glad to have come across this kind of love. I didn’t find it though. That love found me.

His love was way beyond the magic of how Beauty fell for the Beast. His beauty loved the beast he found in me. He saw my past, faults, flaws, and failures, and yet still chose to love me. He saw me in my darkest moments. He saw the ugly parts I have always tried to hide. Yet, He loved me as is where is and saw through me.

As I surrendered to the love he’s offering me, the ugliness of the curse of my beastly self was broken. Though he loved me as is where is as a beast, his love redeemed and transformed me—and still continues to do so—so I could be my best. Someone as beautiful as he is. I was made new. I was made beautiful again.

His love was far greater than that given by the Prince to Snow White. Once in my life, like Snow White, I was also fooled by the false promises of life’s magic apples, things that look promising but are sugar-coated poison. But, like the Prince, someone came and rescued me from my soul that’s holding on for her dear life.

Like how the Prince’s true love’s kiss awoken Snow White from her sleep, the true love that found me, broke the spell of sin’s poison and awakened my soul from being dead to it. But, his true love came not in the form of a kiss, it came in a cross. And, one day, I too will be taken by my Prince to his kingdom in the heavens.

His love is accepting, like Prince Charming’s love for Cinderella. He didn’t love me for how I looked. His love took me as I am. It is not deterred by what I can give him, my physical attributes, or by my status in life. He loved me not because I was worthy of his love. He just did.

Like Prince Charming, my Prince searched everywhere to find the woman he loves, me. And when he did find me, in my rawest, unadorned, and most real state, it is when he asked me to be his. My Prince asked for my hand even when I was no longer the beautiful ‘princess’ in a sparkly gown, adorned with luxury.

All this, you too, can find. All this you can find in God.

There’s no one too beastly for His love.
There’s no one too lifeless for Him to breathe new life to.
There’s no one too lost that He can’t find.

There’s no one deserving of His love. But, still, He gives it freely and generously none the less.

The question is, will you allow yourself to be found by Him? The real promise of happily ever after awaits you. His love is not make-believe. ♥

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Update:
Today, April 25, this piece got published on Thought Catalog! 
Here’s the link: https://tcat.tc/2HX8zay 

 

Prose | Embrace

Frustrations came. Pain came right after. I’m not a great host. I want to shoo them and pretend nobody’s home. But, I know I can’t. Because even if I act as if they weren’t there, the truth won’t be altered.

What should I do? I don’t want to welcome them in again. But, if I kept the door shut, will they truly go away? They’re outside my door. Waiting. And, there they will always be.

Embrace it, they said. So I did.

And slowly, as I embraced them, little by little, they disappeared. When I allowed the tears to flow, they were washed away.

And while painfully doing so, in my tears and my why’s, little did I know or I might have just forgotten, I was caught in a far bigger embrace. I was caught and carried in His.

Then, I remembered.
It’s easier as “us” than “I” alone.

What to Tell Yourself When Your Failures Start to Limit You

As I was sorting my files on my Google drive, I came upon this piece I wrote (but never published anywhere) in Feb of 2017. I actually forgot about it after writing it. But, I know seeing it again this new year is no accident. It’s a great read to help me start 2018.

P.S. Yeah, I’m back at it (sort of). I just feel the need to share this. To share is why I blog, I remembered. Sooooo, I hope you get inspired and cheered up the same way I did. ❤


Your past failures will always haunt you. They will make your life a horror story and paralyze you with fear every waking day. They can limit you, make you lose your hope in yourself and in the world. With their tiny yet powerful voices, they will tell you to stop going.

The voices of the ghosts of your past will always be loud and haunting, but how they will affect you solely depends on you. Will you entertain and welcome them into the doors of your thoughts or silence them before they can silence you?

Your failed resolutions, career, relationships, and dreams are all things of the past. Don’t let them weigh you down forever. Take them with you in the future only as lessons. You’ve got forever to go — many years still ahead of you.

Cry as much as you want and let your tears wash down all the labels your past failures marked all over your soul. Free yourself.

Never let anyone belittle you and define you for your past failures, especially yourself. Fake hope until it becomes real to you because one day, in the moment you least expect it, someone will see all of you and still see potential.

Someone will see you past your failures. He will see you not as a hopeless project but a gem in the making. He will see the great future you’ve been failing to see yourself — the future that’s been clouded by the mistakes you used to define and dictate you and your life.

It won’t be easy. Pity parties will always be inviting. But after you tire yourself from crying and seeing yourself short, get back up. Never give up on yourself. You owe yourself that.

When opportunities start to knock again at your door, leave whatever you’re doing and welcome them before your fears knock them over. You’re only a few steps away to be back in your game.

However, if you happen to fail again; remember that our God is a God of never-ending chances. Don’t be afraid to humble yourself and take another chance He offers you today and will offer you for always.

Don’t be too hard on yourself.
You are more than your failures.

Give yourself a chance to start again.
Don’t let your past limit you.

Cheers to #AllThingsNew for 2018!


Update:
Today, March 2, this piece got published on Thought Catalog! 
Here’s the link: http://tcat.tc/2FJvuoE 

Yesterday Once More

Cue music: Yesterday Once More by Carpenters

​There are days when I look back to memories I had with the friends I had in the different seasons of my life. And, in those days, I’ll always feel contrasting emotions. Sad, that some I outgrew. Happy, that I got to share parts of my life with them. Sad again, that those memories will only stay as long gone memories I’ll remember. Happy, that I see them happy wherever they are. Sad, that I can only be happy for them from afar. Happy, that there are those who stuck like glue.

I also realized that just because a friendship didn’t last doesn’t mean it hasn’t been real. Sometimes, it wasn’t just given a chance to push through a new season. There’s no more Season 2 or 3 or 4. We can only hit rewind.

I guess, it reminds me of life’s reality that truly, there is nothing permanent in this life we live. Things that are ‘in’ today will be outdated soon. Things we encounter have expiry dates. People change. Relationships end. We’re here today and gone in the future. Change is constant, and is ever present. It’s sad. Very. But, it’s the truth.

As we change and grow, our circles change too. Though, it’s kind of sad to lose and outgrow some people dear to us along the way (no matter how much we try not to), I think we just have to accept that life’s like that. We outgrow some people, yet we also win new ones. Our circles grow smaller, but as they do, they grow as close knit as they can be.

As for me, I’m not certain of who’ll stay and stick ’til the end and grow old with me, but there’s one thing I’m certain about. Though friends I’ll hold dear may come and go in my life, God never will. He’ll stay — no matter the season nor situation.

And, though I’ll never be worthy of that, I’ll always be grateful that He has called me friend — and that He promised to stick with me ’til the end.

As for now, I’ll stay closer to the greatest Father, Friend, and Lover I have. He’s the only One that’s constant. Along with that, I’ll cherish the friendships He has blessed and continues to bless me with while I have them.

I’ll savor what I have in the “now.” Because in the end, all these things and life itself will just be a part of my existence’s “yesterday’s” … once more. ❤

(Don’t) “Go for What Makes You Happy”

I chanced upon an FB live of a local radio show yesterday afternoon while they were interviewing a local band. They were talking about issues about love, relationships, and other similar things.

Then, during the course of the interview, one of the band members said (non-verbatim), “If all people will go for what makes them happy. No one will be happy.”

I realized. He was right. He totally was.

Happiness is subjective. What can make me happy won’t always be the same as that of other people. We all have our own definitions of “happy” and “happiness.”

We can’t always go for what makes us happy. If we do, our world will be in chaos. Relationships will be short-lived. Everyone will pretty much do whatever they please, even at the expense of other people, on the pursuit of what will make them happy. Sadly, it will always be about “I,” “me,” and “myself.”

I think that’s sad. More so, selfish.

We shouldn’t always go for what makes us happy. Instead, we should always choose to be sensitive towards the people we’re surrounded with – their happiness included. We’re relational beings. The world doesn’t revolve only around us. We co-exist with others.

Sometimes, we’ll have to sacrifice our happiness just to be truly happy. Only then can we achieve happiness, together. Why? Would we truly be happy if we’re pursuing “our” happiness while hurting someone else in the process? I guess not. “Happiness is better when shared.” Cliché as it is, but, it’s the truth.

Successful relationships last not because they go for what makes them happy individually. They last because they adjust, compromise, and make sacrifices. They don’t pursue their individual happiness. They meet halfway just so they could be happy – together.

Another thing. What makes us happy today may not be the same for the coming days. Happiness can vary through time and age. It’s temporary – constantly changing.

Happiness is often based on emotions and circumstances. There’s no assurance that what makes us happy today can still make us happy in the future. So, if we only do things according to what makes us happy, we’ll be jumping from one career or relationship to another.

Aside from making sacrifices, I guess another better thing to do than going for what makes us happy is finding happiness where we already are, regardless of emotions and circumstances in life.

Lastly, I realized that more than going for what makes me happy, I must go for what makes God happy and what He calls me to do. It will not always be convenient. I know it wouldn’t always be sunshine and butterflies, but it can make me more-than-happy in the long run.

So, for now, that’s what I will try to do. ☺

While I wait

​The dreams I keep to myself, I humbly open them up to You once more. For in my surrender I know that with my palms emptied, I can now hold the goodness You’ve been showering me through it all. In my surrender, I’ve found my real victory. It was You. And if my dreams stay dreams in the end, make me remember that You, Your love and Your presence, were my greatest dream that came true.

“Your unfailing love is better than life itself.” | Psalm 63:3

From this moment on, make me remember. Always. Every single day. 🌻