NINE MONTHS. Publishing this blog was like delivering a new baby in full-term. It took me 37-weeks of “maternal leave” from this online home to rediscover my utmost dependence on my True Love, while I was going through some uncertainties in life and unsettled things in my heart.
Instead of a tiny human child growing inside of me, it’s been my character that’s been developing. And within this period, I experienced anxiety, sleepless nights, bloating, frustrations, a red, teary and swollen eye (more about this as you read along), hospital emergencies, and blues in a whole new level. (Those weeks also made me think of relaunching this site to something more meaningful.)
Wait, what’s with the red, teary and swollen eye?
One of the things that really affected me (my life and work) last year was when I started to experience a recurrent form of corneal erosion on one of my eyes. Whenever I experience bouts of this, it made my eye red, teary, painful, sensitive and even swollen. This made me see a number of ophthalmologists and corneal specialists, and this took me to a few hospital emergencies when I could no longer handle the pain. (Grateful to family and friends for accompanying me during those times.)
But my unintentional break from this blog and many other things made me see things in a better light. During the peak of the challenge, a friend reminded me about having a new perspective regarding my eye issue. And so I kept asking myself, “What do I see from all these seasons? What do I need to see from all of these?” Then I remembered about the things that make me secure and insecure, which both directed me to one word – love. I realized that…
My definition of True Love evolved and matured as I examined the seasons of my life.
This isn’t the type of love that gives you butterflies and twinkle in your eyes. It’s the one that makes you expose your vulnerabilities and makes you weep. It’s the kind that prepares you for a journey [a long and often difficult process of personal change].
And here’s just a part of my own journey and the seasons that lead me to this True Love:
Having been exposed to both Disney’s prince charming and princesses, and Baywatch’s abs, bums and babes (my mama had a crush on David Hasselhoff!) at a young age was not just odd, but it gave me an idealistic and worldly view about love. Love could be as easy as “love at first sight” and “they lived happily ever after”, right?
Well, you can absolutely love someone easier when all you see are the good things in them. But what if the nasty stuff begins to manifest and tougher things start to emerge? Will you still live happily ever after with them? I learned more about this and about myself as I went through a season of transitioning from a life with Jack to Rick.
FROM JACK TO RICK
My exposure to Jack, Johnnie and Jose started at our bar class back in college. And this continued on after I graduated as I went to different clubs with friends. The likes of Jack Daniel, Johnnie Walker and Jose Cuervo were always there but these “J’s” just left me longing for more. I knew I was missing something else. I was yearning for a more lasting fulfilment.
Then came Rick. Rick is not your typical guy, he presented someone to me that was different from Jack, Johnnie or Jose. He reintroduced me to someone whom I was already acquainted and quite familiar with. I already had some knowledge about him and yes, even read about him (he’s that famous). But as I got to know more about him, I needed to stop at some point. I could no longer relate.
And so that was when I took a pause. I was nonchalant about it and he seemed clueless. He was persistent. He was like everywhere. When I took up photography classes, guess what? Another person talked to me about him! It was awkward. And even at the gym, people would remind me about him. This continued on for over a year.
Finally, I gave him another chance and this time I said “YES”. And I even had my family tag along in our journey together.
Our first year was awesome. As I committed my life to him, it also opened my world to people from all walks of life, from kids, to teens, to professionals and artists and people who eventually became close to me. He also encouraged me to dream big and supported me on my penchant for traveling.
Eventually, he also helped me face my fears and insecurities, my doubts and disappointments, and reassured me of his love and my value again and again. He gave me opportunities that I won’t be able to do without him, the courage to face crowds, to be on stage, to be published in print media, to be on live radio and even on T.V.
He taught me the beauty of having a vision and hope. And he helped me how to continue even when circumstances or people would be discouraging.
But things started to get tougher in our fourth year together.
TRUE LOVE THROUGHOUT THE SEASONS
As I faced my biggest fears, he was there. From the devastating cancer of my mom, to grieving for her while I was away, to close encounters with death in another country, to surrendering a number of other things (including some “old flames” and the “what if’s” – facing life “alone” and getting older), to learning how to forgive and to let go,
He reveals the beauty in each brokenness.
And even when I can’t see myself as able or enough, whenever I’m about to lose faith, he’s been my portion and my grace, even during the time when I could barely open both of my eyes. He was my light.
I learned about True Love when I started to compare my seasons that are good but are without him and the seasons when I struggle but I had him. With him, I learned what love is through thick and thin, in sickness and in health, and how death can lead to a start to forever. (Yes, there’s such a thing as “forever” with this one.)
When you find True Love, you protect it, nurture it and honor it.
And I think that this Easter and Resurrection Sunday is the perfect day to introduce about my True Love .
I had my own fun but confused days with Jack Daniel and Jose Cuervo but it was through my encounter with Rick Warren (The Purpose Driven Life) and the different people who continuously connected me to this certain J that made me learn about True Love.
Instead of wooing me with words and flowers, he saved me by showing me the cross. And instead of empty words and an uncertain forever, he kept his Word right from the beginning, resurrected from the grave and redeemed me.
And his name is Jesus, to whom I found my True Love.
This story might sound so cheesy and even strange but this is my personal story, my journey to how I was able to really experience what True Love is (my security amidst all of my insecurities).
May you all find your True Love.
Christ arrives right on time to make this happen. He didn’t, and doesn’t, wait for us to get ready. He presented himself for this sacrificial death when we were far too weak and rebellious to do anything to get ourselves ready. And even if we hadn’t been so weak, we wouldn’t have known what to do anyway. We can understand someone dying for a person worth dying for, and we can understand how someone good and noble could inspire us to selfless sacrifice. But God put his love on the line for us by offering his Son in sacrificial death while we were of no use whatever to him. -Romans 5:6-8 (The Message)
A Blessed Easter | Resurrection Sunday to all of you! 🙂
SPECIAL THANKS TO THE FOLLOWING for COLLABORATING with me:
Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Awarded Hotel, Marco Polo Ortigas
(Ms. Judith Los Baños and team for taking good care of us)