we all get the love we think we deserve?

we all get the love we think we deserve.

the first time i encountered this line was when i read a novel called “the perks of being a wallflower.” i decided to read it at the time it was turned into a movie. the trailer for the movie was so interesting, i thought i’d read the book version first.

i won’t elaborate anymore on the story, but the main message simply was the line above. at first, i thought i fully understood what it truly meant – that if you don’t treat yourself well enough, nobody ever will. i thought it was simple as that. and funny how, depending on my current circumstance, the meaning of the line changes. just like when i recently decided i’m ready for a relationship and really opened my mind and heart to entertaining suitors (am from the philippines and courtship is pretty much the norm here), all i got where guys that i thought were not good enough for me. while i prayed for better guys, all i got were the “left overs” (i.e. guys who were left after the good ones have been picked out – the jerks and a**holes). and it got me thinking if the line above is even close to the truth because while i thought i deserved better, i got less.

then i received an email of a talk by one of my most favorite motivational speakers that teaches about generosity. in his talk, he made it clear that contrary to what the society believes, generosity is not just about giving or sharing to others what you have – it’s also about receiving. and he adds “you cannot give what you don’t have.”

no, it’s not that i don’t take care of myself well enough. i exercise, watch what i eat, develop my talents, and learn from my mistakes as much as possible to become a better person. but then again, there’s still a problem – i am not comfortable whenever i receive anything from other people.

you see, i have been blessed in my career and my finances so i can be generous to others. (no, i’m not rich but i have been given enough to support my/my family’s needs and still be able to give to others.) i give material things to the less fortunate (not necessarily beggars or panhandlers but people in my life who have less material wealth than i have). and it makes me happy seeing them happy because i have become a part of the solution to their monetary problem. but whenever i receive from others, say, gifts or unsolicited favors, i cringe at the idea because i am so used to giving but not to receiving.

then came this talk about generosity that made me realize things, not only about life in general but in my love life specifically.

maybe deep inside of me, i felt like i don’t deserve it every time i get attention from guys (the good ones). i don’t feel worthy of receiving love from the good ones because i am so used to giving and looking after other people’s needs. i cringe at the idea of getting my needs looked after by a good life partner just because i am usually the “good guy” who does that for others. god, all this time, probably wanted to send a good guy my way, but i’m just too proud to receive the blessing.

it also makes me annoyed whenever my family is so concerned about me they would do anything for me because at my age, i feel like i should be taking care of all of my needs already. instead of being grateful for getting that amount of care from loved ones, i hate the idea because i’m just too proud to ever get help from others. and that problem probably spilled over to other areas of my life such as love life. i never get a man who wants to take care of me (or maybe i do, i just don’t notice because i immediately send the guy packing without really getting to know him first if he didn’t give the best first impression) because i only entertain the ones that i think (subconsciously) i deserved.

we all get the love we think we deserve. all this time, i thought i really deserved to be loved by a great man, but i have just been too proud to receive great loveand maybe opening myself up to a relationship again means being open to receiving love from others.

love, happiness, and the “chicken or egg” conundrum

exactly three and a half years ago, a guy from my former work tried to pursue me. he wasn’t exactly my type (mostly because of our age difference), but it was such an ego boost, knowing that someone like me who rarely gets attention from guys is actually being courted. my guy friend said, at that time, i was “blooming.” i told him maybe because i was happy and was finally moving on from the devastating incident involving the only man i’d ever loved in my life.

fast forward to the present, i have been getting the same comments again from people around me – from friends and even from acquaintances. they said i look a lot younger than 28 and that i am “charming.” coincidentally, i’m being pursued again by a guy, who because of our age difference i decided not to get together with. (although he’s still very much present in my life.)

this got me thinking, am i attracting love because i’m happy or am i happy because i’m attracting love? like the proverbial “chicken or egg” conundrum, i couldn’t help but wonder, which came first: happiness or love?

while there’s no formula in finding love, it’s almost always true that when you are [genuinely] happy, it manifests in your appearance. and as a result, you attract people. like a magnet, you gain more friends and even admirers. because you are fun to be with and pleasant to be around, more people are drawn closer to you. you become more beautiful than usual – you have a certain glow. and that’s when guys can’t seem to resist you that you’ll just find yourself entertaining more than one admirer.

so what then came first, happiness or love? while it isn’t that obvious, love really is the proverbial chicken and happiness is the egg. but love as the proverbial chicken isn’t the romantic kind. it’s usually the capital-L kind – the one you have for yourself, craft, family, friends, and life.

it’s when you are at peace with yourself and trust yourself well enough and the decisions you make on a daily basis. it’s when you are dedicating every day to pursuing your dreams and perfecting your craft, doing what it takes to hone the skills that were given to you and loving what you do for a living. it’s when you have become more appreciative of the people in your life, letting go of any judgment towards your family and friends, knowing that they’ve accepted and loved you as you are. and above all, it’s when you have the zest to wake up every morning, thinking that another opportunity has been given to you to correct your past mistakes and to just enjoy what you have.

when you are given the chance to do all these, the end result is happiness. contrary to what thomas jefferson said, happiness isn’t something to be pursued – it’s really the end result of living your life in love. when the capital-L kind rules your life, the tendency is for you to become happy with where you are and what you have become. the love you have for yourself, craft, family, friends, and life essentially transforms into the romantic kind. and happiness has only become the tool.

with that said, maybe finding true love isn’t a quest for a life partner or a soul mate. it’s about finding yourself and being at peace with what you’ll discover.

 

 

 

 

 

journey and destination

i’m never one for long trips. i hate hours and hours of driving or commuting. maybe that’s why i settled for working at home even if work is on a graveyard shift just so i’d avoid commuting everyday for 2 hours or more. but as i grew older and realized that life is far from what i’ve expected it to be when i was a hopeful youngster who wears rose-colored glasses like polyanna, i started to appreciate life as a journey rather than a mere destination.

in achieving dreams and goals, for instance, because humans are designed to never be contented, we always reach that point in a quest where we feel bad when we achieve what we’ve been pursuing as if not getting it at all. we feel that pang of anxiety every time we reach the destination, as if we never really reached it. maybe that’s why some say that what makes pursuing a dream exciting is not actually getting what we want but living each day with that longing in your heart. in other words, it’s always the journey that’s more exciting, not the destination.

the more exciting part is usually the lead up to the kiss and not the kiss itself, the process of exploring the possibilities of a story and not the submission of the final draft, the sights and sounds of nature you encounter along the way when going out of town and not the stop itself, and the courtship or flirting stage in a relationship and not the first year anniversary. the hunger to reach a certain point is always thrilling because you don’t know if you’re going to make it to the end or not.

so what’s the point of waking up everyday if we’ll just keep on pursuing things but never really get them? unbeknownst to us, we gain more than what we are actually pursuing. we discover what we can and can’t do whenever we work hard getting what we want. and most of all, we add spice to our lives because of the mystery in not knowing what lies ahead.

so next time, there’ll be no more anxiety in waiting for mr. right because you know you’re still being transformed into who you should be to be ready for a relationship. there’ll be no more boredom while waiting for the next vacation because every day is not just passed off as a stop over but a part of the journey. and there’ll be no more insecurity about whether or not you’ll succeed in life, knowing that success is an accumulation of everyday discoveries and victories.

the journey – as grueling as it may be sometimes, it’s what makes the destination worthy of the anxiety in waiting for the full stop.

 

 

love in a limbo

whitney houston’s dead but her question “where do broken hearts go?” is still unanswered. and maybe we’ll never find the answer to that because that’s just the way life is. but despite this sad reality, i still dare ask the question: “where does premature love go?”

premature love – a term that isn’t officially recognized yet by dictionaries all over the world but exists nonetheless in my vocabulary. it’s the kind of love that isn’t in its full-blown state yet but already has its roots. it’s when two people are past the flirting stage after months of constant communication but aren’t quite there yet in the commitment phase. they’re somewhere in between. they’re in a limbo. 

in a limbo – maybe that’s where premature love can be found. you and the other person don’t know how each of you would fit into each other’s life yet. you don’t know what you are to him, and he doesn’t know what he is to you either. you just know that you are special to him and he is to you.

you don’t have a “label” yet. and maybe that’s because you refuse to define whatever it is that you have. or maybe because it’s hard to define it at this point. but you know it’ll amount to something. still depending, of course, on how much effort each of you puts in. 

but is that a bad thing? maybe not. because just like a house that’s built from the ground up, you have to start somewhere. you can’t build the house without breaking ground. there has to be something to work on, so you’ll know where to go and what to do next.

but be careful when you’re in this stage because you can still get hurt. you can get hurt not because you’re giving your all like in an official relationship but because you are still holding some things back, regardless if they’re crucial to your relationship’s growth or not. and that in the end, you regret things you didn’t do more than the ones you did. 

the day i’ve decided that not all men are jerks

this is the day i’ve decided that not all men are jerks. and it’s not because i woke up feeling pretty damn good this morning. it’s primarily because of a miracle that happened this afternoon that made me write off bad experiences with adam’s descendants as an adventure rather than a sign the universe is conspiring against me.

this guy, let’s call him dan, particularly caught my eye while inside the jeepney because he has an eerie resemblance with a guy from my past. the built of his body and his style of clothing really reminded me of mr. papua new guinea. and also, there it was, a huge henna tattoo on his left arm. it reads “dan,” so am assuming that’s his name (unless, of course, that’s the name of his lover) .

so off we went traversing the over-crowded highway. it wasn’t until after 15 minutes that we reached our stop. my mom, who’s a disabled but can still walk with the help of a cane, painstakingly reached for the door of the jeepney when dan stood up and went down while reaching her hands to assist her in going down. we thought it was also his stop, but we were surprised he got back up again. after that, i just found myself blurting out a “thank you” in possibly the most flirty way anyone ever could. (and the irony is i don’t believe in flirting because i don’t get the point.)

this got me thinking, maybe not all men are jerks. while some may seem like they’ve been to hell and back, there is still a handful left that hasn’t been a burden to female species. i used to think that once you’ve seen one, you’ve already seen them all. but i was wrong – men still deserve to be trusted because a handful of them proved themselves worthy of trust.

but at the end of the day, you only get what you deserve. it’s not about how men treat you but how you treat yourself. because the most important relationship you could ever have is the one you have with yourself.

 

 

 

 

time and the lemon law

how much time should you spend with a person to know you’d like to keep him/her in your life? barney stinson said, in his “lemon law,” only 5 minutes.

just like in buying a car, he said you only really need 5 minutes to know whether or not you and the person will work out. but is this, in the least bit, true? of course not. (heck, you’d probably even spend a good 5 minutes remembering the person’s name.) but unconsciously or not, in searching for a life partner, why do we still abide by the lemon law?

in this fast-paced life, we can only seem to afford spending time on as little as 3 dates, 4 phone calls, and a few text messages while still expecting to see what we need to see in deciding whether or not a person is a keeper. we forget that  3 dates, 4 phone calls, and a few text messages don’t make a relationship. we have this habit of judging the person right off the bat. why is that so?

maybe it’s not that we have become shallow. maybe because as our society demands more from us, we try to achieve more in life. and the more accomplishments we have, the higher we raise our standards in finding the right mate. and these standards, while they may not be posted in a sign we can carry around, they’re embedded in our heads. they’re like checklists that help us avoid wasting time in doing the pre-relationship dance. so as we meet new people, immediately, our minds turn to this mental checklist to see how many boxes can be ticked.

but isn’t this a sign of insecurity? a proof we can no longer trust time and how it can bring together the right moments that could make the other person a fit for us? maybe. because in matters of love, time is both our friend and enemy. it can create great relationships, given enough amount, but it can also kill potentially great ones in as short as 5 minutes.

 

 

courage and stupidity

when you’re young and you have your whole life ahead of you, the world will still forgive you if you do something stupid. because they say that it is only by making mistakes that you learn what you haven’t been taught in school.

but when you’re old enough to raise your own family, the world will see your mistakes as a product of stupidity – not courage, but stupidity.

courage versus stupidity – is there a line that separates the two?

they say courage is when you go to a place you haven’t been to and stupidity is when you go there without money or at least know someone who lives there.

courage is when you leave a job that makes you a slave and stupidity is when you quit your job without a new one yet and you don’t have any savings to help you get by.

courage is when you fall in love and stupidity is when you fall in love with a person that’s obviously wrong for you.

it’s really hard to distinguish one from the other. maybe because both can teach you a lesson that can vindicate you from fear of living your life to the fullest. in love, for instance, you won’t know how painful and wonderful it is to fall in love if you don’t experience at least once in your life being head-over-heels infatuated with a person. you won’t know what love can make you do if you don’t try to fight for a relationship that seems futile to others.

courage and stupidity. maybe being stupid every once in a while is, in itself, an act of courage. especially in love.