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It is easy to take our loved ones for granted when so many things are going on in our lives.

It’s easy to look past them and forget about them when we’re busy building our lives and/or having fun. But when we finally realize that our careers won’t be there for us when we’re sick or lonely, and when the party is over and the lights are finally out, we will then be confronted with the truth that who we will be looking for are those we feel at home with.

When we feel alone and exhausted all we want is to go back home and feel loved, safe and understood.

That’s the difference love makes. It’s easy to have fun and excitement with most people, unless you’re anti-social. But feeling at home with someone is a rare, precious thing. It’s a mixture of both natural chemistry and commitment. Thrill and danger and freshness may be fun most times, but at the end of the day, everybody still wants some place to go home to with someone they love and who loves them. It’s just the way it is.

I am currently in a long distance relationship with someone I have met 18 months ago. We had only been together for more or less 13 hours and we haven’t been together again since (but we’re seeing each other again in ten weeks, FINALLY!). There’s a lot of space for misunderstandings and jealousy in our situation. I am very much aware that he can get attracted to someone and that someone can get attracted to him, he is an amazing guy after all. Who wouldn’t want him?

But on top of all my fears and worries is my faith in our deep connection. No one can replace me in his life because what he has with me can never be replicated (nor improved) with anyone else. His body, heart and spirit is at home with me as I am at home with him.

I trust that fact with my whole heart. That truth will guide his thoughts, decisions and actions. I know he knows he belongs with me. It’s a truth that is reaffirmed over and over again, strengthening us individually and together as partners.

Self

How I deal with my fear of abandonment

You can only say that you have finally learned how to love when it is not easy or convenient to love the person you choose to love.

Loving someone because it is convenient is not loving. You only think you love because you feel attracted and fascinated, but it is not love. It’s infatuation maybe, or lust, or merely amusement. I have only learned how to love when I met my most recent ex-boyfriend. He was the infamous archetype of what a “toxic” guy/partner was – he was a player, he had two kids with different mothers, he was promiscuous, he was weak and he easily gives up on worthy things like career and relationships, he was grieving for the death of his mother who passed away more than a year ago, deep inside he was depressed but he wouldn’t acknowledge it and of course, he wouldn’t ask help to recover from it. He had many deep seated issues and there were layers and layers of issues on top of those. But he wouldn’t want to peel them off.

But I loved him. Amidst all those layers of darkness which covered him, I saw the purest light inside him. I saw his best self. He was funny, he had a huge heart, he was caring, he was smart, he was loving, he was hopeful, he was inherently a good human.

Maybe I also chose to stay because I had my own layers of darkness to deal with. It was a fact, actually. That relationship confronted me with my darkest shadows and my ugliest demons. Maybe it’s true that I chose to stay with him at that time because I was codependent, because I had love obsession issues, because I had a destructive habit of not owning my personal inner power.

But darkness cannot exist without the light. Nothing bad ever existed without some seed of goodness and love in it.

I also chose to stay with him because I have learned how to love. I loved him in the purest sense of the word humans can ever fathom. I didn’t know what love was before that. When I was younger I thought that you get into a relationship to get something;  be it affection, companionship, fun, safety, etc. But that most recent past relationship taught me that love was about giving. It was about transcending our comfort zones. It’s about breaking our walls and building bridges.

We don’t learn how to love when it’s easy or convenient for us to do so. We don’t learn to love when it stops at being self-serving.

That relationship of course ended eventually. It was meant to end even before it began. It even ended badly, as the closest people to me have predicted. He cheated on me and abandoned me just like that. It was also the first time I have been betrayed and left alone. I didn’t know what betrayal and heartbreak really meant before that.

I am in a new relationship right now, with my twin soul, with the man I have always wanted and destined to be with. We both knew we were meant to be together on the first day we met. Using his words, we were like parts of the same puzzle that were separated and that have found each other again. We craved to be together again.

But just like most people, my fears of abandonment was again triggered now that I am in a loving relationship. I love my current partner and he is so important to me. This relationship means so much to me that I don’t want to fuck it up. I am in the midst of my struggle with my fears of abandonment and I am doing my very best to handle it.

My partner is strong, mature, wise and loving. He doesn’t just shower me with promises and sweet words. He is committed. He proves himself and his feelings to me through his actions. I have all the reasons to trust him completely.

But because I haven’t completely dealt with my fear of abandonment, I would still have this nagging fear in my chest that suddenly he might have a change of heart and leave me. When I think about that I remember how I felt when my recent ex-boyfriend left me. I felt as though the ground I stood on was suddenly removed from my feet. I fell and found myself standing on sand that was continuously disappearing underneath me. I was in a state of shock, helplessness and fear all at once. It was a pretty fucked up experience.

So I have been searching for ways on how to handle my fear. I read blogs and I watched videos. But none of the tips given were enough to really comfort me and empower me that I can succeed on this battle on my own (because it is my own battle).

Until I remember my own experience. I got the inspiration I needed not from others but from myself.

I realized that the most effective “antidote” to the fear of abandonment is the deep and alive knowing that a genuine love exists. My experience is a testament to that kind of love. I know for a fact that that kind of love is not only possible, but is in fact, real.

It is possible to choose to stay with someone not because it is convenient but because it is worthy. I do not romanticize my ex when I say that he was a generally good person with a good heart that endeared him to me. It is not romanticism when you are able to squeeze the raw goodness and truth and see the light from something/someone despite all external evidences that only present the dark side. That is nothing but love.

Love shines the light in the darkness and finds more light within. Love digs deeply but easily to find the most precious gemstone that lies underneath all the rubble. If love isn’t like that then why do we even learn how to love? If love isn’t like that how could it have the power to transform anything at all, including most especially, ourselves?

You don’t love when it’s easy, you love when it’s worth it…and what makes it worthy to love? Love. There’s no other way to answer that. Love is the means and the end as well.

So now whenever I sense my fear of being abandoned and rejected by my current partner coming up again, I just remind myself that genuine love exists.

I may be difficult to love sometimes because of how hurt and struggling I currently am, but the person who is capable of genuine love can and will love me completely. I have a knowing that such a person exists. That person, whether he is my current partner or not, will above all, see the purest light in me. He will choose to be with me because I am worth it. I am worth it because he loves me. The right person will transform himself and transcend his limitations by stepping up to this kind of love.

I know he will because it already happened to me. Learning how to love genuinely has made me more compassionate and wiser than ever.

I should not be afraid to be abandoned because the wrong man will eventually leave me no matter what I do because of a lack of love, but the right one will choose to stay because he loves me and he believes that he is meant to be with no one else other than me.

There is nothing I can do to make someone stay if he really wants to leave me, anyway. So why should I overthink and give up my power to fear? The wisest thing to do is to let go, live my life  and be happy for being myself. 🙂

I hope that all of those who have the same struggle will find the inspiration, love and strength they need from themselves as well.

Relationships · Self

In vulnerability, we find strength

We are all products of our relationships. We are a testament to the kind of love that shapes our lives.

We cannot harness the transforming power of love if we hide from it. We must have the courage to be vulnerable if we want love to lead the way for us. Love is the only compass in life we can trust.

This article is in connection with my previous one, “How I Deal with my Fear of Abandonment”. They are related because they both deal with the power of love to transform and transcend limitations.

Part of my struggle with my fear of abandonment is my unhealthy habit of overthinking and always doubting myself and putting myself out in the open up for harsh scrutiny. I would have this habit of ruminating whether I am doing or giving my partner too much or too little of myself. I am always afraid that if I give him too little, that he would not be committed enough in the relationship or that if I give him too much, that he would be overwhelmed and leave me. Well, whatever I do, I’d always end up rejected and abandoned and finding the perfect balance seems totally impossible. So I am just fucked up either way. I am basically just fucking myself up.

It’s pretty obvious that doing this to ourselves is unhealthy and plain destructive. It’s a breeding ground for powerlessness and insecurity. But it’s not just unhealthy for us, it’s unhealthy for our partners as well.

We are not doing our partners a favor by trying to protect them from the realities of life and love. Each of us has our own battles to deal with. We cannot fight their battles for them in the same way that they cannot fight our battles for us.

I am not saying this as an excuse to be difficult and irresponsible in relationships. What I am trying to clarify here is that we cannot protect our partners from heartaches that can come from our relationship with them.

It will not always be butterflies in the tummy, sunshine, pink hearts and clear skies. We won’t learn how to love if everything’s always easy and nice.

We cannot be perfect in a fairy tale-character-sense.  We can only be authentic; authentic in our awesomeness and in our messiness as humans.

If your partner wants to be with a fairy tale-perfect-character, then he/she is not ready for a genuine love relationship. There’s no reason to hold on to that kind of person. But if your partner loves and accepts you in all your beauty and madness, then there’s no reason for you to always be second-guessing yourself and putting yourself up for criticism.

Don’t be afraid to put your relationship out there in the battlefield. It’s part of discovery and growth to see how you both respond to different conditions inside and outside of your individual selves and your relationship.

It’s only by doing this that you can put yourselves, your strengths and weaknesses and capability to love to the test. It’s only by doing this that you can discover if you really have what it takes to build a solid, genuine and long-lasting love partnership. If you don’t do this, you won’t really see the truth. You won’t also give yourselves the chance to transform and be transformed by love.

Stop believing in the illusion that you can protect your partner from the messiness of love and relationships. Trust him/her as an equal and give him/her the space to prove himself/herself. Give him/her the chance to grow and transcend his/her limitations. Let him/her fight and win his/her own battles. He/she needs it not just for your relationship, but most importantly, for himself/herself. Don’t deprive him/her of that right.

Letting someone love you isn’t only about letting someone be happy because he/she can freely love you. It’s also, and most importantly, about letting someone become stronger and wiser and deeper because of loving you. We don’t just serve our partners by making them happy, by making things lighter for them. We also serve them by challenging them to be their best selves.

So if your fear of abandonment is stopping you from disclosing enough with your partner and trusting him/her enough to show your real awesome and messy side, always go back to the truth that nobody’s perfect.

Again, we choose to be who we are with not because it’s easy but because it’s worth it.

Let your partner see the truth of who you really are. If he/she doesn’t accept all that you are then he/she is not meant to be with you. There’s no reason to overthink, doubt yourself and let yourself down. That’s the simple truth behind it. 🙂

Become who you really are. The right person will always find a way to be with you no matter what.

My partner has his own issues he needs to confront and deal with. He used to have an issue about taking risks and becoming more open and vulnerable to love. But I was able to challenge him and crack his shell open. He has already had milestones in that particular issue, but it’s not completely over. I must continue helping him how to overcome it so he can live his life more openly and passionately.

He also has issues regarding jealousy. He doesn’t want to talk about the other guys in my past. I tried to talk to him about the recent ex I wrote about in my “How I Deal with my Fear of Abandonment” article before. But he just shut down. Later he told me that he knew it shouldn’t be awkward to speak about it (about other guys) but it was awkward for him so he didn’t want us to talk about it. Right then I knew that it was an issue that clings to him, that he needs to get rid off.

It’s not wise and healthy to not just talk about certain things because it’s uncomfortable for you to do so. There are many things in life and in relationships that are uncomfortable to talk about but are totally necessary. We cannot just shut down if we don’t like what we hear.

I believe it’s unhealthy to censor topics that can be discussed between partners. Censorship creates a gap that might be filled up by other unwanted things and people. It’s always best to know what your partner thinks of and how he/she feels about all the various issues that matter to both of you. It’s always best to know where both of you stand.

I cannot censor parts of my life and pick only those that will be convenient for him. He has to know the things that mattered to me and shaped me into becoming the person who I’ve become and who I am becoming. It goes the same way for me. I cannot close my eyes from all the things that might hurt me or make me jealous when I look back on his past. It’s his past. It’s part of who he is. If we love someone, we don’t pick only the parts that are easy for us to like. We love and accept everything about that person. It’s all part of understanding and appreciating the person we choose to be with.

If I want to help him grow into a man, I should let him handle the truths of life and love like a man. There’s no other way to do it but to let him get bruised if it’s necessary to complete the process of learning and being.

If we’re looking for a long-term relationship, we won’t want someone who will chicken out at the first sight of difficulty. We want someone who commits, stays, endures and becomes better when the going gets tough. That’s the reason why we have to put our love, ourselves and our lovers out in the battlefield.

Self

Be grateful for Solitude

I have been alone most of the time lately. Sometimes I get very lonely and I forget all the good things that come from solitude. I have drifted away with many of my friends in the recent months. It was quite overwhelming at first and I made a big deal out of it. I used to feel so bad when friendships fade away.

But then slowly, the dust began to settle and I have become more and more enlightened on this matter. I felt that my life has started to acquire a new rhythm and these changes are simply inevitable. Friends lose interest to keep up with your life and to share their lives with you and you feel the same way with them. I think it’s normal to get offended at first but then eventually you’ll come to your senses and ask yourself, “what’s the point of feeling so bad?”. There’s no point in reviving something that’s no longer beneficial to you or to others. If you no longer feel a connection between a person or either or both of you no longer has the commitment to take care of and work for the relationship then it’s meant to be let go of. A new cycle might be on the horizon but first you must learn how to let go in order to give way to what’s supposed to come.

Solitude has many amazing gifts if we only take the heart to pay attention to them. By letting go of what no longer serves me, I have created enough space to focus on what matters to me and what I should be spending my time and energy with.

I have had the time and energy to start my dream business and to start the relationship with the  person I am destined to be with. These two are so important in my life and they require all the attention that I can give.

Without solitude, I won’t be able to be as reflective and productive as I have been and as I continue to be. By choosing to protect myself from all the noise, I’ve had the silence to listen to my inner voice, the channel by which the Divine speaks through each of us.

We cannot set a deadline for ourselves and the natural processes that we need to go through to complete the changes necessary in our lives. We just have to listen to the rhythm and trust that all is well and everything will turn out in the best possible way for everyone concerned.

Activities · Business · Self

5 Practical Things I’ve Learned from Launching my Dream Business

1. Sometimes you really have to get cut so bad to learn.

I had quite a few mistakes while starting my business. Each step I take is equally important because it means either profit gain or profit loss for me. If I don’t make actual mistakes, I will never learn the value of each part of the process involved in establishing and developing a successful business.

2. Do not get carried away with what people say.

You will get A LOT of not so good comments and inquiries from people around you. Don’t let their doubts about themselves affect you. Don’t let a particular ugly remark offend you. Choose to behave nicely and professionally.

3. Learn how to use your resources wisely.

Resources include your energy, skills, ideas, money, time and emotions, among others. As an artist and entrepreneur, you must learn how to evaluate the opportunity in every situation. You must identify when it’s okay to invest more in something and when it’s not. This can be tricky because results won’t always materialize immediately. You will have to bank on your experiences and intuition on this one. It’s another way of saying, “Choose your battles, wisely.”

4. Never sell for money’s sake. 

You will not convince others to join you in and believe in what you do if it’s so obvious that all you care about is the success of your personal goals. You gotta have something to offer other people.

5. Have respect and dignity for your work.

If you believe in your work, eventually others will, too. Do not beg for other people’s approval. You don’t have to crawl to adjust to their demands. You don’t have to change who you are to please those who are meant to see and love your true colors. No matter what happens, take the commitment to uphold the value of what you do.

People can and will criticize you, don’t mind them. Can they do what you do? Probably not. Brush the negative remarks off.

Activities · Art · Business · Self

Love is a Collaboration

So I have finally launched my dream business. I just created a temporary website today and my FB page has been up for officially TEN DAYS now. The most important part of the dream has been done and I am continuously correcting my course each and everyday.

This entire experience has been very amazing. From the time I quit my job to pursue this dream, to the time I bought materials, started to paint every single day for three weeks, dealt with my doubts and fears, staged a guerilla photo shoot for my teasers, photographed my products one by one, created teasers (I am no digital ninja, by the way, I am so old school), launched the FB page, learned how to use Instagram and created an account, answered inquiries, accepted and shipped orders, lost some money due to my ignorance of the processes I should set in place…

I loved and savored every moment of it.

This work is mine. It is finally mine. I am not enslaved by anyone. I suffer the consequences of my own mistakes and reap the sweetest benefits of my own labor and success.

I have learned to let go of my attachment to what I think “should be” and instead be grateful for all that is. I am very grateful for each and every one who appreciates what I do, who gets inspired by my passion to pursue my dream, who shares my work with others, and of course, most especially those who are willing to shell out their hard-earned money to have my bags.

I learned that I don’t have to ask for favors because those who really believe in my work and can’t wait to share them with others will do it on their own and those who don’t really want to cannot be “convinced”, anyway. Focusing on those who do not believe in what you do is just a waste of time. We cannot please everyone…that’s why it’s important to know who our target market is 😀

A balance must always be identified between pleasing your clients and standing up for your standards and principles. If the  requests and suggestions are reasonable, or better, brilliant, then take them and be thankful. Otherwise, just be firm enough to say no.

Furthermore, a balance must also be set between working hard and letting go.

We must always provide enough space for Divine Intervention, be it in the form of accidents, mistakes or opportunities. All of these are miracles.

We are never alone. We should ask for Divine help and let ourselves receive the help that we need. This is how we create harmony with All That Is.

Now I understand why the universe told me to dream bigger and set long-term goals instead of just focusing on immediate results. Initially, I only dreamed of earning enough money to support myself by doing what I love. But this amazing journey has given me many, bigger and more meaningful gifts along the way, so much more than what I hoped for. I have learned to keep my hopes high and my dreams really big. 🙂

Activities · Art · Business · People · Self

Answering the Soul’s longing

Way back in college, I remember I had come to a crossroads; I thought about pursuing art seriously and eventually make a career out of it. But the other part of me prevailed, the part of me that didn’t want to pursue the very thing I loved for fear of failure. I was afraid that it might not love me back. So I didn’t take a chance. I didn’t pursue it.

Fast forward to a decade later, I am here embracing the very thing I loved and evaded from most of my adult life. I have finally launched my dream project: a combination of visual art, entrepreneurship and spirituality.

I MADE IT. I JUST FULFILLED A DREAM.

I have battled many of my doubts, fears and insecurities along the way. They’re not entirely resolved but I have learned to live with them.

I have learned that what makes any person successful in what they chose to do is PERSEVERANCE.

Most of the time, the reasons not to pursue something will outweigh the reasons to pursue it. But fulfilling dreams, like any heart’s desire, is not a rational process. It always requires a certain level of craziness and leaps of faith.

Nothing is certain in life and that includes achieving goals. What makes anything possible is our desire, belief and perseverance.

There are many times when I get preoccupied with short-sighted matters like financial needs and immediate recognition. But again and again, the universe reminds me that I should look longer than that, that I should dream bigger than my present dreams. She reminds me that I must focus on my enjoying, developing and putting my work out there instead of obsessing on my success or if I am getting “there”.

Financial returns may be slow in the beginning because the immediate fruits come in other ways. I may not be selling my work hot like pancakes as of the moment but I am grateful for the positive feedback from the people I have inspired. I am connecting with people who have similar deep soul longings to fulfill their life’s work. That can’t be measured by any amount of money.

The Universe tells me I should let go of my burdens and focus on developing my craft and celebrating my accomplishments. She is so right. Instead of brooding over what I am not yet fulfilling, my focus should be on what I have done, who I have become in the process and how my work has affected the world around me.

I could die anytime and have totally no regrets!

I keep on praying that I may have the wisdom, the courage and the strength to sustain and improve what I have started. Honestly, I don’t have any “grand” reasons for doing this. I just like it so much and I want to turn all my ideas into reality.

I don’t intend to help other people in any way, I don’t intend to leave any kind of legacy (though, I am not saying that there’s anything wrong with that), but I believe that in many ways we can uplift other people and make the world a better place (no matter how cliche it sounds) by following what sets our hearts on fire.

To those interested, please feel free to visit my page:

www.facebook.com/superdaenamite

If you’re happy with  my work, please like it and share it with your family and friends!

Thank you so much!

Self

To Anxiety

There you are again, walking back and forth in your little attic room, with cobwebs outside and inside your head.

You are watching every move of those around you again, trying to quantify their love for you by the littlest things they do and did not do. Clearly, you act this way not because you don’t trust them but because you do not trust yourself enough to know that you are loved, that you can be loved enough that people can actually stay and never leave you.

Why don’t you sit still for a while, have a couple of deep breaths and imagine floating clouds above your head? The birds are singing outside your windows, why don’t you come out for a minute and play with them?

Do something you love, be with people you enjoy spending time with, nourish your body, be comforted by nature. Go out of your little attic room for a while and just welcome the sun! You will see that all you have been worrying about are just stubborn illusions in your head.

Smile!

People · Relationships · Women

To my fearful friend

Never ask for anybody else’s validation regarding your personal values and principles. You have the right to decide what matters to you. You have the right to set your own boundaries. You have the right to pick your own battles. You have the right to decide how you win your battles – should you stay and push on or should you stop, leave and take a detour?

Other people must never expect you to behave the way you do nor should you expect them to behave the way you do. We all have our own unique purpose in this lifetime and we know what we want and what’s healthy for us.

Running away is not always a sign of weakness. Moving forward is not always a sign of clarity and strength. Running away becomes the smartest thing you will ever do if you run towards the direction that is right for your soul. On the other hand, moving forward in the wrong direction is an act of fear and self-betrayal.

In treading the waters of life, you must always keep in mind that we must tread the waters using our heart and intuition if we want to reach the path of enlightenment and abundance. We must learn how to listen and trust our own higher self. Through this the energy of All That Is communicates with us.

Don’t be afraid to let go of the old because it is the only way you can embrace the new. Don’t feel guilty about goodbyes, because it’s part of the evolution of the soul. All those we meet are there to help us reach our most desired ending for this lifetime.

Walk in faith and cut ties with everything that do not serve your well being.