Category Archives: Love Yourself Book

Everything about the book entitled, “Love Yourself”

Love is Remembering

I’m a sucker for love stories.

I like listening to couples share about how they came together.  I’m fond of asking random questions that put couples in the hot seat. Questions such as how you met, what you liked about each other, how did you know he/she is the one (to which people always answer, “Oh you just know,” which is very helpful, I guess 😉 Perhaps some are kind of slow in knowing since the most beautiful stories take time, but this is another topic for another day…

As I was saying, hehe, what I really like most about these conversations is seeing the couples’ eyes light up or glisten, their lips start to quiver or can’t help but smile, and if ever there was space in between them, it vanishes completely such that no ant could pass by.  There is a certain kind of warmth and joy that permeates the air whenever they remember the challenges they have gone through, the obstacles they have overcome, the little things one does for the other that make life better.  It’s like people fall in love over again at that moment. It’s quite a sight to behold, like a precious treasure unfolding before my very eyes.

I have discovered the secret to making relationships stronger, to rekindling the fire, or possibly saving a marriage from falling apart. It’s so simple and yet we forget sometimes. You want to know the secret?

I found that the key was to remember.

So if you will allow me to ask these very valuable questions. 🙂

What do you remember about the first time you met? What were your special memories of the day you got wed? What was the sweetest thing your loved one did for you? How did your world expand when he or she came around?

Do you remember the time he saved you from making a wrong decision? Do you remember the time she gave you a surprise birthday party, texting your friends she barely knew to put it all together? Do you remember when you were frustrated, depressed or disappointed and he came from the ends of the earth to make you feel better? Do you remember the special moments you had together? What are the things your partner does that make you feel cared for? Do you remember? 🙂

What I know for certain is that Love remembers.

Love remembers the special moments and the ordinary ones. Love remembers to take out the trash without being told. Love remembers to wash the dishes when the loved one is tired from a day of household chores.  Love remembers to buy her favorite food. Love remembers to encourage and hug him after a hard day’s work. Love remembers to pray when the beloved is away. Love remembers to reply so that the other person does not worry. Love remembers to say what needs to be said for the good of the other.  Love remembers to give a massage to a tired head. Love remembers to say thank you. Love remembers to apologize when a hurt is done unintentionally or not. Love remembers to remember the things that matters most. Love remembers even when you need to write it down to remind yourself or type it on your gadget so you don’t forget.

You know what, there is one great love story I won’t get tired of hearing again and again.

It is about this time that I remember.

Lent is THE greatest love story ever told. In these blessed 40 days, we remember how God loved us so that He sent His loved one to die on our behalf on the cross so that we can experience His love forever. This love is crazy. This love is true. And we need to remember how he sacrificed His Son to express His love for us in a very concrete way.

Love is a sacrifice. Love takes painstaking effort. Love remembers.

This Lent, we remember.

God remembers.

But what is remarkable to me is that even if we tend to sometimes forget, He remembers even the littlest details . He remembers what will make us happy. He remembers to lighten the load in our hearts. “Can a woman forget her nursing child and have no compassion on the son of her womb?” He asks, to which he replied with all the love in His heart.  Hey, you know what,  “Even if these may forget, I will not forget you.” (Isaiah 49:15)

Thank God He remembers to wake us up every morning. Thank God He remembers to provide for us every day. Thank God He remembers to banish all our fears away. Thank God He loves us so much!

Perhaps, it is time for us to remember each time we encounter Him at Mass, giving heed to His request, “Do this in memory of me.” Our sacrifices may be challenging, but it’s the least we could do to show our gratitude to the One who loved us first.  We remember how it is to love because He showed us the way.

This Lent, may we remember how much God loves us and fall in love with Him all over again.

It’s About Time

There is an appointed time for everything, and a time for every affair under the heavens. A time to give birth, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to uproot the plant. A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to tear down, and a time to build…” (Ecclesiastes 3:1-15)

I knew of someone who brought a timer to work. It’s the one that you mechanically turn the dial and the alarm sets off when it’s time. She would allot a time block for every task she would need to accomplish. Because she went through a severe illness and recovered, she learned how to use her time wisely. Perhaps, she somehow knew that her time on earth was limited. Twelve years later, she died in her 50s when the illness recurred. But no regrets for her though, she had lived a full life. It was wise of her to keep time and use it wisely.

At the start of the year, we’re given a fresh 525,600 minutes to spend. It seems too many to count but as the cliché goes, time does fly really fast. It is our most precious resource. You know how sometimes moments and opportunities pass us by. But perhaps it wasn’t time for it to happen yet. Thank God that we now have new beginnings, we now have new chances to spend our time wisely from now on. Every time used to love is time well spent.

God has an appointed time for everything in our lives. Though we many not know the exact hour nor day when our dreams will finally come true, we can sense its fulfillment.

Jesus says, learn a lesson from the fig tree. “When its branch becomes tender and sprouts leaves, you know that summer is near. “ (Matthew 24:32) You can feel it when something good’s about to happen. This year will surely be an exciting time for growth.

How about you? What would you like this year to be? It may be a year to finally make the dream happen, start that business, move to another place, or finally find the one. Just two things to remember — trust in God’s perfect timing and “Let all that you do be done in love.” (1 Corinthians 16:13).

 

 

 

Human Being vs. Human Doing

“God is concerned about YOU.” – Fr. Alex Balatbat

It was nice to see Fr. Alex again, it’s been over a month since he visited Feast Greenhills. It seemed like he lost weight and he did say, around eight pounds. He mentioned that he had hiked Mt. Batulao and followed Bro. Bo Sanchez’s advice to fruitify your breakfast and vegify your lunch.  [Eat fruits for breakfast and vegetables for lunch]

It was interesting to me that he mentioned about loving one’s self, because as you know this topic is a little bit close to my heart. I used to think loving one’s self was selfish. But I realized now as Fr. Alex said that the true meaning of loving yourself as God intended is all about stewardship.

“Stewardship is giving importance to what God has given you,” Fr. Alex said as he shared about taking care of his health. It affirmed in me again how important it was to take care of what we have been entrusted with — our bodies, our minds, our hearts, our gifts, our resources. To be a good and faithful steward of these gifts is our gift to God. To take care of what has been entrusted to us, our very selves, is practicing good stewardship.

Fr. Alex said that when we start to think we “own” our bodies, we start doing with it whatever we want but when we realize that we are only stewards entrusted with the temple of the Holy Spirit, we will start taking care of what has been given to us in trust.

What struck me too was when he said: “We are human BEINGS and not human DOINGS. God is concerned about you than what you do.

Are we busy serving and working that we forget about Him? Are we so busy with our ministry and business that we forget to pray?  Are we so busy that we are too tired to spend time with God alone and take care of our relationship with Him, to connect to the Source of our being.

God knows your heart’s desires but He is more concerned of who you are becoming (your character) on the road to making your dreams come true. Ultimately, it is your soul who will go to heaven and not your achievements. So, how are you?

When you get tired with all the striving and doing, remember you are a human being. Remember also what Jesus said, “Come to me all of you who are burdened, and I will give you rest.

Maybe it’s about time you pause, take a walk or “have coffee” with the Lord and just be. God is concerned about you. May you find your rest in Him.

 

Moving Forward

“Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”  (Philippians 3:13-14)

This is one of my favorite verses in the Bible. Two words stand out in this beautiful teaching from St. Paul that suggest for us two valuable actions for change: Forgetting what lies behind and reaching Forward to what lies ahead.

The past is over but sometimes we can find ourselves stuck in it. I understand that very much ‘cause I used to make it my home too. But one day, God made me realize that I had to leave the past behind, to let go and let Him heal it.

What should we forget and leave behind? Our past sins, memories and circumstances that hurt us, people who’ve caused us pain whom we need to surrender and forgive, our past regrets, mistakes and failures. Forward is where we are headed.

I remember someone say, we may not be there yet, those things we want to become, but thank God we’re not who we used to be. Thanks be to God who makes all things new!

We forget the past except for valuable lessons learned which would help us build a better future.

But where are we headed? Another key word in this verse is to press on toward the goal, in other words to move forward and Focus on where we are going. We are headed toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God. Where is that? We are headed towards heaven. What will lead us to heaven? Love. Who will lead us there? Jesus.

Today we are being made new. We are encouraged to leave the past behind because God’s plans for our future is filled with hope. (Jeremiah 29:11). Let us focus now on Him who will bring us there.

I am thankful that God is the God of new beginnings and that our future in His hands is good. From despairing to hopeful, God’s love transforms us to who He wants us to be. Let us Follow Him.

Heart Song: Israel Houghton’s Moving Forward

Eat Ice Cream

Ice cream

A friend of mine once said you cannot eat ice cream and be angry at the same time. So every time he gets upset or is tempted to blow off his top, he goes away and buys an ice cream for himself. Sometimes, he also buys one for the object of his upset  and they both end up laughing, over ice cream.

When temperatures are rising in your head, why don’t you pause for a moment and head off to buy yourself some ice cream. It can help. Love yourself today.

Pearls of Truth:

“Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger;  for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.” (James 1:19-20)

“Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.” (Proverbs 19:11)

“Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.” (Proverbs 16:32)

 

 

What is Self-Worth?

What is Self-Worth?

Thank you Danita for your beautiful artwork.

When I was growing up, I did not value myself. I realize that I didn’t really understand what it meant to have a healthy sense of self-worth.

Wikipedia defines it as self-esteem. Other related words include self-regard, self-respect and integrity.

 Psychologist Carl Rogers observed in his clinical practice that many of the problems of his clients originated from how people despised themselves, hated themselves and considered themselves to be not valuable and not worthy of being loved. They had very low self-esteem.

Most people’s lack of self-worth can find its roots in broken,  dysfunctional families and in the love they did not receive as a child.

Some adults suffer low self-esteem from wounds of rejection, neglect, lack of affirmation, abuse and abandonment, soul wounds that have not yet been healed.

Children and teens who are developing their sense of identity, need to know that they are wanted, loved and valued unconditionally, not because of what they do but simply because they are your children. Even if they are driving you crazy sometimes, they need to know and feel that you love them no matter what.

Living in a broken world, with bullying in school and in society, can make a person of low self esteem even more prone to self-hate as they experience more rejection and do not know how to protect themselves with healthy boundaries.

I realize that the lack of a healthy self-esteem does affect the way we behave in our world. When we think and feel badly about ourselves, we have no genuine love to give. How can we, when we don’t even love ourselves?

If self-esteem is said to reflect a person’s judgment of his or her own worth, it leads to the question: How do you see yourself?

But the more essential question I believe is this:

How does God see you?

Even the healthiest parent cannot give all the love that you need. Only God can. A lack of self-worth means you do not love yourself but God does!

Only He can give you your true sense of worth because He is your Maker and He is the Source of Love. The good news is His love for you is unconditional, without strings attached. He is the best of all parents. He does not see your mistakes but the wonderful being He made that is you from the very beginning. He sees your potential, your original beauty and strength.

He wants to give you the love that you need. A love that is freely offered to you for your well-being, if you would only open your heart to receive it.

To be willing to receive God’s love is to have a humble heart. We come to Him in our need and neediness and allow Him to fill us up so that we can learn to love ourselves.

My godmother Sr. Rafaelie says that the more you get to know God, the more you get to know yourself. The closer you draw to God, the more you learn to love yourself in a genuine way.   Your Maker will reveal to you who you really are, your gifts, your strengths, your purpose.

A healthy sense of self-worth must be rooted in God’s love for you. This results in a self-esteem that is enduring and not resulting from external circumstances. You know you are worthy simply because God loves you.

 For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)

Self-worth is a result of receiving the unconditional love of God, who is our loving Father. He gave Jesus for you on the Cross so that you may have life.

Truth to be told, no matter how old we get, we will always be God’s children and He loves us very much, more than we can imagine. He wants us to value ourselves the way He values us.

No external circumstance can increase or decrease your self worth if it is rooted in God’s love for you. You are already loved so you have nothing to prove.

Shame can come as a result of the wounds and brokenness from one’s past. This inward shame is a lie. You are far more valuable than you can ever imagine. You are God’s child and He wants to heal your brokenness so that you can be all that He created you to be.

Every human being is worthy of respect and love. You are worthy of respect, why don’t you give this to yourself? What is holding you back? It may be your sins and weaknesses? You feel you are not worthy? Why? Where is it coming from? God is faithful to forgive your sins and help you in your weaknesses if you but ask Him. God’s grace and the power of His Spirit is available to you if you would like to change old patterns and behaviors. The good news is that nothing can separate you from the love of God!

“For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39)

My godmother Sr. Rafaelie also says that, “Humility is walking in the truth.” What is the truth about you? What are your gifts and talents? What are your strengths? What do you like about yourself?

When you value yourself in the right way, you are confident to make your dreams come true and reach your potentials with God by your side. To be able to use your talents to serve others, this is God’s will for you.

I believe that authentic self-esteem leads to a genuine giving of self to others.

One of the greatest allies to self-esteem is integrity. I like the definition of integrity as “the state of being whole and undivided.” It is also closely allied with honesty and trustworthiness. When you have integrity, you learn to love yourself.

Trust in God’s goodness. Trust in God’s love for you. You are deeply loved.

A New Chapter

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Photo courtesy of Instituto Cervantes

 

Life is like a book and we are its authors. We create our own stories and make our own plot. The ink that writes the book of our lives is unchangeable and permanent. An error that has been committed cannot be erased. It is forever written in the leaves of the past.

Yet we can always reread what has happened in our lives and learn from our mistakes. And then, rest for a while, as a good writer does, contemplating on the lessons of yesterday, hoping to make a better story tomorrow.

This is a time for new beginnings, new experiences, and new doors. Today, as in any day, when one finally decides to change, is an opportunity to create a bestseller.

Allow me to turn the pages of my life and share them with you.

To God, our lives’ Publisher, be the glory and honor forever! Only He can help us write a classic. Welcome to the pages of my life.