“Sabi nila, mahirap daw magmahal ng matalino. Maraming pwedeng ilusot, maraming pwedeng idahilan. Lahat napupuna. Lahat mali. Lahat, pwedeng i-justify. Lahat ay relative, o case-to-case basis. Sa umpisa siguro, oo. Pero ang true love, hindi naman tungkol sa kung anong tama o mali, o sa kung sino ang tama at sino ang mali. Ang true love ang dahilan kung bakit nagiging posible na magsama ang dalawang taong magkaiba. ‘Yun yung sa kabila ng napakaraming options at choices sa mundo, pinili ka pa rin niya. Kapag tanggap mong hindi siya perpekto at nagkakamali siya nang madalas. Kapag alam mong mali ang spelling niya, o kahit pa ang pagkabigkas niya ng confirmed (con-fermd) ay con-fiiiirmd na para bang naipit siya sa pinto sa tindi ng pagka-iiii, true lab na ‘yan.
According to my life guru, Augustus Waters, whose words I live by, you get a say on the people who hurts you. This is precisely because people who don’t matter to you won’t be able to do so. Why betrayal is so hurtful? Because it can only be done by people you have given your trust to – family and friends. You have allowed them to be close enough to love you (because c’mon, we all need to be loved). But by being out in the open like that is giving them the liberty to hurt you as well. Vulnerability is what it is.
Augustus is right. You can choose the people who can hurt you. But not all. You can’t choose family. Family is family. It’s like playing cards: a pre-determined set is already given to you from the start. You just have to work your game from there – use your set throughout the game and acquire other cards along the way. Most often than not, it’s family that’s hard to love. We don’t accept the shortcomings, we just learn to live with it.
But like everything else, loving them is a choice. It’s choosing to forgive despite how many times they’ve hurt you over and over with the same, stupid reason. It’s choosing to shut up during a reprimand because your relationship with your parents is more important than your smart rebuttal – no matter how right you may be.
I’m feeling a little short in the whole “loving others” thing right now. I’ve been hurt real bad. I just need a few days with my books and music and silence while my heart is mending inside a box of being alone that I have chosen this week. I feel I have to do it now before I continue loving, for me to be able to give myself more, for my heart might not be able to take more shit in the future. You may call it a pit stop, a time off, if you must. But right now, at least I know my heart is somewhere hidden. Somewhere safe.”
– I wrote this entry sometime in June. Reading it now, I seemed so hurt and sad back then. I was. Or maybe I still am. It’s the month that I even changed my Facebook profile picture to this:
..because I felt so vulnerable and hurt by the people closest to me. I felt hurt because I have given my all and opened my heart out, but people chose to break it. It was during this time that I felt so drained, so tired of loving and giving, that people are taking advantage of me and what I have to offer because I always make myself available to the needs of others. Love is, indeed, hurtful and irrevocable.
But since that moment when I decided to keep my heart locked up and that apathy is better than loving, God decided to speak to me in every way possible. He used my choice to be silent to speak to my heart. He took advantage of my choice to fill my silence with music to talk to me through the lyrics. He used my choice to be alone with my books to give me powerful lines (mind you, I chose to read the book with minimal love topic aka Dante’s Inferno. But I never thought that God would be able to use Dante’s symbolism of Beatrice (allegory for eternal love), and that for Dante, love will get you through hell (literally) when wisdom (in the persona of Virgil) is not enough). Hay nako, si Lord talaga, patawa.
So I have been filled with all the “love” messages for the past weeks since June.
Scenario 1: I attended the Vineyard Retreat and you know what I got from there? “God is love. His love never runs out. Let Him fill you with love overflowing so you may have enough love to give. That way, your love will also never run out.” Boom tagos.
Scenario 2: I was assigned to be in charge of the registration during our Christian Life Seminar. And since I am as creative as the team can get, they allowed me to add the decorations in our venue. Guess what the topic was? God’s love. The decors? Hearts. Lots of them. On my registration table, there were God’s messages glued on hearts. Hearts everywhere. Ako talaga ang nag-gupit ng mga hearts eh no. Ang arte ko daw e sabi ni Lord. May nalalaman pa akong “kapos sa love”. Eto ang sa’yo. In your face.
Scenario 3: The #LoveProject – Live Pure Conference 2014. All about *drumroll* LOVE siyempre. And how He is my One True Love. May mas o-obvious pa ba?
Scenario 4: That I WAS PART OF THE LOVE PROJECT. That the #LoveProject team let me edit a copy that was used during the conference. (This happened Friday, June 11 – 2 days before the conference. They gave me roughly 2 hours to work on it. Hapitan lang talaga sa time!) It was a love letter from God. The first copy was alright. However, they wanted to have more kilig factor in it, more tagos-sa-puso effect. And they wanted me to shorten it. The original letter was 233 words. When I finished “editing” (I practically wrote a new letter), it was 400+ long. Have I mentioned I had a Lack of Love Problem going on? So can you imagine how it was a challenge to write something about love, given the short span of time I was allowed to do so? I was literally crying while typing – partly because I had a hard time, and mostly because I know it was God really speaking to me. I really wrote God’s love letter for me.
My “edited” letter:
I thought it would be used for the conference as the typical voice over type, or to be placed as a narration in a video that was going to be shown. Never have I imagined that it would be reproduced to 7,000 copies and distributed inside an envelope to all the participants of #LoveProject. While the participants were opening their envelopes and reading their own copies, and while there was a voice over saying the contents of the letter, I was crying. I just could not stop from crying. The tears betrayed me as one by one, they rolled down my cheeks! Kakaiba lang talaga si Lord gumalaw. People even posted the letter to their Facebook accounts:
God’s message to me was able to touch different lives. These photos are enough proof of that. God used my kaartehan and my inability. He used me despite my brokenness so that I may be able to touch the hearts of others. I may be unable to define what love is or show how it is to love, but surely, God was able to say it through this letter. I am still left in awe just thinking about it. Truly, it is all because of God’s great love and mercy.
Hay Lord. Kakaiba ka.
So I guess it’s legit to say that, I am Bianca Garcia, and I am part of the #LoveProject.
BTW, here’s the complete comics strip of a quote by C.S. Lewis which I used for my Facebook profile picture: