Amoris Vincit Omnia: Gift of Love

Walang forever! Magbebreak din kayo balang araw!

These are few of the bitter words that we are going to tirelessly and continuously hear as we approach the following Sunday: February 14. Indeed, the idea of Valentine’s Day varies from one person to another. It may be deemed as either a day of romance, single awareness day, or a mere simple day in the calendar. Nonetheless, the celebration all boils down to the idea and the sweetness of how it is to be in love.

Even though pandemic had stricken all the parts of the world, it did not stop the creativity of people to express their love. It only shows us that love conquers all. They may go on special dates such as long road trips, enjoying the sea’s breezes, or to simply stay warm and cozy at home and in the presence of one another. To add, they may give presents to each other; write cheesy poems; compose special songs; and a share a far lovely kiss before a grandiose sunset. It only shows how the world freezes when you are aflame by love.

Even if you still never have found your other half, it is not an impediment for you to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Always remind yourself that you are always worthy to be loved just the way you are. As long as there is a will, there would always be a way to see the power of love, for as long as you never lose your faith on it.
If you are “hopeless romantics” just like us, here are some of the ways for you to meaningfully and joyfully celebrate Valentine’s Day despite the bitterness of this pandemic. Likewise, try to deeply appreciate these simple truths so that the remaining 320 days of the year would always be a Day of Hearts.

Empower your heart with God’s love.

God loves us first. This undeniable and indisputable fact always remain true regardless of our frailties and unworthiness, especially during those times we were unable to recognize the signs of His love moving in marvelous ways. Remember that when it comes to love, GOD is the primordial source and the first mover. As such, there would be no excuse as not to love in the first place.

gods love

This Valentine’s Day, find time to have a date with the Lord. Go to church wearing your favorite dress in order to express your gratitude for the endless love that He has shown you through the years of your existence. Thus, there would always be such thing as “forever” in love, because the Author is eternal and always at work in every second of our loving existence.

Let go and let God

Whenever you feel God’s love, you simply allow His plans to unfold whenever He sees it fit. You know that He would always grab you by the hand and lead you in the way. As such, learn to be more trusting to God’s providence. You would never feel scarce, unloved, or even unwanted and totally out place.

In our life, allow God to make detours, road stops, and sudden halts in your life. These delays would never become a sort of denial. God would always want to give you the best far from what anyone of us could possibly imagine. Never give up on your faith, for it can move mountains and make the improbable possible.
Along the way, try to let go all those sense of past false attachments and all those that has been burdensome in your path to happiness. You are the one who is having a complete loss if you continue to hold on to your grudges.

As long as you know that God is in control of your life, you would able to love fully and sincerely. Let Him be your life’s solid foundation so that you would tirelessly show your acts of love, even if it hurts.

Learn to love yourself

Nemo quod dat non habent. The same legal maxim applies in loving. Indeed, we cannot effectively love another when we never learn how to love ourselves at first. As such, we create expectations, false imaginations, and mirages. If left unfulfilled, we would succumb to sadness and depression. We would then none have to blame

Loving yourself may never be easy as it sounds, but persevering every day is already a sign of progress.

self love

Never equate self-love with selfishness. In the order of love, love does not stop in the person alone. Otherwise, he becomes narcissistic who is only obsessed with focusing on the “I, me, and myself”. True love always transcends the person. It would always start in the person who knows that he is loved, is challenging himself to love others as well.

Idealize the future and better “you”

In life, you are not obliged to impress other people. You are the weaver of your own fate. Never let the commotions and side comments of people undermine your will to dream and to make it a reality. It is only then when you are true to yourself that you will be able to break all the odds and surf all the raging tides that would come along your life.

The law of attraction always works. See yourself as to where you are now and evaluate what you feel. Then, try to picture yourself as to what you will be in the future years. However, the process does not end there: you also have to think of the means that you are going to do in order to get there.

future

For now, focus on the ways that you think you can improve yourself instead of searching for that special someone. Maybe, you are not yet that ready to be engaged in this kind of thing. Hone first your skills and improve your knowledge so that you’ll soon efficaciously apply them whenever need arises. As such, you become more prudent and mature as to consider what is essential and easily discard what is trivial.

People may have offered you the sun, moon and all the stars, but never believe them. Remember that in God’s grace, you can always shine brighter and dispel all the darkness that is troubling your heart.

Make time for the people around you

True love is not only limited in a classical Romeo and Juliet fiasco nor in an unorthodox Yoon Seri and Captain Ri love affair. It is more than what meets the eye.
You can also find love in the family where you belong and also in your friends who treat you as family. As they are bound to stay with you in good times and bad, there is no doubt that it is true love all along.

friends

This Valentine’s Day, try to set an appointment with them. It does not have to be quite that formal. You can cook your favorite dish, watch movies, play games, and all the other artistic ways where you can deeply cherish loving presence of one another.

It only shows us that we don’t have to be committed in a relationship to experience what it is to be in love. As long as you are surrounded with the right people, you’ll never be brokenhearted, as you would never see life as too complicated. Give the gift of absence to those who cannot appreciate your presence.

Appreciate the power of waiting

The best things in life would always be worth the sacrifices and the wait. As such, there is no need to rush everything. Nevertheless, you would already find love and joy in the process itself. Sometimes, God also wants us to wait a little longer because He is still preparing the best that is truly meant for us. When that right time comes along, we would be able to fully appreciate the love that we have been waiting for.

waiting

Waiting would always go a long way. Time after time, you would acquire the value of patience. Never downgrade this virtue with a desperate all or nothing situation. Patience does not mean that you are the one tirelessly waiting, but that you are tirelessly waiting for the one.

Conquer your fears to love and be loved

When we have already loved someone, inner fears and what-ifs suddenly fills our hearts. We already feel that we are going to be highly rejected and our love is as well unreciprocated.

If you are really falling for that special person, be brave to take a shot regardless of the risks involved. Never be in tongue-tied situations where you would feel lost along the way. If you believe that he/she is meant for you, do your best to prove that you are able to love him/her sincerely and faithfully.

fear

Sometimes, rejections can be God’s redirections. Never conceive it as the end of your world. As numerous as the sands upon the seashore, there would always be limitless possibilities to make your life bright and beautiful. Simply put, never let these fears stop you from loving.

There would always be fears in loving and being loved. We are not only afraid to be hurt, but to also hurt those we loved the most. Nonetheless, it does not become a prima facie reason to give up on love. We may be perfectly imperfect and bound by flaws, but it does not prevent us to keep the commitments of complementing each other.

Exhale your worries. Inhale God’s peace

Stop worrying. Otherwise you already live at the future when you are supposedly going to live in the present. Tomorrow would always take care of itself. Likewise, never worry what others are worrying; you are not in that proper position to do so. We are mere mortals who are not in total charge of controlling fate and destiny; only the Divine can do that.

peace

All of us are restless until we rest in God alone. Only the Lord would give our hearts the peace that not even the world can give. Allow God to touch and heal the innermost deepest wounds of your heart. Whenever you feel down, remember that He will always give you the strength to carry on.

Never doubt the power of love

Love is powerful, even though it is mysterious. It is the efficient force that can make anyone smile, feel motivated to face everyday challenges, and to defy the odds no matter what. Love is something that we should never underestimate, for it is able to transcend the thoughts, feelings, intuitions, words, and actions of a person. Whereas, there is a huge tendency for him/her to go beyond his/her limitations for the persons they loved.

Love is not something that we can mess up with. It is not a children’s game where a mere sorry can easily fix all the scars that were left. To love is not to simply say “move on” while finding no means to fix all the problems and misunderstandings that were left behind. Love looks onward for a better commitment, and not a bitter settlement.

power of love

In addition, never doubt your capacity to love either. Always believe that you are able to love despite the countless times that you feel you don’t. You have already done your part when you choose to love wholeheartedly. It would never be your loss in the end.

Never fall desperate and bitter

The idea of celebrating Valentine’s does not simply revolve around having a significant other to celebrate the Day of Hearts with. That is a superficial and immature misconception.

desperate

Keep focusing on your dreams. Remember that there would always be someone at the end of the line that God has meant for you. Maybe, he/she is also pursuing his/her goals and career, just as what you do now. There is no need to be frustrated of all those past relationships [and affections] that did not end well. There are reasons why did they happen, but sooner or later you’ll eventually understand.

Avoid comparisons. You are different person from the rest. You never have to set your existence upon the standards of other people and how they live their life right now. Remember that you have already been blessed and God’s grace is already enough.

Accept the things we cannot change

Human as we are, we are not in control of everything. There would always be things and situations far from our reach. Our expectations in love may be left in vain, but it does not mean that we are the ones at fault. It’s alright. There is no need to force everything, knowing that all then would turn to worse, if we pursue what is never meant to be.

The proper disposition is the power of acceptance. Always ask the Lord for the serenity to accept those things that we cannot change. Acceptance may be hard and bitter to swallow like medicine, but we are going to feel fine and better. There may be episodes of relapse where the symptoms of regret and self-blame may reappear, but rest assured that we are able to carry on with our life and be amazed by its beauty.

change

Once you would be able to accept these things that are far from our comprehension, you would then be able to fully welcome the graces and the plans of God for you.

A Far Lovely Ending

Love is in the shape of a heart. However, it is more than that. Rather, it is more proper to connect it with the figure upon the Cross. Simply put, love entails sacrifice. Loving is not all about frolicking in the meadows full of daisies and butterflies. Instead, it is all about the sincerity and the commitment despite of both happiness and sadness that unfolds then. If there is no reason to stay, it does not mean that there’s a reason to go away.

Always look at the Cross and read [from] there the song of God’s love. In Him, you would never find any trace of frustrations and disappointments. His selfless giving of Himself would always be the Greatest Love Story that the world has ever told. Whenever you feel hurt, rejected, friend zoned, ghosted, or taken for granted as a whole, everything would be alright. God Himself had experienced how things did not go exactly as they were. Nevertheless, He just kept on going and loving.

end

Likewise, our life is not that perfect. There may be closures but the feelings would never close. We may never get all the “happy ever after’s” that we have wanted. However, we can choose either to be deliberately stuck in the false paranoia’s we have created, or to believe that there is an undeniably lovely beautiful ending waiting for us. The latter would hold true, if we would give it a try. Use your gift of faith, and God will lead you to feel that He is there (Delgado, 2021).

A Place to Belong

As we look upon the world around us, it seems that it is running out of love. People would easily give up on their dreams, thinking that it is futile to keep going. We can change their perspective and shift them to a brighter outlook. Just like in the mysteries of the Cecil Hotel, we just have to remind them (and ourselves) that the world is super vast and there would be some place to belong. You can tell them every day you love them, and it will get better.
Never be bitter in this season of love. God will find a way in order for love to reach to you. Tiwala lang!

Gabby Castrojas

Gabby Castrojas is a poem enthusiast, urban adventurer and savvy in rich tradition of Iloilo. He is currently writing in order to provide a glimpse of the rich festivals and traditions in the City of Love. He likes to engage in unraveling the hidden wonders in the Queen City of the South.

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