Shades of Gray

Also known as: On gray areas

“I have a question.” I said to my best friend one day some time after my brother’s wedding. We were walking down Maginhawa Street in UP Diliman in search for a restaurant aptly named Gayuma ni Maria. I say “apt” because of the nature of my question then.


I told him the story of a friend who got back with an ex who broke up with her because he wasn’t ready for a commitment yet. However, the guy seemed to change his mind and decided to pursue her again but not in the same pursuit fashion that I qualify as a real pursuit. Anyway, she said yes and they’re back together and it had me a bit baffled, so I knew I had to discuss that in length with someone who knows better. “I can’t really understand why she’d get back with him after he told her that,” I remember saying. “I mean…why did he even pursue her if he wasn’t ready for a commitment? And why did he even try again so soon — how sure was she that he’s ready now?”

“Uh-huh.” It was all my best friend could say because he knew I still had stuff to say. And he was right.

“But she’s happy,” I said with a small sigh. “And I know that’s important. More important. I just don’t get it. Is this something I don’t understand because I haven’t been there yet?”

My best friend nodded thoughtfully. “Well, probably. It is very different when you’re in the relationship. And…well, relationships are messy. It’s never black and white.”

“Mostly gray, right?” I said, then laughed. “Strike one for the single since birth, I guess.”


Law of Attraction

Also known as: The Law of Attraction…and some thoughts

A couple of weeks ago, a colleague asked me if she could borrow an extra bookmark. Being the reader that I am, I should have a bunch of bookmarks in my bag, but that day, I didn’t have any extra. Turns out she was reading The Secret by Rhonda Byrne. I have never read that book nor even had the desire to read it, because as I told my best friend, “Isn’t The Secret a fancier way of saying you should think positive?”

Later on my colleague started telling me about how she got married, and she mentioned something about thinking about how her husband proposed to her. She told me that they weren’t really talking about it, but she was thinking about it, about getting married and all that. Sometime later, her then-boyfriend proposes. Wedding bells.

That still didn’t make me interested in reading the book since I’m not much into non-fiction or self-help books anymore. We did have a short discussion after she told me about that, though, about how we attract the things we think or declare we want. Things turned to a bit an uncomfortable road as we sort of touched on my love life (or lack of it), and then that got me thinking.

So it’s all about the Law of Attraction. If you think, or declare what you want, it will come to you. I’ve always believed in the power of declaring things and of course, praying for things, but I never really thought about that law. It wasn’t until we talked about it that I got thinking. Do I believe that as well? Maybe that’s why I don’t have the things that I want, or been waiting for, because I haven’t been thinking about it. Or, maybe because I’m expecting that I won’t get it. Maybe that’s why I didn’t get to go to Australia years ago. Maybe that’s why I couldn’t lose that last 10 lbs. And maybe, maybe that’s why I’m still single.

Truth be told, what I just wrote there sounded like…well, crap. I feel like I’m blaming not just myself but the universe for not giving me the things I want, right now. Or at least, sometime soon.

I’m not saying that it’s not true. I’m just having a hard time grasping the idea. I know I’m not the most assertive person around. I tend to take a step back and I often feel bad whenever I receive something that I feel like I don’t deserve. I work with my own set of expectations (which is really not a good thing, IMHO), and when I don’t get what I want just yet, I just think, “It’s not for me.” Or, “It’s not yet time.”

But what if I’ve inadvertently shunned away those things because I think that way? What if because I always thought I wasn’t ready or that I didn’t deserve any of those things?

But when can you say that you’re 100% ready? Isn’t that just a state of mind, and you’ll never really know when you’re ready for it until you actually take the leap?

And what do I know about deserving things? Who am I to limit myself and all that? Who am I to put a cap on the blessings that God gives to say when I’m deserving of something?

I ask too many questions, I know. And I know I am probably over thinking this entire thing. It just made me wonder if I am somehow limiting myself and what I can have and what I can give and what I can achieve by the way I think.

And, yes a part of me can’t help but wonder if maybe if I think differently about my love life, like if I didn’t think it’s such a taboo topic sometimes, then maybe…maybe I would not still be waiting. You know?

But I think a part of me is also afraid to find out that even with all that claiming, all that believing, all that attempt to attract…and I still end up with nothing.

Now that is over thinking. And kind of depressing. But still.


I think I still need a little more time to think about these things.

But didn’t God say, “Ask”?

Maybe I need to shift my thoughts a little, you know. Maybe, instead of thinking about the Law of Attraction, I could focus on something that I know is a more sure foundation. You know, like what Jesus says in Mark 11:24:

Therefore, I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it shall be done for you.

So, what about you? Any thoughts?

State of the Heart

Also known as: What is the state of my heart? Answering a question I wrote for today’s Didache reflection

I always find myself surprised whenever I see a reflection I wrote in Didache1 during my prayer time. I guess sometimes I forget all about it, so seeing something familiar, or my name at the bottom always takes me by surprise.

That happened yesterday. I chuckled as I read my reflection knowing full well why I wrote it. :) Here’s the full text:


“For from within, out of men’s hearts, come evil thoughts…” – Mark 7:21

It’s a popular saying: follow your heart. I’ve read a lot of books and watched a lot of movies that always had that same central message. Because, as they say, the heart knows where it’s going and it could lead you to where you really want to be.

For a long time, I believed that I shouldn’t trust my heart, because I couldn’t trust my desires. I always thought that whatever the heart wants was selfish — only for me, me, me and not for the greater good of other people. I didn’t believe in the saying “follow your heart” because I felt that whenever someone follows his or her heart alone, it would always lead into trouble. It would be something out of God’s will.

Right now I’m trying to unlearn that. In the past couple of years, I’ve learned that my deepest desires are the same desires that has God planted in me. These are the things He planted deep in my heart, the ones in line with His will.

And for me to know what these true God-given desires are, I’ve got to work to make my heart more like His.

What is the state of your heart?

Make my heart more like Yours, Lord.

I had to laugh when I saw the reflection question. I know why I wrote this exactly, but I found it funny that was the question I asked. What is the state of your heart? or, How’s your heart? is one of our favorite questions back when I was in YFC2. It’s a question that makes us stammer and falter to find the right answers that wouldn’t make us sound like a wuss, or at least someone very needy or desperate. In short, we all find ways to sum the answer up into two words: I’m okay.

Okay, maybe that’s just me. :P

So in the spirit of my reflection published in today’s Didache, here’s a brutally honest moment3. I will answer the question: What’s the state of my heart, right now?

Really and truly?

I’m trying. If there’s one word I can use to describe the state of my heart, it’s that word: TRYING.

It’s not that I’m not okay. I think I am okay now (in fact, at this very moment, I am kind of happy), but I know that that general feeling of happiness can change just as easily because of some things that could happen at work, at home, or what people say or do or do not do. Happiness is fleeting, really. If you want something that would last, strive for joy.

But talking about joy is in another post. My heart is always trying. Trying to be content. Trying to be joyful. Trying to be strong. Trying to want the right things. It’s different from struggling. Struggling is the more conflicted form of trying, when you know you want something but you also know that it may not be a wise idea. Struggling is something like this:

Struggling happens to me a lot, more often than I want to. Struggling is good for the heart, but I think it’s not healthy to be always struggling. You’d have to find some peace inside you at one point, when you make a choice, and then you go and try to be faithful to that decision.

But trying…trying is different. Trying is when you know that you will never be enough, but still you try anyway. It’s  wanting to be better, to do things right, to be loving even when it’s hard. Trying is when you attempt to reach something, and when you finally get it, you try to stay there or move forward.

My heart is in an almost constant state of trying. Trying to be content, to be joyful, to be generous, to be prayerful. Trying to be patient. Trying to be loving. Trying to be healthy. Trying to be after God’s own heart. Failing most of the time, but trying, anyway. I don’t think I will ever stop trying at least until I reach perfection, which I will only reach with Him.

This reminds me of my favorite quote from C.S. Lewis:

“We learn, on one hand, that we cannot trust ourselves even in our best moments, and, on the other, we need not despair even in our worst for our failures are forgiven. The only fatal thing is to sit down content with anything less than perfection.” (Mere Christianity)

You know what they say when you don’t succeed? Try, try again. That. My heart is doing that. :)

How about you? Have you stopped and asked yourself the same question? What is the state of your heart?

  1. A daily Catholic devotional from Kerygma Family — you can get it sent to your inbox everyday for free, just sign up at the website. Or better yet, buy a copy of Didache! []
  2. The Catholic community I grew up with []
  3. A term used to describe the way I blog before []