Friday, July 12, 2013

All Boils Down to Love

It's been a roller coaster of life lessons these past two years. And the ride's not over yet. But so far, in my walk, it keeps on going back to Love. I'm not talking about romance. I'm not even really talking about friendship or family love, either. I'm talking about the baseline Love that operates beneath all our relationships.

When I broke up with my first boyfriend, it was devastating, not just because you were losing someone you loved. It was greatly also because that concept you had of love was being shattered. Love was a lie. And since love is the ultimate, then everything else I had ever believed in could be a lie, too. (I turned to God, then. Because above Love, there was only God. And I desperately needed something/someone to hold on to. God was my last resort. If He turned out to be a lie, too, then, well, I was already devastated. Let the rains fall. God. Not religion. And it was actually the best decision I have made in my life. Not the easiest, mind you. But that's a story for another time.) I was surprised to hear the same words I had said from other girl friends who had broken up with their first boyfriends: Love was a lie. But somehow, life put me in a situation where I had to choose. Forgive him and choose Love. Or hold the grudge and affirm the statement that Love is indeed a lie. So which would you choose? Grudges are heavy and tiring to keep so I chose the former. And so I just negated my earlier statement that Love is a lie.

So, life goes on. I finally was able to wish him well without bitterness gripping my heart. Then the next lesson comes. Someone close to me suddenly comes up and confesses to me that he likes me. And my world is turned upside down once more. Now, my friends think this is a good and exciting thing. But not for me. He is a friend of mine. And I've always held on to him as a constant in my life, one of the pegs that held my world in place. The sudden change in the relationship made me panic. And I couldn't help feeling like he had betrayed me by feeling what he did. If one just looks at it, one would think it wasn't a big deal. But for control freaks like me, we find our worlds spinning out of control!

I learned a lot from that particular subplot of my life. Surprisingly, the lessons are relatable to marriage. I learned why one should never rely on a person for stability. Not another person, and most definitely not the self. I learned how to stay and fight to keep a friendship, even when all I wanted to do was flee. I learned to make sacrifices, and sacrifice other relationships for what you want to keep. I experienced first hand counting what each of us had done and why we shouldn't count in the first place. I saw the danger in treating symptoms without treating the root cause. I saw more clearly that baseline "love," which was not romantic in any way. And all this with a guy who wasn't even my boyfriend. May God give him a nice sensible girl soon (and may the knight forgive me for saying so).

Aside from that, I'm also currently taking up my MBA, and the course I'm working on now is Social Transformation. When the universe teaches you something, it's usually trans-media. And so through my coursework, people, and circumstances around me which seemed supernaturally connected at that time, I learned that you need three relationships to be in good order to effect change: your relationship with your Maker, your relationship with people around you, and your relationship with your society. And what's the basis of those relationships? Love.

In relation to my MBA, I met with Gawad Kalinga's Tony Meloto, who told me that the men in this country needed to be empowered. I researched and asked around about men and how people thought they could be empowered. Since my company made apps, I thought maybe we could make an app to help. Or as an activator, maybe there's a project I could help with to help empower the men. But the answer, I found, was simpler and more difficult than I had thought. The answer was: Love them. When men feel loved, that motivates them. That makes them step up and go beyond. Simpler because you didn't need to spend on apps or projects to do that. More difficult because you actually have to do it yourself. It required you to engage with people and love them despite their shortcomings. And maybe love them some more BECAUSE of their shortcomings. And you can't outsource this. You can't delegate this. You have to believe this and model this and live this yourself.


  1. Hi Ria! Long time no see (every time I see you in events, however, I don't recognize you because you seem to change appearances/looks every so often and by then it was too late to say hi, hehe, and I'm not sure if you remember me either).

    Found your blog because I'm doing a talk about women in video games and I'm happy to have found that you're taking up your MBA. I'm also looking for a photo of you I could use for the presentation.

    Anyway, just thought I'd say hi and it was nice stumbling upon your blog. :)

    1. Hi Bea! Nice to hear from you! :) Of course I remember you, ikaw naman. :P Do say hi next time you see me. :)