Bella Ciao: What I Gave Up for Lent

I don’t remember doing something meaningful for Lent last year. Heck, I don’t remember a lot of things in the past anymore 😝, but I wanna make sure I make this year’s Lenten season count.

If you check out my last blog entry, you’ll see how I have been religiously breaking bad habits and developing new ones, which I’d like to believe I’d benefit from in the long run.

Part of what I want to achieve this year is to develop a closer and deeper relationship with God. Obviously, I wouldn’t be able to do that with all the distractions around me. So, I did little reflection and came up with a plan, and that is to shun my addictions completely (well during the Lenten season, at least 😝).

Now what might you ask is that huuuuge distraction and addiction that keeps me so near yet sooo far away from God? It’s actually no secret entirely that I am guilty AF 🤦🏻‍♀️🙋🏻‍♀️🙋🏻‍♀️🙋🏻‍♀️addicted…………… and forever will be to this virtual blackhole that is SOCIAL MEDIA, specifically, Instagram.

I cannot tell you how much of my daily phone fiddling comprises of purely Instagram scrolling, saving, liking and commenting. I don’t need any analytics company to tell me that the only time I spend away from my phone is when I am asleep or taking a bath, that is if I am not listening to a podcast or to my “dance in the shower playlist” – lol, I used to have one!

It’s probably safe to say that I spend merely 16 hours on my phone and maybe half of that is spent just for Instagram entirely. So, it wouldn’t take a genius to come up with a diagnosis that I am in fact, truly and beyond, heartbreakingly ADDICTED!

Now, I don’t want to use Lent only as an excuse for me to give this up. When I thought about it, I clearly would be giving up something that has become such a huge part of me, I don’t know if I can ever live without letting people know what song I’m listening to or what article struck me the most. To be fair, I also shared a lot about faith on my stories, but still, that wouldn’t be fair to Him.

Suddenly, I came to the realization that I might even be spending waaaayyy more time on this, rather than on reading the Bible or simply just talking to Him.

You see, I am not doing this merely for myself. I want to do it truly for Him. I guess it kinda defeats the purpose of Lent, if you still put yourself in the center of it all. For sure, you can do the NO-IG-FOR-40-DAYS challenge any time of the year and that is entirely up to you and should be beneficial for you. On he other hand, Lent should be a time of self reflection, prayer and sacrifice, and should benefit God.

Funny how I am just coming up with some of these realizations right now, as I type this. 🤔 The Holy Spirit must be hovering over me at the moment. ✌🏻🙏🏻

So anyway, I am almost a week into my Instagram hiatus. I bid my friends adieu a week ago 😅 and deleted the app on my phone (okay, I might have just logged out of my accounts—and forgot my passwords entirely lol JK!), so I wouldn’t need to deactivate them and have people ask me all the time the reason for doing so. Apparently, people are sooooo quick to judge and think that the only time people go on a social media break is when they’re heartbroken. 🙄🙄🙄 Geezzzz getting so tired of narrow-minded people who …okay, would probably also work on giving up ranting for Lent! It’s on my “Habit to Break” list after all! 😝

So far, I only unconsciously pressed on the Instagram icon on my phone about 3-4 times the whole week. Muscle memory, I guess; but on the past few days, I felt no urge anymore to share stuff online, which is little progress, but progress nonetheless! 😊😜

Can I get a what what???!

photo from meme generator

For now, I’ll only entertain withdrawals of writing (both long and short form, hello Twitter!), occasional bouts of 2am hopeless thoughts 😝, and of course, prayer time!

Wishing you, me and all of us well especially in these dark and hard times!

P.S. downloaded Medibang and made these marbleeeeeeeed messages for my last IG post prior to the big hiatus!

Love and sacrifice: Not always a bad thing

Happy Easter everyone and in light of this special event in all our lives (other religions included), I think it would be fitting for me to express my own perspective on love and its partner-in-crime, sacrifice!

It’s true what I said about sacrifice not always being a bad thing. I don’t know if it is just a good vibe kicking in or a post-holy week bug, but it still probably differs on how one takes it in. Take for example Jesus‘ death on the cross. It was both a sacrifice in His and God’s part (although They’re one) and a bloody one at that. A not so positive person may take it as a sad thing, but a more optimistic one can look at it as a gift from above. Although they may have different views on it, one can’t deny that either way, the act itself can and would evoke a positive realization for both of them, and that is a sense of gratitude. 

This holy week, my boyfriend wasn’t spared of my ever changing mood swings. It was supposed to be a part of my sacrifice this Lent to save him of all the drama, unfortunately it didn’t happen……….until today! We fought again early this morning (at around 1 am) over the phone and it wasn’t until I decided to read “The Fault in Our Stars” did I realize how lucky we are to have each other. Right then and there, I sent him of the most malambing text message I could compose at that moment, suddenly realizing how sacrifice is always going to be part of that pretty thing we call L-O-V-E. 

Our love story isn’t much of a secret, not to my barkada and FB friends at the least. There’s no one to blame but us. I guess we owe it to the public……….(CHAROOOOOOOOOT! artista lang?) Kidding aside, it started as an open book for everyone to see (I guess I felt it was so much more special to share it with the people who were ever as supportive from the start), which is why most if not all were also witnesses to our fights (which we took to twitter all the time, for a long time). It was only recently when we started “growing up” that we decided not to be too public about our relationship. No one really cares anyway and it makes us look cheap and very, very immature. So going back to my point, our relationship, being too “social” and too out in the open, most if not all of our friends must know how we have way too many fights, more than any other couple in the world could have in a lifetime. 

This explains why I often break up with him. OFTEN doesn’t even give justice to the million times I did, but you get my point. Our most recent one was about a certain dream of his that I just couldn’t get myself to accept. It has been a problem of ours for a long time, but one day, I decided that I love him too much to give our relationship up just for that. So for the longest time, I put on my supportive girlfriend plaque and cheered him on countless times. Then came a time wherein he was given another opportunity to be one step closer to his dream (although it was more of a step closer to “something related” to his dream, not exactly his dream) and I acted up and made the decision for him and it wasn’t a good one. To cut the story short, he sacrificed that chance for me and he lied to my face to save ourselves another argument. When I learned that he passed the chance just because I said so (even when I half-heartedly urged him to get it already), I got mad and burst into another “topak“. 

I could be a real, big pain in the butt, I admit, and somehow a break up is all I could think of whenever I feel like I’m holding him back from being the person he dreams to be. Isn’t that a good point and something a good person could have done if he/she were in my position? That is a big enough sacrifice to make me a modern day saint! Not funny, I know, I’m sorry! Then again, I realized that this guy has been one of the most wonderful people in my life right now and I could not afford to lose someone like him. I have to keep him and I have to think of a way how to and at the same time, not let him lose himself. There’s only one way I could think of and that is to love him. How exactly do I do that? Well that’s where the big S comes in. 

Just thinking of it makes me sick to my stomach, but that’s how love works. It’s not always all fireworks and dreamy starry skies. It has to be able to sustain through the stormy weather and excruciatingly torturous fights. That’s when I saw Jesus’ image being nailed to the cross. He loves us that much that despite Him being omnipotent, chose to be HUMAN and powerless against us, sinners and gave His own life for us. I told B a lot of times that I could sacrifice my own life for him, but how can I not accept his dream, the only thing that makes him hopeful for a meaningful life? That’s a rather much smaller sacrifice than giving up my life for him, isn’t it?

So you see, this not so unusual tandem of love and sacrifice is a power couple all along! It is the Brangelina and Jay-Z-Beyonce of the virtues and it isn’t always a bad thing! 

Disclaimer: click on the photo for the source