Books I Read: Emo-Emo-Miney-Moe

Now this book was my former team’s birthday gift to me earlier this month. I have been with them for almost a year, some for more than three years dating back from our old process, so I can say they are also some of my closest friends. And oh, how they know me so well. 

I was quite surprised to receive a book. Our team gifts normally consist of sweets, funny exercise equipments, kinky underwear and the likes. I mean how far can you go with 240 pesos? But I like this team tradition of contributing 20 pesos each every time somebody celebrates their birthday. But it was a pleasant kind of surprise, and I felt blessed to find out it was Leni who chose the book. Remind me to lend it to you as soon as I finish the last few pages. You could definitely benefit from this! J
“Making Your Emotions Work For You: Coping with Stress, Avoiding Burnout, Overcoming Fear… and More” by Harold J. Sala
These days being emotional has a negative connotation. “Emo ka na naman!” means you’re so caught up in your own drama, you’re starting to look pathetic. Not just one person has told me that my being emotional is both my strength and weakness. The ease with which I get along with other people by connecting to them right away, can also be difficult when the time comes that I have to let go. Sometimes I don’t just get attached, I latch!
Anyway, I won’t elaborate more, lest someone heckles me again, “Emo! Taong-grasa moves!” (Inside joke within my team hehe!) I choose to take both praise and criticism in this particular trait of mine with a grain of salt. If I can’t change my overly emotional nature, I can certainly learn to make my emotions work to my advantage. I can make friends with my emotions.
Enter this book. I think that mouthful of a title makes no mistake of what the author wants to get out there. The back blurb describes the author, Harold J. Sala as a PhD holder in English Bible, a well-known speaker and Bible teacher. No surprise then that the book is filled with references from God’s Word and practical approach to daily living and decision-making.
One of the book’s key principles is that our emotions are affected by our own assessment of our self-worth. Do we think we’re worth the bother? Are we insecure? How do think others see us? But it should boil down to how God sees us. If we see the way God created us and intended us to be, we will definitely have a healthier and stronger self-image. In Genesis 1:27, it said “God created human beings in his own image.” This should be our guiding mind-set whenever we think of self-image and self-worth.
The rest of the book talks about how we can control these emotions and not let it control us. We are human and we cannot NOT have emotions. God designed us this way, to have the capabilities to have strong feelings.  He discusses a Scripture-based approach on how we can deal with life’s problems, heartaches, disappointments, stress and worry with the help of our emotions, not by getting ruled or overwhelmed by it.
Now that is such good news for an emotera like me, right?

Books I Read: Let’s Talk Love…

I started reading two books simultaneously this month. I finished one and am half-way through the other. Thank God for some idle time at work I can catch up on my reading, plus I don’t fall asleep on my desk, since my station is set apart from my team’s inner pod. I highly recommend reading – and re-reading and Stabilo Boss-ing portions and taking copious notes from – these two books. Here’s the first one…
“The Five Love Languages: Singles Edition” by Gary Chapman
I got mine at Fully Booked in MOA for about PHP 280, but it’s also available in Powerbooks and National Bookstore. From the book’s back blurb, Gary Chapman is a New York Times bestselling author, radio host and prolific conference speaker on marriage and relationships. His original book catered mainly for married couples, but after it became a hit, he was inspired to write one targeting singles. I actually saw versions for teenagers and children as well.
His basic premise is that every human has an innate emotional need to love and be loved. And I totally agree on that! Furthermore, if we know how to love others effectively (and others can do the same for us) it would drastically change how we relate to each other – for the better.  
Enter the five love languages, namely: Words of Affirmation, Gifts, Acts of Service, Quality Tie and Physical Touch. Chapman discusses how each of us – while we may all “speak” or demonstrate all five in or relationships – have a primary (sometimes even secondary) love language. This is the language that we often manifest to people we love or care about, and usually is also the kind of love language we respond to most successfully when spoken to us. By discovering our own love language and of our loved ones, we can show them love in the language they speak and would respond to more effectively.
For example, if my primary language is Physical Touch, I like to hug, kiss or be close to people who are special to me. Likewise, if a loved one touches me, I feel more loved and taken cared of.  A person’s love language can also be discerned not only on what he positively shows, but through his complaints as well. If you shower your girlfriend with gifts but are rarely around her and she complains about not seeing you enough, chances are her love language is Quality Time. Constantly berating a child whose love language is Words of Affirmation will likely have a more hurtful impact.
I cannot do justice to the book by just a few statements. It’s definitely worth reading. The book also contains dozens of stories about the many singles and couples Chapman has counseled through the years using the five love languages. But what I love most about it is ultimately, it discusses love in the way God intended it to be. It doesn’t only tackle romantic, “kilig” love but also genuine love between parent and child, friends, families and even coworkers. In the same way that you would want to learn the language or dialect of a foreign country where you’re at, in order to be able to understand its people and live harmoniously with them, then it makes sense to learn the love language of people you care about. 
There are references to Scripture verses that are apt in our daily living and relationships. At the end, there is also a profile quiz to see what your love language/s is/are. Some people can actually be “bilingual” and have two primary love languages. I suggest taking the quiz first before reading it so there will be no bias or “manipulation” of answers. I actually had an idea what mine was (primary and secondary) but it was still fun to actually confirm it haha! I had some of my office mates take the quiz too. 
I found an online version of the quiz in the book, so if you’re up to it, click here. You can take one for yourself, or for your child, whether you are single or married. It’s fun! 🙂