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?

Kinda Like a Double-edged Sword

We all have at least one quality that is both our strength and weakness. The very same thing that sets us apart and above others can very well be the same that can hold us back or bring us down. I guess it just depends on how we use it.

Take me, for instance. On one hand, I’m called a “people person.,” able to get along and empathize with almost any kind of people. Hindi ako choosy sa kaibigan. I may not be the type to suffer polite, small talk, but that’s because I like to dive right into a juicy, get-to-know-you kind of chikahan. Call it FC (“feeling close”), but hey, it works for me. On the other hand, I’m also inclined to become fiercely attached, often wearing my heart on my sleeve. I love a good laugh about things I’m passionate about, and a good cry over people I value.

Someone recently told me, “Masyado ka nang nagiging emotionally dependent.” I’m pretty sure he didn’t mean it as a compliment, because the way he said it made me feel like I had to apologize. How do you say sorry for feeling?

Strength. Weakness. Again, it depends on how I use it. Or how others use it against me. My mentor once imparted to me, “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” And as if to prove his point, he went right ahead and traipsed off outside our comfortable seven-year bubble and into the busy jungle of Makati.

Our comfort zones can be an actual place we can’t leave, a situation we’re getting stagnant at, a routine we’re so used to we can’t let it go, or the very people who have surrounded us for so long we have taken them for granted. Oftentimes, comfort and familiarity can breed laziness, and change may just be what can zap us back into action.

I just have to always keep in mind to trust in the Lord Jesus; He who is far greater, perfect, faithful and glorious than all my emotions and plans, capabilities and struggles put together.

P.S. I was about to post this when all my anaks‘ text messages came in, one sweet, encouraging text after another. I love you all back. 🙂

P.P.S. We’ll resume our regular programming by next week. In the meantime….. vacation-mode munaaaaaaa! 🙂