A few weeks ago, I had the privilege to be a supermodel. Not because I have darn long legs or a helluva perfect face, but because I have the heart to change myself and the willingness to teach others what I’ve learned. A supermodel of the values I hold dear.
Pure Fashion MNL, an international faith-based program helping young women reaffirm their innate values, invited me to deliver a testimony on two of its core values: purity & authenticity. I’ve been been part of this program since 2013; and honestly, I discovered such virtues aren’t that hard to learn – because they’re practical, and they make a lot of sense to me. But it’s a whole other matter to truly live them out. It takes work, conviction and some help.
So there I was, supermodel with the microphone (& a croaky voice), not because I’ve surpassed others already, but because I’ve decided to start the journey.
Below is the core of the content delivered that day, please enjoy.
On the road to purity, I’ve seen both sides of the street; and I’m sure you can get why that would be. If you ask my friends and colleagues how much a kiss means, or what things are appropriate on a first date, you’ll get vastly different answers. Our idea of what’s O.K. changes, or we change it, as we enter new stages in life; but how often do we think about these definitions? How often do we consider whether we really want that for ourselves, or whether that’s what we deserve?
See, we like to believe we’re in control of our bodies and the way that we think. But our notions are so easily shaped, and our sensibilities so easily numbed to blend in with the company that we keep. So the company we keep makes a huge difference. The more friends I saw having boyfriends and then babies, or casual sex becoming not the exception but the rule, the less it came to shock me; and the more parties it took to get to know the boys they’d date, the less I too looked for meaningful courtship.
I’ve seen and known relationships where the love just… wasn’t there; they’d wait for it to develop, and when it wasn’t happening, they’d try to make it happen, one way or another. Sure, everyone wants a good love story. But as you know, you can’t force those things. When we put making do with what we have over waiting for what we really wanted, when we try to cover up with passion the fact that something real was still missing, everything can actually get weird.
And I realize that I might actually be short-changing myself. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not high maintenance, and I don’t have ridiculous standards. I’m probably big on adventure – “Between two roads, I always pick the one I never tried before.” So I love experimenting, and I hate feeling held back. Even so, one of the best things that happened to me was to enter a program about modesty and moderation – because, believe it or not, choosing to demand more respect and integrity in relationships can make us freer than ever before.
You know when you’ve done the same thing for so long that it just seems impossible to step away? To change would be so much of a hassle that you’d rather go with the flow? Been there. And quite honestly, I could have stayed there. But God had other plans. I am a staunch believer in the God who knows our joys – and wants us to be happy. He renewed my conviction that I would have true love, but for that conviction to make a difference, I needed to make some decisions.
I decided that yes, I deserve romance, but in the right way, at the right time – and no, I won’t flirt back if you like me only with strobe lights and alcohol. I decided that, “you’re hot when you dance” is not a compliment; that the right guy will find me charming, whether or not I try; and that if he really likes me, he’s not going to walk away at the first sign of not-just-yet. I discovered that I need intimacy a lot less than I need authenticity, and that if I’m going to find my other half, he first needs me to be whole.
I find that we can lose ourselves pretty easily in the moment, especially when it’s fun. I mean: friends pouring shots in quick succession is a normal thing in college and even high school. But I had never really thought of it as anything but harmless, until my dad remarked one night, “Who forces you to drink that much? Do they want you dead drunk? That’s disrespectful.” And harsh as it sounds, there’s definitely something to take away from that. Whether or not my friends have had bad intentions (and I don’t think they did), I’d much rather be taken care of and protected, than wasted and laughed at.
In A Walk to Remember, there’s a scene where Landon pulls out a blanket for he and Jamie to sit on under the stars. Jamie goes, “Are you trying to seduce me?” And Landon replies, “Why, are you seduce-able?” How people will view and treat us depends first on how we treat ourselves.
To say purity is abstinence would not do the virtue justice. Purity is realizing that your heart and your body are precious. Treasures, really, to be handled with care. If someone wants your body and does not offer you his soul… honestly, that’s using you, for pleasure without promise. And that’s not the love I think we’re all meant to have.
This is where reality hits hard. Knowing how boys often are, it can be difficult to strike a balance: of course we want to be playful and charming and fun enough for them to like us – that’s perfectly understandable; but we also have to be firm enough to stay true to ourselves. It takes a really well nurtured discipline, an art I don’t even know if I can master myself. But I think the attempt is worth continuing – because someday, someone is going to come along, who will make it easy for us to be ourselves… and as we’re hoping they’ll be worth the wait, we have to make ourselves worth the wait too.
Well right now I’m still well within this journey – living love, loving life, and happily continuing. Now guess who’s excited? ❤ Signing up for this program was indeed a blessing – the learning is great.. and the transformation? Rewarding. 🙂
About the Author @trinaonthego
A proud Filipina who breathes art & music. Fan of life and possibilities. Loves to explore the world & experience cultures. A lady big on discovery & adventure!