Last mother’s day, social media was again filled with greetings and photos of appreciation for moms. But another trending post I’ve observed are stories of moms who felt unappreciated on this day… who felt bad that they were not greeted, that there was no celebration, that there were no surprises, no plans, no facebook greeting from their husband, no hand-made card from their child, etc.

And the first thing that comes to mind is, “I don’t feel appreciated after all that I have done for the family!” 

If this is you, I feel you 101%. I was like that too for the longest time in my life. Even before I got married, I sought these things. I felt really bad and would even throw an “adult tantrum” (aka tampo) when my boyfriend (now husband) has nothing prepared for me. When he’d have to ask me about what I like when I feel like he should’ve known it because I’ve been hinting on it for a few weeks. When I check social media and do not see a nice photo and a touching message on my birthday. I remember complaining then when I’d plan for other people’s celebrations, AND also had to plan my own. Nakakapagod, di ba?

But last year was different. For the first time in decades, I woke up on the morning of my birthday with no plans for the day and zero expectations. I was just genuinely happy and grateful. Why? The months that led to that day was transformational for me. I became more grateful and expressed my gratitude more openly. I became more intentional with my words and actions. I communicated openly with my family. I shifted to a career that fulfilled me personally and professionally. I found joy in the simple things. And so on. And it was these little deposits that made my love tank full. It was full enough that when birthdays, valentines, christmas, mother’s day came, I wasn’t really expecting anything. I no longer sought to be “filled” during these occasions. If I got anything on this day, like a card from my son or a special facebook post from my husband (who posts like once in a blue moon), all these are just bonuses for me and they make my tank overflow.

This is beyond what we receive and experience during these occasions. If you feel the constant desire to be appreciated, to be noticed, to be loved, especially during these events, then maybe, just maybe, there is a void that needs to be filled. Maybe your tank is running low. And the secret I discovered is that you have the power fill up your own tank. It’s you who can fix whatever is leaking in your own love tank. Maybe you’re exhausted and drained because of all the responsibilities you carry on your shoulder. Maybe you give all and expect others to give their all too. Maybe you’ve neglected your health and your own happiness. Maybe you’ve stretched yourself too thinly with all your commitments. Maybe there are just certain things that you need to let go of. 

Everyday we are alive is a special day, a special occasion. Everyday, there are a million ways to fill up our tanks. You will never run out of it, I promise you. But you gotta fix whatever is leaking. you gotta open your eyes and stretch your arms wide open to welcome all the love and the beauty the world has to offer. And when you do, you’ll be surprised at how your tank overflows.