Walking In Faith Always Requires A New Level Of Trust

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(Catba Vietnam)

Whenever a new challenge comes my way and I have doubts and feelings of lack, I remember how God delivered me.

For one, as I was walking home, I thought about how whenever God called me to something, I never actually had the finances or resources for it. It required faith and trust and follow through. I had to obey and walk through the steps. I don’t know why God has given me this kind of faith or why He has required it from me, but maybe because I was born into situations that required me to have faith.

When I went to Thailand I had a one way ticket and $1000. The paycheck I was “relying” on never came through and as much as I chased down that client, I had to learn to let it go and forgive him. 

I would hear a country, a city, and go. One way tickets. There were times I pretty much ran out of money and then something would show up like the idea of selling an old tablet, which afforded me one week at a 10′ by 5′ prison celled size room.

Or how I would be dancing at a bar and a Vietnamese lady would offer to pick me up at the train station the next day and I would learn about their lives while I lived with her.

Or how I would forget but randomly mention my blog and be offered rooming for my marketing and writing skills.

But at the end of the day, God always called me to people.

He never showed me exactly what would happen, but He would tell my heart to trust Him. And I would be petrified, but I would walk forward, trusting that I wouldn’t be stranded on an island.
And that has almost happened too.

But then I’ll be eating my last $2 and then a group of travel agents would join me and ask me to drink with them. And then somehow I would become friends with people I would have never met if I wasn’t out there eating alone at Catba Island, Vietnam.

MY life is full of stories like this.

And so when I am feeling challenged, I would remember, God did this and that….and I would never fail to be in awe once again.

So whatever new challenge you are facing today, remember how God delivered you then and how our whole life is a series of trusting for the next level. 

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My couchsurfing host in Hanoi, now a sister.

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Saigon, Vietnam

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Biking in Melaka, Malaysia

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Dancing at the temple, Melaka, Malaysia

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Catba Islands, Vietnam

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The Benefits of Healing The Mother Daughter Relationship – It Will Change Your Life and Relationships

I woke up early this morning with revelation of my new and improved relationship with my mother. It has been a year or so since I moved back and lived with my mother. My relationship with my mother used to be toxic and full of tension, I felt unworthy of love and strove to win of approval most of my life.

But I know God is real when I tell you this- my relationship with her has dramatically improved. What changed? I allowed myself to be vulnerable. It started last year and it was a difficult journey of letting my guard down. I basically told her how I had been hurt and harmed by her words. I also humbled myself enough to say “sorry” when I lashed out. Moving back with her was also an action of humility, an act of “I do need your help and I do want to be in your life”.

Until then, I moved out after college and never wanted to live with her again. Our relationship was so toxic that every time we disagreed on something I just felt put down, unworthy and “not enough”. I felt like I needed to achieve the great career, the successful appearance in order for her to love me or approve of me. 

And thank God I didn’t. I basically failed epically in the world’s eyes.

It was God’s saving grace. When I felt God leading me to sell everything and follow Him, I wasn’t reliant on my own power, talents, will, ability anymore…I would go wherever He led even if that meant letting me ego go and allowing myself to seem “powerless, weak”. And yes, I went through the seasons of accusations…accusations and comparisons. And Yes, I battled the lies of “not being enough”…but now I feel stronger than ever in my identity.

I actually understand what a truly healthy mother and daughter relationship is supposed to feel like. You shouldn’t constantly feel like you have to prove yourself….a healthy relationship is one in which you actually enjoy each others’ company. You shouldn’t have constantly prove your worth through a big paycheck or a title.

And then this revelation hit me.

I was looking back on all my friendships and analyzing why I felt the way I did about each one. A lot of my friends are Asian females and they seem to also have tense relationships with their mothers where they feel like they are constantly trying to prove themselves to their mothers as well. 

What does that equate to?

They consequently (and I’ve walked the same path here) feel like they have to prove themselves to their female friends. 

It also makes sense why I had to cut out certain female friends from my life because in a weird and strange way, they were putting the responsibilities of their birth mothers over me as if I needed to approve of them, help them, love them the way their mothers never did. 

Because I grew up with a single mother, it was more than natural for me to take on these responsibilities that weren’t mine to bear….in fact I was used to bearing the emotional burdens in the home. So in fact, I never really had a childhood.

Until recently, until these 2 years where I learned to be a child, a daughter, worthy of love. And in these 2 years I’ve learned to receive.

I cannot remember one time where I actually received allowance of money from my mother. Since 3rd grade, and even younger, I was making my own money by selling toys. I just wanted to help out at home but didn’t realize this pattern would overtake my consciousness. I hated seeing my mom struggle but in this way, I took on the responsibility of a parent. I parented myself. I provided for myself. 

I took on responsibilities that were not mine.

Eventually I started attracting people that also had holes in their hearts. People who were codependent, people who had a mother or father wound, people who wanted to blame someone for their problems, people who weren’t heard by anyone and consequently couldn’t STOP talking and didn’t understand social cues.

I attracted people who needed a mother or father.

But now I know, it’s not my responsibility to mother or father anyone. That is God’s job. I can definitely guide and help them and show them the way to God of course….but it’s not my responsibility to be their mother or father.

With this new revelation, I am seeing my friendships and relationships in a new way. I finally understand why some relationships didn’t work out in the past, why I had to cut some people out.

I remember one relationship where this woman was trying to speak into my life as if she was my mother and I said “I already have a mother, I don’t need another one”. It was strange because I really spoke from the truth in my heart. Why was she trying to be my mother? She also grew up in a single mother home and bore peoples’ burdens….people who grow up in single parent homes often feel like they are not enough and need to take on peoples’ burdens as they took on their parents’ burdens.

As a result of that….people often enter codependent friendships, romantic relationships, mentor relationships and sometimes they become destructive, unhealthy, manipulative, controlling….people seeking validation from others that they never received from their parents. 

Unhealthy boundaries are crossed when people don’t know what boundaries look like with their own parents….we then allow the wrong people into our lives or we allow the wrong people to speak into our lives….we form marriages or relationships that are based on seeking approval and acceptance….we form friendships that reflect our inner dialogue of “I’m not enough because my parents never approved of me” and it makes us feel even worse.

But on this journey I have seen a huge change in my life.

I no longer allow the wrong people into my life. I know and can sense manipulation. I understand what love is supposed to look like, it’s not a trade, it’s not a business transaction. I shouldn’t have to prove myself, I know that if I love someone, I can enjoy their company without thinking “what can I get from them”.

I know when to say no because my yes isn’t going to make them love me more. And if they love you more because of your yes than maybe it’s not a real friendship.

Peoples’ love for you shouldn’t be based on your YES to their request. 

I hope you have benefited from reading this and if you have please share this life changing post to your social media, facebook, instagram, email. Share the love so that our world can be more conscious and less blaming.

The Value of Trying

Today I met with a publicist. She was incredibly nice and kind- unlike the many people I have met in LA. She offered me advice on putting together a media kit and showing companies my numbers on social media and blog.

To be honest, I was pretty overwhelmed. Because I’ve done all that before. I’ve put together media kits before. I’ve tried to show people my value….but at the end of the day, if people really truly know WHO I AM, I wouldn’t have to try so hard. Because I know what I have to offer- me. 

Not the numbers, not the views.

Me. The authentic, the imperfect, the enough me. 

Instead of being gripped by fear, I did approach some of the past opportunities that I felt like “it wasn’t the right time” to pursue last year….and even though I knew the “numbers” weren’t there. Yes, I don’t have 80,000 followers on instagram. I have over 1,200.

So I got no’s. 

But I felt relieved. 

I felt like “you know what. I actually don’t want to go down this path”.

Because I know what I have to offer is greater than numbers, followers, views.

It’s about authenticity.

I write and live out authenticity. 

I am not better or less than. 

I am who I am and I want to write about the imperfect, complicated and simple life that I have. I want to write about how I get rejected, how I get no’s, how even though my numbers and qualifications don’t add up, God’s grace is enough for me. 

And so if God’s grace doesn’t open that door for me, I know God’s grace isn’t on it. 

I want to write about the fear that is so real and makes my arms numb, about the belly fat that I sometimes loath, and how I try to do yoga at night but realize I just need to love myself for what I look like now, fully and completely. That NO I can’t get abs in one week.

Self- care.

Self- love.

Self- acceptance.

Take it or leave it. That’s me.

I’m not going to figure out how to get more followers so I can go on a press trip, because I’m more than that.

I write to change lives, to tell people, it’s okay to be authentic and imperfect…to speak your mind, to speak the truth, to be politically incorrect, to be insecure, to make mistakes. 

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I’m going to keep doing what I love and what I’m good at.

I don’t want to go down that rabbit hole of trying to be good at something I don’t like doing.

Trying and getting a “no” is better than not trying and living in fear.
Because when you get a “no” or a rejection letter, you feel relieved.

You know you can move on and no longer have to be thinking about it. You know something more SUITABLE is ahead for you.

It’s like closing a chapter and knowing that another is coming.

What doors are you leaving open that needs to be closed?

Sometimes those new doors won’t open until you say NO firmly to the last door.
If you claim it’s a new season, why are you still flirting with the past. If you claim you don’t want to, why do you keep doing it. Do your words mean anything if you don’t stick to your own intention?
Half ass intentions leads to half ass results.

Let your no be no. Let your yes be yes. And last of all, say absolutely YES to yourself.

This is me. All of me. I believe that if it’s meant to be, God will open the door. It doesn’t mean you just wait on your ass for manna to fall down from heaven…you still try, but you try knowing that rejection is just an open door to the next good thing.

Let the spirit lead. Everything has already been completed.

Overcoming The Fear of Failure

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I believe it was May 1 when God gave me the go ahead to start pursuing opportunities again. To be honest, I was hesitant. I had been in a year of waiting season, healing and restoring brokenness in my heart and allowing God to take away the lies and fears that had boggled up my being.
And the biggest breakthrough in April? My dad asked me for forgiveness for not being there for most of my life.
I needed to hear it. I needed to know that he cared.
And somehow his caring broke open a part of my heart that had been closed off for so long.
It wasn’t my fault after all that my dad neglected his responsibility to care for me.
It wasn’t my fault that my parents divorced, it wasn’t my fault that I lived my early life full of fear, desperation, depression, striving, toil. Even writing about this again causes tears to well up.
I didn’t realize this but I lived in a way where “God if I just do this right, if I just make the right decision then my life will be good. If you just tell me what to do, if you tell me what is good and bad, then I won’t screw up my life more than it is already.”
I was scared of making mistakes, I was scared that I had truly ruined my life somehow with the decisions I had made.
Perfectionism.
Pressure.
Condemnation.
Those were things I felt and lived under.
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Grace says “you are enough”, your decisions don’t affect my plan for your life. You are not under judgement anymore. You are in relationship. Trust your gut. Trust that I will never leave or forsake you.
As I venture into new territory, reclaiming the things that was barred from me, reopening lost opportunities, I am learning to trust that God is truly with me. I won’t be afraid of rejection anymore because I know that these rejections only say “something better is waiting for you”. Just this morning, my previous commercial acting agent told me they won’t be able to sign me again. I am relieved because I know God is working a whole new thing for me and I can trust a better thing is waiting for me.
“He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all–how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” Romans 8:32
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Photos by Patrick.
I took these photos a few years ago in Hollywood Hills and I knew God had put a calling on my heart to thrive in the entertainment industry. Somehow I went to auditions after auditions for 2 years and the opportunities I did get were reality and travel shows. I felt like every door was shut to me and as hard as I tried, doors were locked. 
Then I was called into a season of rest. May 1, 2017- we are finally out of the waiting room and into the big arena. Yesterday I finally got to see my neighbor’s music studio. His name is Joseph. I am reminded that Joseph had to go through the prison to go to the palace. But he never lost his dreams. 
May we carry on knowing that every dream in our heart is a dream from the maker and that we were conceived to actualize and manifest those dreams into reality. 

Helplessness Is The Best Place To BE

Helplessness is the best place to be, like an infant, a baby. 

Helpless.

Not because it makes others happy, not because it is a popular place to be…but because in that place, we no longer rely on our own strength but voluntarily ask for help, some pray…that is the only place where true miracles can occur.

When I was in my very worldly mindset, I just wanted to succeed in the world’s eyes, in the world’s way. I was already spirit filled but my mind needed to be transformed. TV shows, media, music and the world teaches us that success is material gain, fame, and status.

Another lie that we are taught is that the only way to help others is by being rich financially. 

The truth is not everyone who is financially rich give or help others.

One afternoon Peter and John were going up to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour. And a man who was lame from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those entering the temple courts. When he saw Peter and John about to enter the temple, he asked them for money.

Peter looked directly at him, as did John. ‘Look at us!’ said Peter. So the man gave them his attention, expecting to receive something from them. But Peter said, ‘Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, get up and walk!’

Taking him by the right hand, Peter helped him up, and at once the man’s feet and ankles were strengthened. He sprang to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and leaping and praising God.

When all the people saw him walking and praising God, they recognized him as the man who used to sit begging at the Beautiful Gate of the temple, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.” Acts 3:1-9

Whether you believe in the bible or not, if you believe that there is a spiritual power, a miracle working power…you can understand this.

The man was expecting money, because he thought it was money that he needed when it was miracle working power he needed. Peter’s job was to help him understand this. He helped him up and in faith, the man was able to walk.

He was born lame, meaning he was born disabled, unable to walk. Ever since birth, he was told that he was incapable, broken, “not enough”. Maybe he was told that he’ll never amount to anything, he had no place in the world but to beg. Perhaps his parents gave up on him. 

I wonder if you have something in your life that you think….“I’ll never be enough because I was born into a poor family background. I’ll never be enough because I’m 30 and haven’t found a spouse. I’ll never be enough because I’m 80 and I haven’t done anything with my life. I’ll never be enough because I feel fat and I’ll never be thin like that celebrity on instagram. I’ll never be enough because I’ve failed in my business and can’t get out of debt the more I try. I’ll never be enough because I always find guys that ghost and disappear on me. I’ll never be enough because I don’t have any good friends and I feel utterly alone. I’ll never be enough because I’m just not good enough”.

I have good news.

First off, you are not alone. Every insecurity you can think of, I’ve thought of too. When I couldn’t pay rent, I’ve thought “how come everyone seems to have a perfect life, I’m here struggling. I know I have talents but how come those doors won’t open as hard as I try?”. But what God really wanted me to learn was utter TRUST in Him and through my journey of hardships I’ve learned my true identity as beloved, never basing my identity on achievement and accomplishments, but on my relationship with the one who never fails or leaves me.

Second, the only way up is through surrender. When you try to control something, it is unresolved. When you let go, it resolves. I believe that is one of the laws of the universe. Love allows, fear restricts. 

Will you believe? 

Will you let your defenses down, cry maybe, acknowledge your feelings of lack and surrender to the force that is for you and not against you? I give you permission to let it fall apart because sometimes the only way up is to let your failed attempts truly fall apart.

What did the lame man do? He paid attention to the man who could help him and he allowed Peter to help him up. He didn’t refuse help. Sometimes we are so caught up with our false independence that we won’t let others help us.

This life is meant to be lived with others. As I speak my story to people around me I am realizing that God never intended for me to become rich and famous, and then help others….He wanted me to show others that because I was helpless, God helped me and I found God’s strength in my weaknesses. 

On His path to glory, Jesus went to the cross.

Which cross are you bearing right now, know that the cross (pain) you bear now is your stepping stone to true integrity, character, identity and love in your heart. The world is quickly becoming an eye for an eye society. 

God is looking for people who will bear the cross, go the narrow path, be humbled, cling onto patience, love, and forgiveness.

Do you also notice that everyday people carried him to go begging at the gate? People allowed him to live out his insecurities instead of speaking truth into him. Be careful who you surround yourself with. Be careful who you attain advice from. Be careful who you come into agreement with and be careful what becomes routine for you. 

Sometimes we need to take risks and do something different. Sometimes people come to break our routines, surprise us with the impossible. Don’t be afraid, God knows what He is doing. You are safe.

Honoring Your Heart As An Empath

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(Picture of me. Can you tell I was a deep child full of angsty thoughts?)

It’s one of those nights I can hardly sleep again. Many thoughts and things, my mind is a dizzy array of processing labyrinth. I can’t let go, I try, I pray, I do affirmations but I realize I probably just need to write it out and perhaps that is the gift of being a writer, thinking too deeply, feeling too deeply. And as a writer, as an artist I’m gifted to be one of those empaths I read about. 

Highly sensitive. 

Which confirms my life and previous accusations of “why are you so tired all the time?”, “why can’t you handle this?”, “why are you so weak and sensitive?”, “why can’t you just move on?”, “you are too sensitive”, “why do you need so much alone time” or the anger I get from people when I tell them I need alone time.

I can’t process, I literally break down, I need alone time. 

Try being an empath and growing up with people complaining to you, dumping their problems on you (especially your caretaker/parent). I find my physical being absorbing the heaviness of peoples’ problems, my own included. I am sore, weak, days where I feel like I can’t move but I still do, I walk, I dance, I need to express those emotions. 

Other times I pray out loud, I have to verbalize those emotions. 

But then I also know that after my alone time, I need people, I need to socialize, I need to express what I have been processing. I believe there are many people in this world that suffer in the silence as an empath, me included. We often try to overlook our need for space and time to process, thinking…”why can’t we just be like them? You know, the normal people who seem happy all the time”. 

While people seem to move on happily from disappointments or traumatic events, I find myself spiraling in thoughts of “why me” or “when will this healing end?”. I had to learn to set boundaries from energy vampires. When I was coaching people one on one I realize that it really wasn’t my thing since I am unable to listen to peoples’ problems without carrying their energy. I much prefer group settings where I speak my story and encouragement without having to counsel people one on one.

I also had to learn how to set boundaries with people in my life. And even block people out. Though after I felt a bit of guilt, I realize that I had to put my heart first. It is an ongoing learning process for me. I am imperfect. But I am learning to have grace for myself.

I am glad that I have been rescued from the lie that “I should be__________”.

You don’t have to be anything. You don’t have to pretend to be like everyone else.

You don’t have to get over it- you take your time, you process your thoughts, you need alone time, you take it, you need to be with people, you do that.

Part of honoring your heart is learning to cherish what you need and to care for your soul in ways that others may not understand, and that’s okay. You might even anger or disappoint people. People may lash out at you or take it personally…just explain yourself. Communicate your needs…or not. Some people will not understand because they are only focused on their own needs, and sometimes that means letting them go. And that’s okay too.

XOXO https://www.instagram.com/rebekkalien/

You Deserve Happiness

you-deserve-happinessWe are all a little fucked up.

We have issues.

Even the most put together people have issues, they just don’t parade them around Instagram.

Recently I received this revelation that I was basically believing that I didn’t deserve happiness because of my past, because of bad decisions in the past, in my relationship.

So no I don’t believe in karma, I believe in forgiveness. If I believed in karma, then I really don’t deserve happiness and actually all of us are doomed. I believe in grace and forgiveness.

But see I didn’t dig that deep before, it was too painful.

I realized that my unforgiveness of self had caused me to close myself up to all potential suitors. It’s not because there aren’t suitable mates (and obviously there are plenty of unsuitable ones online), it’s because I didn’t think I deserved to be happy.

Do you need to forgive yourself for somethings in your life? 

Sometimes we do things out of our brokenness but we don’t realize we are basing our truth on a lie.

“Why won’t this part of my life WORK ALREADY!” you try to work everything out externally but it just won’t give….maybe it’s finance, maybe it’s your relationship with your parents, maybe it’s your relationship, maybe it’s your health, maybe it’s your career, you’ve exhausted all your options, you’ve tried everything….

I dare you to look within. 

Look back to your earliest or most recent memory of when you heard a lie, even if it was self-made “I’m not enough, I’m not good enough, I don’t deserve this”…..

Did someone tell you you’re not enough by disappearing, by neglecting you?

The answer isn’t outside of you, it’s inside.

It’s within your soul.

You deserve happiness. 

PS- we make decisions based on the condition of our hearts so often our decisions are fear driven because we are looking for stability. That is why it is so important to forgive ourselves and love ourselves because our actions are simply a reflection of the condition of our hearts at that moment.