I had a dream where I was going to Japan and then I couldn’t find my passport or was paranoid that I didn’t bring it because I had to leave my house really quickly. The trip was a planned tour so we were rushed and didn’t even have time for the bathroom. I started yelling, I need to use the bathroom! Cut scene. Next scene, there is a creepy man who is hitting on me and I’m very uncomfortable.
The language of no. Why does that relate to anything. Well, I realize whenever I dream of Japan, it usually relates to “politeness” or the culture of politeness. Japan is probably the most polite culture on earth, I remember feeling a bit suffocated. I loved the people, I love the cute things, but I was NOT big on “don’t talk on the subway”. NOT big on polite culture. I’m not big on it because I used to live “polite culture”.
I lived “fake smile” culture…again especially at church. For some reason, no one seemed to notice that I was actually very depressed. No one knew the turmoil I was actually facing at home.
And then when I actually decided to say no to the elders of the church I was excommunicated with “you should be a better leader”.
Sometimes we need drastic overstepping of boundaries to learn that we need to set boundaries.
Sometimes that means a really creepy guy breathing in your face and saying your pretty and you slapping the shit out of him, sometimes it’s your mother guilt tripping you to the point you explode, sometimes it’s your boss abusing his power so that you lose it and quit your job.
Here’s a real story:
I was on an airplane flying home from Europe or Asia, there was a man on my left and within the first hour I knew there was a problem. ARM REST PROBLEM.
He kept shifting his arm and ebbing mine out. So I had to push his. This probably went on for….well 11 hours. I’m not kidding. Okay yah I slept and all but this went on for a long time. During the 11 hours, he (and I) were so PASSIVE AGGRESSIVE that he decided to drink his way home. He probably ordered over a hundred dollar or more of alcoholic drinks and shots.
He got sloppy drunk, it was gross. His face was red and as he was talking to his friend on his left, he started spitting everywhere, just saliva all over the seat, in the air, in my face, everywhere.
In my NOT knowing how to just ask for what I needed, I withstood this. I thought “okay I am learning perseverance, I am learning longsuffering”.
It finally got SO explosively bad that he yelled “WHICH SIDE OF THE ARM REST DO YOU WANT?” and I started saying shit I don’t even remember.
The flight attendant came quickly and asked what was going on. I explained and she said “do you want to move?” YES I EXCLAIMED. The guy was still asking “just tell me which side you want and we can work this out”. No.
No. No. No. No. I was like a dynamite ready to explode. I finally moved.
And guess what? I had an empty seat next to me and a like-minded friend who I talked to for the rest of the 2 hours. I COULD HAVE HAD THAT COMFORT AND FRIENDSHIP FOR THE LAST 11 HOURS IF I HAD SPOKEN UP instead of thinking “I’m learning patience”.
Maybe God isn’t teaching you patience, but The LANGUAGE OF NO.
Because if we learn to confront what we don’t want, we can actually get to the other side of yes…of what we do want. Why do we negotiate with the things we don’t want in our lives? Why do we partner with it, why do we accommodate them?
If your boyfriend is really so bad, why don’t you break up with him? If you job sucks that much, why don’t you quit? If your mother keeps stepping over your boundaries, why don’t you say something?
Don’t get me wrong. You might not have a lot of friends for awhile, you might need to break up with a few associates, you might be lonely for awhile, you may have moments where you doubt why you said no to that opportunity and why everyone seems to be thriving and you are still waiting for the right type of opportunity.
This is just part of knowing and growing in your worth. Same goes with dating. You don’t just date anyone you see on the street right? Why go to bed with every opportunity that has a $ sign on it? Know your worth and you will attract the right level of genius, love, hope, people peace and opportunity into your life.
But first, you must learn to say NO to the wrong things that does not resonate with you.
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(photo from the internet)
I had a dream last night. I was in a competition but the leader expected perfection, I was having an argument with my mom and yelled “SHIT”…the leader immediately canceled me (or outed my from the competition. I was eliminated completely. The leader in the dream used to be a leader in a christian group I was in.
I was so angry when I got outed. I couldn’t believe that just by being authentic I was outed. Then in my car outside, I saw a few other members of the competition come to my car. They sat in my car and I asked “you got outed too?” Yah they replied. I started driving but reached a beautiful land where I actually had to carry my car because no cars were allowed and we had entered from a side that didn’t have a parking lot (the wilderness).
I believe this is a prophetic dream about where I have been, the wilderness and in the beginning being outed for revealing my “badness” or imperfections especially in the church, or in my previous hidden persona of “always being the positive one”.
Imperfection wasn’t really accepted in my household, I was the strong one, you know the rock that people leaned on…even in my group of friends…and perhaps the institutional church encouraged perfectionism even more. So when I started to say no and started to show weakness, I was outed. The thing is I have always been different, I always had differing opinions, but for some time I pretended to agree, I tried to love the unlovable, I pretended to be patient when I was a boiling pot inside.
I woke up from the dream with a knot in my heart and a strained neck. Yes, perhaps I had been hard on myself as well…being polite, not knowing how to say no, forcing myself still to go to things I didn’t want to when in reality I needed to accept and embrace the badness….
The badness we all have:
Being judgmental, mean, harsh, bitter, angry, sad, depressed, ego-centered, selfish, sly, manipulating, lazy, lustful, indulgent, unforgiving, loveless, discouraged, unhealthy, etc.
The badness represents a part of ourselves that wants to be loved but we often hide those parts of ourselves because we have not met people who have had enough grace to love us in spite of our “badness”. I have found that God completely loves and accepts us in our most baddest self…in fact we have to acknowledge and love ourselves in our baddest self in order for grace to heal us.
Because if we continue to hide our “weaknesses”, we will actually starve from love-malnutrition.
I remember one time I was feeling really shitty and my ex said “I thought you were the positive one?…You are supposed to be the positive one and I’m supposed to be the negative one that you encourage”. It hit me. I hated that.
I don’t want to be the positive one.
I’m tired of it. I want to be able to be the weak one. I want to cry, I want to be weak. I want to be sad. I want to be angry. I want to hate someone. I want to feel those authentic emotions because it is relieving and it is real.
When your real emotions are pent up, you feel tension in your body. I have been experiencing late periods and now dealing with healing my low thyroid (hypothyroid). I quit caffeine 4 days ago and have also realized that I used to block out negative emotions, tiredness or spiritual weariness by drinking coffee.
I have been learning to love myself through it all. Because grace is sufficient in our weakness. Living the authentic life means being honest with yourself. Find people that can love you despite your differences.
In our culture, we are applauded for being good at something, but when was the last time you embraced your badness?
(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.
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.
We 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.
Less than 3 years ago I was sitting in a hostel in Barcelona in a bunkbed.
I had a dream that I was to quit real estate, like not actively participate in it anymore. I had just carried a duffel across western Europe and little did I know how much that experience would change my life. It was also on that bed that I first saw Toure Roberts speak via youtube. Up until then my relationship with God was outside of institutions because well I had let go of a really closed minded institution. I grew up going to church and I didn’t realize how legalistic most churches were until I finally left 6 plus years ago.
And I saw God like I never saw Him before. Gracious, fatherly, loving, generous, slow to anger, quick to love, quick to extend a hand.
Then like a snake, I shed everything. I shed my career, I shed my relationship, I shed some friendships, I shed my apartment, I shed my prized super comfy sofa that I really loved, I shed almost everything, the forks and plates.
I had built my life on a lie, that I wasn’t enough.
And God would speak into those insecurities and continue to speak “you are enough right here and right now” in the next days, next year, and so forth.
I learned to love myself in the darkest places of my heart. I learned to be okay with emotions, you know the ugly ones…emotions like “Hey you hurt me” or “hey that hurt, I mind that you said that”. I learned to VALUE my voice.
Because even now when I tell people what I’m going through they quickly remark “you are victorious” instead of being there with me in the pain. I have learned that not many people are comfortable with facing their place of pain. Reading “No More Faking Fine” has taught me to lament, to struggle with God in the pain, to be okay not being okay.
And obviously we all hate it when people complain too much or dwell on their pain 24 hours, we hate it…yah, that’s another issue, but some of us, like me, never learned to lament.
In the months and year of feeling like “nothing was happening” God was actually healing me and replacing the lie of “I’m not enough” to “I belong, I am enough. I am loved and accepted right here and right now”.
And in doing so, I no longer needed the attention of people…of men, or the desire to need to be wanted or chased by potential partners. I no longer needed acceptance from people. And yah, I still have insecurities here and there but I feel different, I feel at peace with who I am now.
No longer chasing things, opportunities, friends, potential friends, potential mates…I sunk deeper into God’s unconditional love for me.
I would no longer be defined by my accomplishments and accolades but by the tiny and still voice of “enough” and “love”.
I found God’s love to be deeply captivating, deeply protective, silently powerful.
The breakthrough is here. The breakthrough is you. The breakthrough is YOU knowing who you really truly are.
Today was a magical day.