A Love With Boundaries

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Love has boundaries.

Yes, sometimes you compromise, sometimes you go all the way, but your heart has certain boundaries, it has certain capacities.

I’ve been learning what it means to choose my battles, to listen closely to the spirit. Jesus did not heal everyone, He walked by crowds and only a few were highlighted in the stories. He was intentional.

I had to choose my battle today. There were several needs that needed my attention but I chose the way of peace, the thing that felt right.

I got to pray for a girl on my uber pool today who was struggling with anxiety. I did not expect to meet someone on uber today, but I did. I clicked right away with the driver and we talked about healing. Then after one passenger was dropped off, another came on and she immediately told me about her ongoing struggle with anxiety. I asked if I could pray for her and told her about her identity.

Though there were other people that asked for help today – I had to choose. I could have done everything and exhausted myself, but I chose the way of peace. I chose to do what I wanted to do, what I felt like doing. And this led me to meeting the two girls on my uber ride. 

I chose the way of peace because I knew that the other person that needed my attention didn’t need me, he needed to make amends of his own and restore the relationships that he lost. I could not step in and become that relationship. If I did, even out of compassion or kindness, I would have hurt him in the long run.

He needed to go through the pain to see that his need was great for relationships around him.

I am just a messenger who sometimes goes into peoples’ lives and spots the blind spots for them. But I can’t fill the gaps that people in their lives are suppose to fill. 

For example, I can’t become someones’ sister, mother, wife, girlfriend, friend if what they lack is just that…I can only point them to God or encourage them to restore the broken relationships in their lives. 

I am not meant to be everyone’s confidant or savior.

A love with boundaries. 

What does boundaries look like in your own life? 

There are demons you must dare to face within your soul. No one can face them for you. God can give you the strength and fight the battles for you, but you WILL NEED to feel the pain….the pain is real.

I know the pain is real and I feel them when I’m healing.

I walked through seasons of solitude where I grappled in darkness, asking God why. I had 1 or 2 best friends that talked to me during this time. But I pretty much spent everyday alone. There were demons that needed to be confronted and the only way I could hear God was if I was alone, not distracting myself with being with others, not distracting myself with activity or busy-ness. I needed space and time to hear. 

If someone had took on the responsibility of being there for me when they shouldn’t have, I wouldn’t have focused on the healing within me. 

I needed to be alone and I needed to take responsibility for the pain within me.

There could be no one to blame.

That is why after walking through the season—-I’ve learned not to take on wrongful responsibility for peoples’ healing. 

Let go, God will take care of them. Give them space to heal.

I know it hurts to see people hurting…but you can’t take the pain away from them, they must walk through the process. There is a process for healing. 

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Having Faith Is Not For the Weak

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It’s finished.
Everything you want, that you can dream of, it is completed.
It’s finished Jesus said as He gave up His spirit on the cross.
The gospel explained. Religion tries to add works to it. Religion is us trying to work towards God, grace is God reaching us.

It is finished. Your perfect health, your provision, your dream life partner, your house, your healing of your broken heart, the restoration of your family, your retirement, your whatever you are worried about.

If you choose to believe that Jesus did it for you, then you will receive it. But you can’t plan it. You can’t humanly know how it will happen but the process is learning to trust that God is actually good.

I used to be a workaholic, I used to think I needed to prove myself. I didn’t feel complete, didn’t feel loved. I felt like if I worked hard and became successful in the world’s eyes then I would be worthy of love, then people will love me, esp my family.

In Asian culture, it is very esteemed to be a doctor or lawyer. Parents often compare their children. Even though my family was quite different, my mom as a piano teacher and my dad as a professor, my mom probably felt the pressure too to prove that her child was esteemed. Well, here I was, a fashion design major who worked all throughout college and then 9 months after graduation…but then I hated sitting at a desk…I quit my job and went backpacking for 2 months in Australia.

 

It didn’t end there. I decided I would never go back to the life of a desk slave, so I started to build my empire selling jewelry, life coaching, doing all sorts of things. That happened in 2011.

Then God led me to an unknown path and I chose to believe despite the fact that it looked crazy. I gave up everything, my ego, my money, my house, my good credit, my car, my stuff, my own plans, how I wanted others to see me. I chose the kingdom.

Ever since I was young, I had clear goals and dreams. I was aggressive in my approach and worked hard to get whatever I wanted.

Even though I am a creative, I had very clear plans for God to fulfill. But He had other plans for me. He wanted to restore and heal my heart and my identity. He wanted to show me that I was loved for who I am and not what I can achieve. He wanted to put me back into my family and show me that my family love me for who I am. 

Sometimes I listened and obeyed even when it meant getting on my knees and crying, asking God if He would really provide for me when I was alone on an island, with no friends or family.

And then He would send a total stranger to help me when I regained trust in Him. But usually it meant becoming totally helpless.

God was teaching me total reliance.

Having faith is not for the weak, it means believing for the Red Sea to part when everyone is buying wood and making a boat.

You may doubt yourself in the process, but when you see God continue to part rivers, seas, oceans for you He becomes your best friend, your father, mother, mentor, guide.

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.

You Have A Clean Slate for 2017

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In 2016 I was healed of FOMO (fear of missing out). 

I had probably read too many travel blogs and was hoping my 2016 would be non-stop traveling and well, it wasn’t. In fact, I rested, wrote and painted a lot. I actually stayed in LA for a consecutive 3 months. Yes I did fly to Paris to film a travel show, Morocco to backpack, and then to the Philippines for another show…but when I came back from Cebu in June, the most out of state traveling I did was a cruise to Mexico.

Also the last few years, I happened to be traveling during the holidays. On my birthday 2 years ago, I traveled to Catalina Island and spent a few days alone.

Instead of the “hoo-haa I want to party and dance”, I did not feel that way this year. I was okay staying in and watching Netflix. I was comfortable with the peace of just being with God. Peace was something I attained more of in 2016 and I realized it was better than the crazy drunkenness that comes with partying.

Peace was better than dating guys that messed up my peacequilibrium.

Peace was better than forcing myself to attend family events where I would be attacked verbally.

Peace was better than spending time with people who were constantly striving because they don’t know their worth.

Peace was better than the struggle of speeding into other peoples’ lanes because of jealousy. You see, there are dreams that people have that are not YOURS. Know your vision, know your dreams, know what you want and don’t go hopping into other peoples’ lanes because you have a minute of jealousy.

Shut off your phone, laptop. Unplug for a minute. Sync with God. You are enough, here and now….not when you achieve something else, when you attain something more, or when you meet the right person…you are enough now.

Stay in your lane, focus on your life. Don’t go “but they’re doing this or that….”.

I learned that if it is God, it feels peaceful. I learned that if it was the right way to go, it is peace. Yes, new paths might be scary, but deep down there exists a tremble of excitement. A scary excitement. 2017 will bring new levels of promotion, love and joy.

I see your past wiped out, you have a clean slate for a new life. Forgive yourself. Let the past go. Let’s move forward together. Are you in? 

Don’t Let ”What Is” Prevent You From Going After ”What Will be”

dont-let-what-you-fear-losing-prevent-you-from-going-after-what-you-wantI woke up with this phrase in my spirit- “Don’t let what you fear losing prevent you from going after what you want”.

Life is full of change. In fact, life is progress and without it, we are not truly living. We go from being a baby to a kid to being a teenager to an adult. Our teeth grows, our hair grows, etc. But sometimes we need to let go of what is, what was to go after what will be or what we want to be. We need to pull a few wisdom teeth out, we need to cut our hair, get a trim, we need to chop those highlights because they start to fade.

I have been feeling a weirdness in my heart. It’s like my heart wants to progress but there is also a fear that I can’t handle the new season….that I’m not good enough, that I’m not truly ready for it. I am reminded that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

When we reach a new territory, it takes our hearts some time to adjust. WE struggle with letting go of “WHAT WAS” and eventually “what is” so that we can keep moving forward. 

You may be in a “good” relationship, but you are not growing with your boyfriend/girlfriend, in fact, you feel stagnant and most of the time you are pulling him/her up to your level of spirituality or intellect. People are proud of your relationship, but deep down you know there has to be something more but you are afraid of letting go of what is. 

You may have lost everything once, twice, three times and you have finally rebuilt yourself, but you are not doing what you love…you want to go ALL IN on your passions but you are afraid that you will lose everything again. Trust that your heart is worth investing everything for because authenticity and returning to WHO YOU REALLY ARE will bring joy back to your heart, even through pain.

You may have good friends but they are not supportive of your dreams because they don’t have the courage to do what it takes for their dreams. You fear losing them, you remember all the good times you had, but you know you have to choose yourself. New levels of friendship will arrive when you take that first step to go into your next level. 

Today’s post reads like a fortune cookie, but I believe these are prophecies and specific words God has released into my heart.

“Don’t let what you fear losing prevent you from going after what you want”.

What do you want and what are you afraid of losing? You are enough.

I Found My Identity In The Wilderness

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Finding our identity is probably one of live’s biggest struggle.

Ignoring other people’s opinions about who you are or who you should be and what you should do is another. It is never about what they think about you, but what you think about yourself. 

For a long time I didn’t really know who I was, I knew I had big dreams and I had visions of what my life would look like, but since every dream takes time…people simply saw my process. When people don’t see results, they start judging you big time. Even though you have only been on this earth for less than 30 years, for some reason they want you to be Richard Branson already. And perhaps it was my mistake to tell people, I basically was so full of passion that I told everyone. And then people started mocking me. 

And then I hid. 

Not in a cave, but something like one. I departed from people, cut ties with people who didn’t truly understand. I kept a few close friend and I am truly grateful for them because they have seen my journey. I believe that this season is essential. This season I call the wilderness season requires introspection and sometimes seasonal solitude. 

In the wilderness season God helped me weed out the lies…the lies of not being enough, lies that I wasn’t good enough, that I needed to prove myself….lies that I must hide myself to honor those around me (that didn’t know themselves).

It’s dishonoring to yourself to hide your light, it’s dishonoring to the creator who created you.  You are way too brilliant to be hid, you are way too beautiful to not be admired. 

But at the end of the day, you must see yourself right first. You must see your own beauty, your own brilliance, your own talent, your own genius. You must be so confident that even if others belittle you, you can defend yourself in confidence, or in confidence walk away. And oh, forgive them and not live with a false success revenge mentality (which is when you are offended and try to succeed to prove people wrong rather than doing it out of pure joy and love).

I often hear “do not engage, this is a low mentality warfare” sometimes when I hear negative remarks. I know it is their ego speaking, so I must be wise not to get distracted in low level spiritual warfare. There are so many tactics the enemy uses.

Gossip is one of the ways I’ve learned self-control. Today someone mentioned someone who was told something about someone. They were demeaning them, judging their decisions in life. I listened and then I said “we don’t know them, we don’t even talk to them, why are we judging them? And also we’ve made mistakes in our lives too, everyone has their battles”. I know that I have been there too, mistakes, failures, I am not one to judge. 

In a way, the wilderness season humbles you. It prepares you to be the great person you are, to confront giants that belittle you, tell you you’re not enough. The wilderness season prepares you to enter battles in your work, with companies, with consultants, with kings, queens, presidents. 

Interesting. What did they say about me? Well, I hope one day they know how brilliant they are too. Because I know I am fearfully and wonderfully made, loved and accepted for who I am now.

Celebrate Ordinary Moments

Our lives are filled with ordinary and sometimes seemingly insignificant moments. 

We wait, for the big woohoo moments. Like when we meet our prince charming, when we get the big break, when we finally pay off our debt, when we have great sex, when become the lead actress in a movie, when we get the pay raise we know we deserve, etc….but most of our lives are just ordinary moments, or so we think. 

As I was sitting there eating french fries, I saw inked on the wall “no drinking on premises”, I found it charming. It was on the wall of a liquor store. I was eating quietly next to a retired old grandma who was wearing all orange, pants and shirt eating pastrami sandwich; a pumpkin on her shirt. I would say something like “did you know there is a great movie theater with deals on tuesday and sundays?” and we would converse. Then we would eat quietly again.

It’s ordinary, seemingly trivial moments like those that warm my heart. And of course being surrounded by the magnificent sky that remind me of how miraculous life is everyday. 

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You see…I walk everywhere. Otherwise I take public transportation.

My life was not always like this.

I was the fast paced career women who was total TYPE A. I was high strung, overly passionate about things that no one seemed to care about. I learned to slow down when the stress started killing my heart and health, and just all of who I was. I had to slow down.

After a year without a sim card and a car, I have really learned to be in the moment, present. 

I’ve made friends with dogs that are neglected by owners. There is this one dog that is tied to a pole fenced inside, everyday. He/she barks wildly at me when I walk in the alleys, I say hi to him/her through the little cracks of the white fence. I’ve decided his or her name is Danny.

I appreciate the sunset. I appreciate the skies that paint God’s love to me. Everyday I am in awe of the clouds, the sun that marks it’s joy in the blue skies.

Sometimes I see cars zoom wildly to their destinations. And I wonder, “what if they got there faster. Would it make a difference, would they feel more fulfilled, happier?” I see people showing off their new purchases and yet frustrated that they don’t have more.

It’s seemingly ordinary moments when we put down our own agendas and introduce ourselves to a stranger sitting next to us that we find the moments profound and beautiful. At first, I wanted to go straight home after buying my bottle of wine and fries, but something said “slow down”. There is beauty in slowing down.

When was the last time you truly slowed down and saw all the beauty around you? 

There are people around you that want to be loved by you, and people that want to love you.

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I’m adding this book review:

Falling Free, Rescued from the Life I Always Wanted- Shannan Martin

The title really struck me, the truth is everything Shannan talked about reflected my own experience of falling free….free of what we think we want. Her narrative is important in our cookie cutter society or perhaps religious institutions that want us to fit into everyone else’s idea of what we should want. I found the book refreshing and read every word to the end. The only thing I did not like in the beginning was perhaps her language, it was a little hard to understand. I’m used to conversational language and it was a bit flowery for my own taste, but nonetheless it was an excellent book. I give it a 4 out of 5.

This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review.