Knocking Down the Wall of Self-Protection, The Key To An Open Heart & A Full Life

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“How are you?”

“Are you okay? Okay, as long as you are okay”

Well I don’t want to be okay. I want to feel, to experience all levels of emotions.

This morning I woke up from a dream where I could feel my whole being weeping. In the dream, I was experiencing every emotion I’ve somehow neglected to feel, that I’ve managed to numb. Because it’s too much sometimes.

But I woke up, I could feel my whole body shaking as I made weeping sounds and my eyes turned puffy in no time. All the pain started lifting off my body as I experienced the pain in my heart. Though it wasn’t necessarily voluntary and sometimes God needs to show me my true emotions in dreams, I was grateful.

You know what it felt like?

Like when a kid is VORACIOUSLY hungry or tired and he/she cries like the world is ending. I bet you’ve seen it.

I wish we could feel that much all the time. But somehow most of us can’t, we cover up our true emotions by staying distracted. 

We binge eat, drink, smoke, get addicted to a substance, stay numb by netflixing, gaining weight, or losing weight, focusing on what we don’t have and trying to get it, work….complain, blame, escape (hey, how about travel, I know I personally have tried to avoid my emotions by escaping LA), shop or take pills because it’s too much to feel.

But you know when you have A REALLY SOUL WRENCHING cry and then suddenly your body feels lighter? Like a whole slew of burdens have lifted off your shoulders? That’s how it felt. And you know when you give that kid a good meal and they’ve slept….and suddenly they can smile again? Yah that’s how this feels.

Today someone asked me if I was okay. I said “no one’s truly just okay, everyone is going on a journey and some are just not aware of how they are feeling”.

I’m not saying everyone is depressed or going through intense emotions, I’m saying somehow in our society it’s not okay to show vulnerability, to be struggling internally, to have deep emotions. 

It’s okay. To not be okay. I like this journey. I am feeling more emotions, I am feeling the pain and the joy. I am choosing to be alert, to be conscious, to feel deeply. 

I met two men last year that I thought were respectable, honorable, honest men. I thought they would be good candidates for a potential life partner. But when I got to know them a little more, or actually even as I was talking to them I noticed there was a wall. The wall of vulnerability.

The wall that says “I’ve been hurt, don’t get near me”. 

I know I’m still breaking down that wall myself and truth be told, those two men reflected my state of being. You meet people who you reflect. Everyone in your life is a mirror to your own state of being. It doesn’t mean that you are exactly like them, but there is a part of you that is reflected in them. 

That’s why they say “wounds attract wounds”, “you are attracted to like minded people”….so they key to being with the right life partner isn’t so much about fixing the other person, but working within your soul to heal the wounds that attract wounded people.

It doesn’t mean you are insufficient, every part of the journey is worthwhile, but if you are going to spend the rest your life with someone…you want someone on the same level of “healed” and “healing”.

If you want someone to treat you a certain way, learning to treat yourself well is everything.

If you want someone to love you a certain way, learning to love yourself well is everything.

We can’t expect other people to take responsibility for our healing, we must actively seek it out. First, we must open our hearts, that is a personal decision. Second, we forgive, and that’s also a personal decision. 

I know there were times I couldn’t listen to other peoples’ problems because it triggered emotions of my own that I was incapable of experiencing.

The only reason I’m sharing this is because I’m walking it. Healing is not easy, but worth it. I hope you will continue walking with me through this journey- Subscribe on the right side of the blog via email (right side of blog on desktop computers and if you are reading via phone subscribe on the bottom of the blog)! 

Also if you are interested in the forgiveness class that I talked about in my last post, please visit https://hope4hollywood.com/register/

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Emotional Maturity & Wholeness- The Essential Adulting That No One Talks About

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Everyone talks about “grow up” and be an adult, save money, choose your spouse, get a house, get things done….but for some reason no one talks about the real things you need in adulthood- emotional maturity. 

We can have a facade of wealth, happiness, happy instagram photos, luxury items, but if we are pent up with feelings of unworthiness, anger, bitterness, jealousy, envy, anxiety….then are we really happy?

I used to be passive aggressive. Growing up with a single mom, I took care of everyone but myself. I made everyone happy but myself. I spent most of my twenties healing from past wounds and learning how to love myself. People stepped over me but I let them… like a rope, I snapped after many injuries and then “you was gone” and I was gone. After the last straw, I was bye girl.

However, I didn’t know how to say “you’ve crossed the line” the first time. For some reason I thought people would know NOT to in the first place.

But people can’t read your mind. So I learned how to speak up for myself.

  1. Love myself
  2. Set boundaries
  3. Interact in a crazy world

Here are some things that I believe we serious need to define “adulthood”….I spent a lot of time hearing people complain, blame, and talk about their wounds….it seemed that no matter WHAT age you are, we have the same PROBLEMS.

But I realize these problems can be simplified if we choose to see its TRUE value.

A lesson for us to confront and take responsibility.

Things that mark a whole emotional adult:

  1. The ability to confront people- “hey you’ve crossed the line” or learning to confront your friends and family with the right approach.
  2. Resolve conflicts in your relationships- how to bring up problems within your relationships or even in small ways like not being afraid to say to strangers, “hey mister, you cut the line, I was before you”.
  3. The ability to discern unhealthy and healthy relationships- and which ones to keep and throw out. Also learning to find a build healthy relationships that are two way and not just one way (helper or helpee- new word LOL).
  4. The ability to say NO, to set boundaries physically and emotionally- this could be as simple as moving to another seat on the bus if the person next to you smells or is creepy. I used to just deal with it but now I move away like a master ninja. It is important that I don’t create physical discomfort for myself in potentially annoying or dangerous situations.
  5. The ability to discern what your heart needs – Emotion test, what is it that I am feeling right now? Am I sad, mad, angry, bored, what is it that I need?
  6. The ability to speak your mind and ask for what you need without feeling shame– Growing up super independent I never asked people for help, lest my mom. But one time as I was out in the world, making ends meet I had a really bad financial month. I was ashamed. No one knew how hard it was to freelance and pay rent, and I made sure that my mom of all people didn’t know. It was the most difficult thing for me to ask my mom for help but when I did, my pride broke off me. 

And guess what? It needed to in order for me to see that I was worthy of help.

7. Vulnerability- the ability to appear weak, to need help, to cry, to be angry, to be sad……we need to be vulnerable if we want to experience a TRULY HAPPY life. When we are vulnerable, we are SEEN by people, we are validated and loved for  who we are, not who we pretend to be

8. With vulnerability comes the ability to allow your heart to heal- healing emotional wounds- therapy, God’s help, sozo, inner healing, whatever resources there are….I’ve personally been to SOZO, which is spiritual inner healing. Every time I go, I cry like a baby and forgive…forgive myself and people

9. The ability to forgive and move forward from heart wounds- to forgive yourself and others

10. The ability to reject and refuse to receive toxic messages into your soul– One time someone said something really mean about me and I cried and cried. I told people what this person said about me….then all of a sudden, this girl asked me “but what does God say about you?” I was stunned. Oh yeah. Maybe I should focus on the truth about who I really am. That I am loved, that I am beautiful, amazing, awesome. 

 

No one can depress you. No one can make you anxious. No one can hurt your feelings. NO ONE can make you anything other than what you allow inside. – Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

I wanted to write this because I was feeling sidelined by God- like why are you making me wait to do all these great things I want to do? But then at night, God reminded me that He was preparing my heart, He was building emotional maturity within me so that I could be READY for the things that were ahead. 

We live in a society that chooses to blame others for their lives….they blame the government, the institutions, the whites, the blacks, whatever…..but how about personal responsibility? Emotional maturity helps us to see things as they really are. Are we also responsible for allowing others to influence us when their motive was sinister? 

Emotional maturity helps us to be confident in ourselves, to celebrate and grieve with others and to come to terms with our own journey and where we are in life. 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

What’s Still Missing In Television for The Asian Narrative.

Last night I woke up in the middle of the night and my brain started dissecting the show “Friends From College”, a new netflix tv show about friends heading into their new life in their 40s.

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THERE ARE SPOILERS IN THIS POST.

Now the director is Nicholas Stoller, a British American filmmaker. So yes, he is white. But you know what, thanks for putting an Asian American into the mix. I really do appreciate that. Jae Suh Park, Marianne is an actress, artist who owns a rabbit in the tv show. She is a side kick, again not the main protagonist.

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As I was thinking about her role in the show, I started noticing a few things that are true about a few shows that contain Asian actors in. 

They are always a little off, like they are portrayed as sub-human, not human, quirky, has a strange or weird personality or they have to be really short and have an accent (Hans of 2 Broke Girls) and are constantly the butt of the jokes.

Han of 2 Broke Girls.

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Elliot Park (gay and flirty) from Young and Hungry- again he is not the protagonist and I get that because most writers are white….and directors are too, so they are telling their own narrative by making a white guy the protagonist and tell their VIEW and PERSPECTIVE of an Asian person.

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These characters seem to have to have some kind of quirk that makes them “not human”, making viewers laugh at them, unable to relate to them. They don’t have personal agency to their own emotions (their fears, hurt, anger, sadness), but instead have their emotions inserted through other peoples’ judgement towards them. 

They are often told by their white protagonists what to do or how to think.

The 2 broke girls often make fun of Han and tell him who to be and how to think. Elliott often makes a mess of things and is reprimanded for his actions and desires (corrected by the white man).

In Friends From College, Marianne is seen as incapable but repressed as you see her act in a play which all her friends doubt to be good. There is one scene in which she acts as the man and rapes a tall white man (who acts as a woman in a dress). This scene is a huge portrayal of the repressed Asian consciousness.

She is the responsible one as she drives the party bus for a “white man” who partakes of wine with the friend group and falls asleep even though it was his job to drive the bus.

For some reason, yet again, she does not seem to have her head on her shoulders, there is something off about her. Yet, the rest of the crew are portrayed as sane and knowledgeable even though they are having affairs with their best friends’ spouses, has drug problems but can somehow get away with it.

And of course she owns a cute rabbit because Asians own cute things like that.

But I notice all these things because I am Asian myself.

I want to see shows that portray who I am, human with real fears, emotions, vulnerabilities…but sane, not subhuman. I want to tell my own narrative and not be told to be a certain way because a white person (or any person) is telling me how to act or feel.

Until then, how can anyone take an person of Asian ethnicity serious if all they see is people who have no agency to their own emotions and personality? 

 

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.

Embracing “Badness” In Ourselves

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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?