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.

 

 

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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.

Listen To Your Heart

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I grew up going to church, Baptist to be precise. About 12 years old I encountered God in a divine, weeping way, I experienced unconditional love from the depths of my heart. My journey though had begun when I was young…in those wee hours where I was home alone and afraid of the dark. Somehow I knew that the Devil was as real as the darkness and as a 5 year old, I prayed desperately for God to save me from the hollow fear.

Since I had lots of time of solitude, growing up with a busy working single mom and lots of time alone, I developed an inner life that was rich and real. I was drawn to the holy spirit and basically “following my intuition”. I would tell stories about being led to talk to homeless people, miracles, hearing God- this was strange for a very legalistic baptist church.  Eventually I left. Later on, I learned that what I experienced in my life was called being led by the spirit. 

You don’t need to label it to know that your intuition is God speaking to you. When it feels peaceful, right, you feel urged on, you have little fear. Perhaps yes there is apprehension, but that is the ego speaking.

What I noticed though is that in the institutions of “God” many people still don’t understand the concept of the Father. The concept and being of the Father God is basically the loving, unconditional, light who embraces and loves to hear us talk even about our sadness, feelings of anger, and grief. He is not judgmental and treats us better than the best father on this earth. Because few of us have had good earthly fathers, we often feel that God must be the same way. 

In addition, people are very scared when they can’t label something.

There were times where I followed the Spirit and I did very spontaneous things….sometimes Spirit led me to places where I met the right people at the right time. Before I was to be selected for a TV show to go to Cebu, I kept hearing Cebu over and over again. Sometimes of course I doubt what I am hearing, but as the stories in my life unfolds, I am assured once again that what I was hearing was accurate.

Trusting yourself- now growing up in the church, the only thing I heard was “put yourself last”. Self-sacrifice. I think this led to many people growing up deprived of self love.

The truth is since God already sacrificed all for us, “everything that has to be done is already done”. This is the concept of grace. The holistic way of thinking is that we are born a reflection of who God is and each of us have glory within ourselves. So our whole lives is really about getting to know God, but also the holy place within our own hearts which says “I am an heir, I am royalty, everything about me is brilliant, my heart radiates light and I am filled with love and I am complete because God within me has completed me”. 

So while some institutions believe that all power is with God, the truth is if God is within us, all power is in us so that all power for change is cultivated once our spirit self accepts and has the capacity to embrace that truth.

In short, I have been on a journey of learning to trust my truth in every moment and to speak those truths even if they are “negative”. God loves all of who you are now, not in the future or the past. Yes, with all the things that seem negative. 

So instead of living by a set of rules, Jesus sets you free to live in relationship.

So there is actually no right or wrong, but that which sets you free, the truth.

There are many things that are good for you, but if you feed yourself a bunch of sermons or motivational books when your heart needs space to heal, it can become destructive. For example, your heart may need solitude but a friend offers to hang out with you (she wants to help you)…in those moments I listen to my heart and ask myself what it is I actually need…even a “good thing” like hanging out with a friend can deprive you of what you actually need, time alone. 

Good works, volunteer work might seem good- but if you are doing it as a way to redeem yourself or perhaps free you from the guilt of all the wrongs you’ve committed in your life, you will not be freed. Like I said, only God sees our heart. He says “I will free you if you allow me to give you the love you need, just receive it”.

When we open our hearts to receive the love that we do not need to work for, it is liberating.

What is practical and productive in the world may not be productive to your soul. More in the material sense is not more to your soul. You may continue to crave more and feel even more empty inside. For some reason, the more you buy the more lack you feel. That is your soul asking you to look within. The emptiness is a feeling and the feeling is always telling you something. 

Slow down and ask yourself where that feeling is coming from. 

Slow down and ask what during the day annoyed you so much that you started feeling pain in your neck. For me, I have pain in the left side of my neck when I am emotionally distraught, bothered or believing a lie, or perhaps I am trying to control my emotions instead of expressing them.

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365 Days of Rest

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The election is over.

But our lives have just begun. The election sparked a passion within me to make a difference in the world. As the numbers came in I actually started crying, crying turned to weeping and found my soul anguished. Perhaps it was Spirit within me or my personal desire connected to the election. This went deeper than I thought. Perhaps my desire to see a woman become president was a personal desire to see my own life blossom into the impossibilities of humanity. And perhaps it was the last straw for everything I had envisioned for this year.

All of this came into apex of surrender.

I would have to surrender my personal desire and trust that God would protect, empower and push me towards the direction that even I could no longer envision for myself. Because we put too much hope in one person. We thought that maybe the “Right person” could save us, and the truth is we put not only the president on a pedestal, we put “finding the perfect spouse”, “finding the right opportunity”, breaking our personal goals on a pedestal, but all of that is fleeting in the light of perfect peace in each moment.

I have been reading 365 Devotions For Finding Rest and it has helped me to find solace in times of turmoil. I find my soul crying out for justice, for peace, for joy, for restoration. I’ve been in months of surrender and rest, saying “no” to things, opportunities, people. Letting the season pass so that the right things and people could enter my current realm.

Asking me to be still is like asking a lion not to run free with strength, but in the stillness I find the ache in my heart heal steadily.

 

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.