I’m scared that if I get close to someone they will leave me. 

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This was a super impromptu “photo shoot” that I had in the moment at Pacific Palisades.

How deep do you want to fall?

We all try to protect our hearts. We call it “being wise”. We disappear. We ghost, we don’t communicate how much we care, we act like we can be disconnected from our hearts.

“I don’t want to hurt you, I don’t want to get hurt”.

That’s our excuse. Sky high walls around our hearts. It’s better to not be happy, then be happy for a minute or a moment. 

We try to cut things short because maybe we won’t feel it, any kind of pain.

But it’s inevitable.

I remember the pain of leaving my 10 year old students in China or each mission trip I took. I built deep friendships with the people I hung out with. Everyday I felt my heart being broken. But does that mean I shouldn’t have gone? No. That’s what made the moments beautiful. 

You love them more in each moment.

The moments are sparkly. Vulnerability beautiful.

Hearts shining.

But we seem to pull back as humans.

It’s better to be defensive and cold than to show that we care.

I don’t want to live with a closed heart. I want to live with my heart wide open.

I went from having to turn down a guy, to kind of being turned down (even as a friend), to a guy trying to “protect my heart from getting hurt” to meeting a guy who wanted to treat me right but didn’t want me to “fall in love with him”.

These are all innuendos of “let’s not feel”.

The truth is relationships are complex and it’s hard to be cold-hearted. 

But we have all kinds of excuse. 

I don’t want to hurt you.

I don’t want you to hurt me. “I’m scared to get hurt”.

I had a really clean cut idea of marriage and dating. I didn’t understand why I had to date. “What’s the point God? Especially if he’s not my husband?” 

2 years ago God showed me a tinder account swiping left, and I heard “get ready”.

I never really understood why I had to go through so much dating wise, even before. Other people seemed to have it easy. They just met their husband and that’s it. But no, me???? I’ve had plenty of boyfriends, I’ve had summer/winter/fall flings, I was definitely not the typical church-goer.

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I’m a romantic. I used to draw comics and write love stories. Each boyfriend was a potential husband. I wrote impossible scenarios of grand romantic gestures. 

But those were not always the type of men I met. Some were just lewd, sketchy, perverts. The only way I found that I could protect my heart was to not sleep with them (so I have managed to save myself for marriage). But do not get me wrong, I’ve had my share of physical experiences.

I didn’t grow up with my dad, I shut down my heart whenever I would leave Taiwan (after a visit).

“It’s better to not feel, then to feel any love for someone who will leave me”.

That is how I protected myself. But that’s how I became disassociated and disconnected emotionally. 

Through this dating process recently, the Lord showed me how I would disconnect to protect myself. A part of my personality would shut down because my heart was bracing for the heartbreak, the separation. I would sense how I became distant, indifferent. I would stop laughing, I would stop being entertaining or happy. I would become quieter, pensive. I wouldn’t say what is on my mind.

“It’s going to end anyway” my heart would say.

“Why bother? Why try?”

I couldn’t allow myself just to be happy, because there was some pending “doom”. 

People think that if they just disconnect or not feel, then they’d protect themselves from pain. 

But I realize that pain is powerful, it allows our hearts to know that it matters. 

That person or moment or season of my life was beautiful, powerful, lovely.

Why can’t we be okay with that?

We avoid pain at all costs but we also miss the beauty of it all. 

The life, the riches, the moments.

After spending time with someone the Lord led me to yesterday, I felt this strange ache in my neck. My heart felt numb and unfeeling. I didn’t know why. I woke up in the middle of the night and started crying. My heart was scared to feel.

I’m scared that if I get close to someone they will leave me. 

Like the other friends who disappeared from my life, will this one leave too? That’s what pushed me away from forming deep friendships for awhile. And even if I did, I couldn’t communicate through the pain of certain conflicts. It hurt too much. I had people betray me, but I also cut people off.

When people are good to you, you doubt it. This is too good to be true. Am I really safe? Or are they judgemental? Will they snap at any minute?

I’ve met nice people recently, and I think they’ll stay that way, but one comment triggers them to react and my heart will fear. 

“I’m not safe” my heart will say. “Go home” I’ll think.

God has been leading me to people who are lonely, rejected, wounded, I mean that is my ministry. At the same time, I find myself trying to guard myself from feeling for them.

“Get down and dirty, feel each moment, feel each feeling, no matter how uncomfortable it feels. Cry and laugh. Don’t be afraid of love”.

Love is not just happiness and roses, love is also the pain of separation. I talk to many singles about dating and they often use the excuse of “I’m just loving myself”. This may be true for a season but the prophesy that the Lord has been telling me is “tell people to open their heart and come out of hiding”.

Tell people to be vulnerable, to tell their truth. 

It’s human nature to hide out of shame, unworthiness, guilt. But when we expose our truths, we know that we can truly be loved for who we are, not what we do. 

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Some people may find me too careless to open my heart but that’s just how God has made me. I have to have an open heart everyday. Sometimes I’ll have fear in my heart and I won’t want to take chances or step out in faith but God will lead me to be courageous.

Yesterday He said “ask for a ride” and just as I was about to get the bus I saw a car pull up. The car had a baby in it. The driver was Catholic. She sped up and dropped me off where the bus was. My heart was still hesitant right? Immediately I met a guy with tattoos who was quiet. I started talking to him. I know most people find talking to strangers intimidating but when people open up to me, I feel encouraged.

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Eventually I got to Pasadena and I saw this woman walking around with her suitcase. I asked if she needed help and she said “no”. God said “follow her, ask her if she needs help”. Eventually I realized that God was trying to tell me not to be afraid of rejection.

Because I needed to tell a guy my truth. The truth was “I am not physically attracted to you”. I tried to explain it a few ways but I realize that I couldn’t. I had to be honest. I was emotionally attracted but not physically attracted so I used “you’re not usually my type” as a way to avoid the truth. But he thought that I would eventually realize he was the better option, opposed to the other guys that I was seeing (whom he considered bad boys).

The truth is hard to hear sometimes, but it does set us free. We want to take care of peoples’ hearts but we really can’t. Only God can, God has peoples’ hearts in His hands.

I felt guilty and bad for having to be honest. I hate hurting people, but closing a door allows them to move on. 

Maybe I’m too honest, or maybe I overshare. But I live in freedom. I’m an artist, I’ve been created to express myself.

I’m not a saint, I’ve been saved by grace. I’m not perfect, only perfect by the blood of Jesus.

Would you consider giving a contribution or donating to this ministry? God leads me to divine appointments everyday, I pastor people who are unconventional, who have been rejected by the church or by their parents, some are drug addicts living on the streets, some are just really isolated people who have no friends, some just have high walls up in their hearts. Many of them I prophesy for them to go home because they have a fear of being rejected by their parents….most likely they have already experienced lots of rejection from their family. I was like that myself. But God taught me to speak up to my mom and tell her how I feel, without a fear of rejection. It’s never really become easy though. I’ve just grown in my capacity to have patience and love for her.

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A Queen/King Honors Her Emotions & Boundaries

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One of the worse things I experienced in life was having a trusted person betray me. It wasn’t that she did anything wrong, she said something really wrong. She dishonored my emotions (and me) during a time when I was going through a really hard time which was caused by one of her family members.

I had a dream where God showed me why I was feeling so shut down.

She belittled the hurt.

And I think that’s why it’s so important we allow children to cry and express anger, hurt. EMOTIONS ARE IMPORTANT. They tell us that our boundaries have been crossed. 

I didn’t think it – but subconsciously, I felt helpless. I felt that even my best friend was against me since she of course sided with her family. The people around me felt like I was being melodramatic and I didn’t know how to describe the hurt and the betrayal.

I felt alone and helpless. I felt angry and betrayed.

After that, I subconsciously shut down my emotions because people didn’t understand them anyways, because it didn’t get anything done, because the person closest to me brushed it aside.

It’s okay, I don’t need to be understood.

During that time I found my true friend, someone who really honored my emotions and could also tell me the truth.

But my heart felt cold and frosty for a long time.

That’s why when my heart suddenly started to melt, it was painful. I can feel the pain now, I can feel now.

“I was dishonored, disgraced, humiliated for your sake”- says the Lord. “I know how that feels, betrayal”. 

When I started to shut down my emotions, I started to sometimes under eat or over eat. I didn’t know when I was full or sometimes hungry. I was so detached from my emotions that I couldn’t even understand what my body was telling me.

I learned that I escaped painful emotions by eating sweets. 

I learned that I used logic and my mind to figure out what wasn’t working instead of going through experiencing the emotions. 

Yesterday this mentally unstable lady on the street demanded I give her my water and I did, at first out of good will, but then got angry at her for taking my water because I was really thirsty.

I forgave her in my heart but decided not to randomly give my water away. She could have gone to in and out to get water. I turned around and saw she had dumped the water on a bench. Next time I will speak loudly for myself. No.

I’ve been watching “The Return of Superman”, a Korean show about dads raising their kids and what I started noticing is that kids are raised to share because it’s a “kind thing to do”.

But kids are rarely taught boundaries.

I was not taught boundaries. I felt like things were easily taken from me, things I loved. In this way, I did not know how to protect and keep things I loved. I allowed people to step over me and didn’t know how to speak up for myself because this was illustrated to me in my family.

I was even taught this in church. Sacrifice.

But no one taught me that because Jesus already became the sacrifice that I didn’t need to be the sacrifice in my life. I didn’t need to be crucified everyday. 

I don’t think martyrdom is what Jesus wanted.

I think He wanted us to know what He died for us to have, to be, to live. 

I think we are in an age where we need to know who we are and push back the darkness that surrounds us. We can’t just take it. That’s not okay. 

We need to stand up and speak up. We need to rise and protect our boundaries.

People tell me that I’m so bold and self-loving. 

But that wasn’t always the case. I was the quiet, obedient Asian girl that people expected me to be. Now when I shout, the whole building can hear me. 

It’s because I know who I am and what I deserve now.

A queen seated on high.

 

From Solitude to Relationship, My Path To Healing

Part of the CHALLENGE of life is finding your voice, finding what you want, and speaking forth those things...this includes finding your own boundaries and emotional space.

I was up late booking hotels for Vancouver and the rockys. And I got really anxious and then I couldn’t sleep, and then I got hungry and had to face some fears I had.

I felt out of control, but suddenly I realized maybe that’s where I needed to be. Out of control.
Sometimes things need to be out of our control so God can work. When we are gripping so hard on our plans and how we think our lives should work out, we have no room to hear God.

He said….you are enough. Dont worry about making the wrong decisions.
I get decision phobic when there are other people involved because I fear their disappointment, especially when it comes to my mom.
I am good at making decisions when I am alone, maybe that is why I like being alone. I have no one to disappoint. It is a lot of pressure to travel or even be with other people.

But I am learning it is not my responsibility to make others happy. Other people’s emotions are their responsibility.

I have been learning to set emotional boundaries for my whole life.

I like being alone. I’m good at it. I spent most of last year alone to heal. I could think clearly when I’m alone, I don’t have other peoples’ shit clouding my atmosphere.

Being alone is a safety net for me.

I know what to expect. I’m in control.

I think I’ve been so used, or perhaps I have ALLOWED myself to be so used that I no longer trust myself in relationships.

Could I speak up or stand up for myself? 

It got to the point where I just had enough and had to cut people out without explanation. I assumed that people knew my boundaries without my having to say so, but life is verbal….you must speak up for yourself and your voice matters. 

Part of the CHALLENGE of life is finding your voice, finding what you want, and speaking forth those things…this includes finding your own boundaries and emotional space. 

Emotional Intelligence includes learning how to communicate your needs and wants. 

So I was driving back from Palm Springs with my mom the other time and she kept talking and talking…my head space was getting foggy and I was WORN OUT. I was not in the space to just download crap into my mind. 

 

I said “mom, I need to rest. I don’t want to listen anymore” and she stopped talking. I was amazed by how I just simplified my life by speaking up. I thought she was angry that I spoke up but eventually I realized she did respect my space.

Relationships are not easy…with parents, with friends, with partners, lovers, spouses.

It takes work to find clarity within yourself – to see what wounds need to be healed, to see what fears have you sweating at night or stress eating (like I was last night)….but when we find clarity within our souls, it is healing, it is redeeming, it is freeing.

“I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; from where shall my help come? My help comes from the Lord. He will not allow your foot to slip” Psalm 121: 1-3

I had fears that God will not be there for me to help me stand up for myself.

I don’t have the strength to always know where my boundaries are, but that is why I lean on God’s grace to help me. He will never leave or forsake me. I’m right here, He says to me. I’ve never left you. I will not leave you to fend for yourself. I love you. 

We must learn to communicate our boundaries if we are to be healed and come into healthy relationships. May this journey to be a fruitful one for you. Love and healing is worth it. You are worth it.

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The Language of No

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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. 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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Rules of Engagement

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Pic from google

Hello. I don’t have a blog schedule, I just write when I feel like it.

I realize that most of us don’t grow up being taught how to make friends or what is normal, healthy in a relationship. I’ve learned some things over the years that have helped me to have healthy boundaries. First, I read the book Boundaries by John Townsend. That changed my dynamic with my mom because I realized that I could say no to my mom. Also I grew up going to a baptist church where they taught you that loving people meant listening to them, or serving them. What a recipe for a fucking place mat, or door mat. I meant.

I don’t think Jesus listened to everyone when he was walking this earth, I think he wouldn’t have accomplished everything he needed to do.

Here’s a few things I came up with : 

  1. Close friends are your inner circle that you share your problems with, confide in, pray with. It’s a mutual relationship where you better each other.
  2. There are different types of close friends, some friends you talk to more often than others. Some you talk to about certain problems.
  3. It is okay to separate from friends that are going different directions. I have broken up with a few friends that due to beliefs and differences, it was healthier for both parties to basically stop talking or fade off. You don’t necessarily have to “break up”, you can just distance yourself.
  4. As a wise sage, many people have requested to “hang out with me”. Hey WE HAVEN’T talked forever, we should hang out! 

I found out the hard way that it meant I was their therapist and they would dump a shit load of problems into my ears and psyche and mess with the positive flow I was in. 

Which is why I have started asking people “what do you want?”.

Here’s a way to filter out people:

  1. What are you hitting on me?
  2. What’s up?
  3. What’s going on?
  4. What’s wrong?
  5. What’s right?

Which sounds kind of awful, but it has helped me clarify so that I am not getting fooled.

You might be thinking, “well maybe you are the answer to their problems!” Well, most people who use manipulative ways to “spend time with you” actually won’t listen to any of your advice. They will continue to brood, complain to anyone who will listen. 

5. The key is to say no. Say no when your heart says no.

6. If you ARE on the other end, you see someone that is maybe wise, as an acquaintance, approach them by asking “hey, can I get some advice from you?” Come out right in the beginning and say what it is that you want. “Hey I need help, I’m in a pit right now and was wondering if you had any advice for me”. Don’t manipulate others by pretending you are wanting to be their “friend”. Friends are people who actually want to contribute to another person, not just TAKE from them.

7. What does that mean? Your circle will decrease in size. As you get older, you will learn to discern who has your best interest in mind. You will maybe have a best friend, and a few close friends….

8. What is a true friend? Someone who you can be yourself with. Not just a therapist all the time.

9. If you do want to do something, do it. 

If you don’t, don’t. There is nothing worse than a obligated life.