How To Set Boundaries In Friendships

You have to learn to protect what God has ordained in your life. Not everyone is sent by God and not everyone is supposed to be in your life long term.

I am learning how to set boundaries in my life and writing down what is important to me.

1. I need to honor myself first and foremost. Am I honoring my time, my energy, my being? Am I wasting time on those who simply give me attention, but suck me of my energy? What is the opportunity cost of being friends with this person?

2. Do the friends around me have my best interest in mind? Do they understand my destiny, calling and purpose in life and are they supportive of it? And am I supportive of their dreams? Is the friendship ordained by God?

3. Friends and someone you minister to is different. A friend is on your level. Someone you minister to is someone you help but may not necessarily receive the same level of help.

4. Friendship is a two way street.

One party needs to be open and so does another. It’s an exchange of energy, time, love. If one party has no interest in having an open heart, it’s hard for the other to continue.

5. Vulnerability is most important. It’s important to speak your mind and be honest.

Why do we feed people who don’t feed us back and neglect those who can actually love us.

Many people chase after people who treat them like crap, because they like the attention.

If there is a part of our soul that still desires unhealthy fruit, we will chase after that which is not healthy for us. So God heals the part of us that are broken.

6. Understand and give grace, but remember where you stand.

Some people are for a lifetime but some are for moments. Ask God to show you if that friend is temporary. And some come and go depending on the season, and it’s ok to let go.

7. Recognize codependency– codependency is when there is no boundaries and I often found myself in codependent relationships and God had to show me, it’s okay to pull back and not over give of yourself when that person isn’t reciprocating.

You cannot force someone to give of themselves when it’s not out of desire.

I realize that recently I was becoming codependent with a friend and it was hurting me because I was getting involved unnecessarily in her life and friendships. And it was not my job to help her or fix her friends.

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A word on my spirit. Someone out there is choosing the easier and more comfortable route but God is asking you to step out in faith. It’s not an easy word to deliver because no one likes to be uncomfortable but God’s intention is to grow you.

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Healing The Brokenness In Our Hearts

Ugly crying.

Heartache and heartbreak. We try to avoid it but it comes after us. It makes for the best writing and the best songs, the best art, it’s what makes us human. Without it we wouldn’t know vulnerability, we wouldn’t love well.

We don’t love people well when we have closed hearts. Open hearts feel with others. Open hearts allow the risk of being hurt to be present. Closed hearts says “I don’t want to listen to your story because I don’t want to feel what you feel”.

It’s easy to be logical and tell someone to leave their abusive or unloving husband or boyfriend, but to go through it yourself, or to follow your gut and not your heart which often times is tied to brokenness in your soul, that’s another story.

As I’m talking to my friend about heartache I remember this one time years ago where my ex roommate tucked me into my bed. He was my first guy roommate.

I thought it was fine because I had a boyfriend. I was safe because I was taken, I wouldn’t have some type of love affair with a guy I lived with in the same house.

Because I was so broken and didn’t know what love was supposed to be like, I was attracted to men who were emotionally absent. And even physically absent, like my father.

My ex would disappear for days, sometimes not answering my texts or calls. I’ve never been obsessive, I’d send one text and wait patiently for a reply. I’d give up. I’d think “he must be busy”. But my mind would run wild. Where is he? What is he doing? I made excuses for his behavior. I thought it was normal because the fact that anyone was around was enough for me.

3 days would pass.

And the one who was present? My guy roommate. He had his own room FYI. I cried and told him my boyfriend had been ghosting me. I didn’t understand why there was a wall I couldn’t break down. Even when he was present, I couldn’t read his thoughts and he didn’t share his emotions with me. He was just a very practical guy. He could fix cars and lights. He could pay for dinner.

He understood instructions, and completed tasks, but when it came to his heart, he was completely illiterate.

My roommate played with bunnies on the grass. I thought he was a bit feminine. He wrote poetry and we would read our writing to each other.

I realized that I often went for guys who were emotionally unavailable because it was safer. I know it’s sound strange. Because emotional openness means telling your truth, and risking having to feel what you don’t want to feel.

It’s easier to shut your heart down completely than to speak your truth and feel those emotions.

My ex would tell me he needed space. “Why can’t you just tell me you need space?” I would say.

My roommate tucked me into my bed as I cried over my boyfriend at the time. Why am I with a ghost when there is flesh and blood here? He told me to breathe as he said breathing brings you back to yourself.

I didn’t understand it. I’d be attracted to a non-present man, while next to me was someone available, someone emotionally open, someone loving.

And my broken soul had to go for the broken man.

Someone I couldn’t attain, someone whose heart was locked with a dead bolt, tripled locked. No amount of prying, questioning, asking, praying seemed to do the job.

The only thing that pried my ex open was me mentioning breaking up.

It was the first time I saw him cry in the 2.5 years we were together. He begged and cried. What can I do to change, he asked. I said I needed to be with someone who believes in Jesus and I want to marry one day.

He said he would go to church with me. Let’s get married now!!

I said, no.

Because those weren’t the factors that prevented us from moving forward- I knew for ages that he wasn’t it, he wasn’t exactly what I wanted as a life partner.

So my heart didn’t want to break up, but my spirit knew – he’s not it. He’s not your life partner.

It’s easy to avoid talking about your emotions, it’s easy to shut down your heart.

What’s difficult is saying how you feel. And finding closure and agreement.

If you’re going through heartache I pray God would give you comfort in this hour. I pray you would know that God is with you.

He loves you dearly.

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Do You Like Yourself? My Journey Of Finding Wholeness

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Happy Valentine’s day.

I used to have boy crushes growing up. I had these unhealthy obsessions of male celebrities and I had quick soul ties with men. I was just boy obsessed. I didn’t grow up with my dad. My parents divorced when I was 8 and we moved to Los Angeles from Taiwan. From then on I didn’t see my dad until I was 18 years old when I went to Taiwan. He looked like a stranger, an old man. But he was related to me, but a pure stranger. 

It took several visits for me to finally forgive him and let go of my “ideal childhood”. I grew up with severe depression because I just felt sad that I didn’t grow up with my dad. This cloud over my mind and being affected every area of my life.

But I didn’t know it stemmed from hopelessness….that hopelessness of feeling unwanted, abandoned, rejected, uncherished.

I grew close to God. I would journal and talk to God, but I felt far away from Him too. Sometimes I felt like I had to achieve and perform to please Him.

It took years and years for me to see that God is pleased with me, He doesn’t need me to please Him, that’s why Jesus died on the cross for me. His love is constant and unchanging, totally unconditional and totally overflowing. 

I tried to find love in a potential boyfriend. I fell into relationships out of convenience or for the pure desire for companionship. Though our desire for companionship is God-willed…our neediness isn’t. 

Our neediness is a reflection of the God-void in our hearts.

We all desire God, but we just don’t know it.

Fast forward from my teens to now (I just turned 30 years old, the age where everyone expects that you should have everything together)….I don’t need a man.

I really don’t. I do desire marriage and a life partner but I have never felt more complete than now. 

Because throughout the last 3 years, God would whisper “you are enough”. Every time I felt like I was not enough, I was lacking, I didn’t have this or that….every time I felt inadequate or unable, every time I felt like I was gaining weight or accused….whatever it was, it would come down to “you are enough”. 

That’s why I am enough and I don’t have a need for anything or anyone else but God.

God totally and completely completes me. 

In Him I am enough. 

I am so blessed to have come to this revelation in my life. I hope that this fact of “you are enough” will open your heart to the Only One who can give you love, unconditional and everlasting.

PS- is it easy? No. It’s not always easy to stay in that knowledge when everyone around you tells you you are not enough, but that is why I have found “alone time” to be most vital. Alone time helps me recuperate from the words of family members, it gives me time to receive from God and to be loved by God even when the world around me attacks me.

The best gift I received today, from myself….is alone time. I feel like I can breathe again. Though it is nice to spend time with loved ones, alone time helps me find my heart again especially when others have their own issues to deal with.

With love, Rebekka – Hugs!

When you are enough, you can rest and be loved.

When you are enough, you don’t feel rushed to be more.

When you are enough, you grow in beauty and wisdom.

No One Can Be Your Everything

Islandof Zen (1)

It sounds unromantic, but it’s realistic. 

Your girlfriend or boyfriend can’t be your everything. Your wife and husband can’t be your everything. Your friends or family can’t be your everything.

Because everything is perfect and no one is perfect. Imperfect people will soon disappoint you if you placed your hopes and dreams on just one person. 

Yesterday I went to a forgiveness class and there was a questionnaire that asked something along the lines of :

“I am angry at_______because of___________” From 1-5 level forgiveness level.

I put down family members and noticed a theme.

Everything stemmed from my absent father. He was physically and emotionally absent for 10 years and even before then my parents were already separated. So I lacked the emotional support of a father and my mother was also very emotionally absent from me. 

So I started looking for that emotional support somewhere else, friends. 

But when they said the wrong thing, set their own boundaries, I couldn’t take it. I lashed out, I disappeared just as my father disappeared from my life. That was the only way I knew how to protect myself. 

I let other people step on me or was NICE to people to get what I wanted- their approval. 

Then God took me into a journey of solitude and seeing myself right.

I needed to make God my sole emotional support and to be my own biggest cheerleader.

I’m not SAYING we don’t need people, because people help us, support us…in the right ways…..

BUT when we are looking for approval from people—-they will surely anger and disappoint you. Approval doesn’t come from people. God has already approved of you. He says “you are enough, you are worthy of love”.

Everyone has bad days. If we look for approval and put unjust burden on them to take care of us when they are incapable of even taking care of themselves—-we become codependent. 

Codependency.

This happens when we make people God. People are not God. People are imperfect.

See yourself right. You’re not perfect. You will disappoint others. You were not put on this earth to please people nor become a God for them. In fact you HURT them by taking their own emotional responsibilities. 

  1. Awareness
  2. Releasing the Past

So last night I had to come to terms with my past. Yes I reconciled with my dad, yes I forgave him and myself…but did that mean everything changed? No. He was still physically and emotionally absent from my life. Things didn’t change. I didn’t magically become close with him nor did I magically have a happy childhood filled with moments where I shared my heart with my dad. 

A moment of grief.

A moment of acceptance.

I said “I accept that this is the reality and I’m accepting it because you God are my everything and I want to share my heart with you”.

Now I can truly let go. I can’t change the past nor can I really change this relationship by myself and it’s okay. It’s okay because God’s got me.

Now I need to be the biggest cheerleader for myself….and it’s taken me years to realize that. As I backpacked through the caves of Malaysia and traversed the jungles of Ecuador, climbing mountains in Taiwan I would hear God whispering to me. I was scared at times, lying awake with no one to talk to with deathly food poisoning, thousands of miles away from home. Yes, I didn’t have much of an emotional support, but there I was – “am I enough for you?” I heard my own soul ask. 

You are enough, you are enough. It’s okay.

There was this theme in my questionnaire- “people didn’t support me in my dreams”.

And I remember all the people who felt utterly alone in their dreams – Abraham, Joseph, etc…and all the tech companies that no one believed in in the beginning. LOL.

Do YOU believe in your dreams? 

Allow others to be themselves. You don’t need everyone to believe in your dreams for you to pursue them. Think of it as a secret in your heart, a baby you are feeding. It is exciting and you may want to share it with the world but sometimes the world is not ready for such a magical thing.

Sometimes you might meet a few rare gems who will stand beside you. Don’t make them your everything. Everyone has their own journey to walk and sometimes it’s through a dark and cold alley. God will walk with you through those alleys. He will never leave you.

 

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. 

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.