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.

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Overcoming The Fear of Failure

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I believe it was May 1 when God gave me the go ahead to start pursuing opportunities again. To be honest, I was hesitant. I had been in a year of waiting season, healing and restoring brokenness in my heart and allowing God to take away the lies and fears that had boggled up my being.
And the biggest breakthrough in April? My dad asked me for forgiveness for not being there for most of my life.
I needed to hear it. I needed to know that he cared.
And somehow his caring broke open a part of my heart that had been closed off for so long.
It wasn’t my fault after all that my dad neglected his responsibility to care for me.
It wasn’t my fault that my parents divorced, it wasn’t my fault that I lived my early life full of fear, desperation, depression, striving, toil. Even writing about this again causes tears to well up.
I didn’t realize this but I lived in a way where “God if I just do this right, if I just make the right decision then my life will be good. If you just tell me what to do, if you tell me what is good and bad, then I won’t screw up my life more than it is already.”
I was scared of making mistakes, I was scared that I had truly ruined my life somehow with the decisions I had made.
Perfectionism.
Pressure.
Condemnation.
Those were things I felt and lived under.
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Grace says “you are enough”, your decisions don’t affect my plan for your life. You are not under judgement anymore. You are in relationship. Trust your gut. Trust that I will never leave or forsake you.
As I venture into new territory, reclaiming the things that was barred from me, reopening lost opportunities, I am learning to trust that God is truly with me. I won’t be afraid of rejection anymore because I know that these rejections only say “something better is waiting for you”. Just this morning, my previous commercial acting agent told me they won’t be able to sign me again. I am relieved because I know God is working a whole new thing for me and I can trust a better thing is waiting for me.
“He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all–how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” Romans 8:32
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Photos by Patrick.
I took these photos a few years ago in Hollywood Hills and I knew God had put a calling on my heart to thrive in the entertainment industry. Somehow I went to auditions after auditions for 2 years and the opportunities I did get were reality and travel shows. I felt like every door was shut to me and as hard as I tried, doors were locked. 
Then I was called into a season of rest. May 1, 2017- we are finally out of the waiting room and into the big arena. Yesterday I finally got to see my neighbor’s music studio. His name is Joseph. I am reminded that Joseph had to go through the prison to go to the palace. But he never lost his dreams. 
May we carry on knowing that every dream in our heart is a dream from the maker and that we were conceived to actualize and manifest those dreams into reality. 

Honoring Your Heart As An Empath

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(Picture of me. Can you tell I was a deep child full of angsty thoughts?)

It’s one of those nights I can hardly sleep again. Many thoughts and things, my mind is a dizzy array of processing labyrinth. I can’t let go, I try, I pray, I do affirmations but I realize I probably just need to write it out and perhaps that is the gift of being a writer, thinking too deeply, feeling too deeply. And as a writer, as an artist I’m gifted to be one of those empaths I read about. 

Highly sensitive. 

Which confirms my life and previous accusations of “why are you so tired all the time?”, “why can’t you handle this?”, “why are you so weak and sensitive?”, “why can’t you just move on?”, “you are too sensitive”, “why do you need so much alone time” or the anger I get from people when I tell them I need alone time.

I can’t process, I literally break down, I need alone time. 

Try being an empath and growing up with people complaining to you, dumping their problems on you (especially your caretaker/parent). I find my physical being absorbing the heaviness of peoples’ problems, my own included. I am sore, weak, days where I feel like I can’t move but I still do, I walk, I dance, I need to express those emotions. 

Other times I pray out loud, I have to verbalize those emotions. 

But then I also know that after my alone time, I need people, I need to socialize, I need to express what I have been processing. I believe there are many people in this world that suffer in the silence as an empath, me included. We often try to overlook our need for space and time to process, thinking…”why can’t we just be like them? You know, the normal people who seem happy all the time”. 

While people seem to move on happily from disappointments or traumatic events, I find myself spiraling in thoughts of “why me” or “when will this healing end?”. I had to learn to set boundaries from energy vampires. When I was coaching people one on one I realize that it really wasn’t my thing since I am unable to listen to peoples’ problems without carrying their energy. I much prefer group settings where I speak my story and encouragement without having to counsel people one on one.

I also had to learn how to set boundaries with people in my life. And even block people out. Though after I felt a bit of guilt, I realize that I had to put my heart first. It is an ongoing learning process for me. I am imperfect. But I am learning to have grace for myself.

I am glad that I have been rescued from the lie that “I should be__________”.

You don’t have to be anything. You don’t have to pretend to be like everyone else.

You don’t have to get over it- you take your time, you process your thoughts, you need alone time, you take it, you need to be with people, you do that.

Part of honoring your heart is learning to cherish what you need and to care for your soul in ways that others may not understand, and that’s okay. You might even anger or disappoint people. People may lash out at you or take it personally…just explain yourself. Communicate your needs…or not. Some people will not understand because they are only focused on their own needs, and sometimes that means letting them go. And that’s okay too.

XOXO https://www.instagram.com/rebekkalien/

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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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. 

 

Stop Pimping Yourself Out

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(that’s a really ripe banana)

Wisdom always comes descending into my mind in the most inconvenient times like at 2am, 4 am. But then I am an alien so I have to be mindful of these downloads and know that this is why I’m on earth, to spread the wisdom of light.

This time I am confronted with the fact that I have let things distract me.

Which makes sense because God even spoke to me through a tattoo a few months ago. The tattoo said “focus”. 

Which brings me back to the fact that yes, I can blame people or specifically for my mom for being a distraction, always asking me to go out, go eat, go shopping, go somewhere with her…or I can simple learn to say no….that for once, in this time of INSPIRATION, this season where I don’t need to MIND anything but CREATION, CREATING, WRITING, DRAWING, CREATING as I have set my mind to do for the last year.

Originally my dream was basically to have non-distracted time to focus on my dream, which is the dream to create and do what I was born to do. 

So my logic started to beat myself up “dude, remember you wasted so much time putting others first?” I’m like SHUT UP.

Anyways, grace.

Then it dawned on me, I must VALUE myself and my time first before anyone else can VALUE ME. I must MASSIVELY value my talent and skills so I can massively impact the world for change. Don’t mind the money, don’t mind what’s going on in the world.

OUR JOB as artists, writers, musicians, creators is to create out of that secret place only we can….to bring fresh perspective, to be a vessel for which God creates through and with us. 

We must be creators….not constantly consuming the random streams of entertainment on facebook or social media, we must be INTENTIONAL about how we spend our time….because as creators, WE are the change. 

Living an intentional life seems to be impossible. Everyone is just responding to messages, staring at their phones, glued to present events instead of forecasting the future, dreaming, going about their dreams.

That is why I’m committing myself this day 8/18/2016 to be intentional about putting MYSELF first in this creating process so I can CREATE out of a space of health and freedom, instead of submitting to the urgency of other people around me. 

Sign- me.

Some people are so weirded out about the term “love yourself” but really it is just “valuing yourself”. Value your time, value your time.

Stop pimping yourself out. You don’t need to fix peoples’ lives, focus on creating so that you can have greater impact in this world. Sometimes codependent people are just a distraction so that you won’t write that book, create that podcast, write that article that millions and billions of people can be impact by.

I realize that by putting myself first, choosing my own well-being, health, sanity, I am loving the world at the same time. I am choosing the best for the world and I.

How about you? 

I would like to value myself more by: 

Fill in the blanks. Such as, “by not picking up my phone when I’m creating art” 

“Not taking on opportunities that don’t pay”

“Saying no and I don’t want to”

“Saying yes to my soul and what makes my spirit sing!”

PS- I’d like to add that the term starving artist has a connotation. Only when we are willing to starve as artists for the uncompromising truth of our soul will we then have massive impact. Because it is basically saying “I am SO passionate, I’d do anything for it”. When is the last time you felt that passionate about something? I believe it’s there, you have it within you.

2016 Love Blog

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OK, I’m starting a new segment and this one is called the love blog, so if you search categories on my blog search “love blog” for all the relationship related blog posts.

I just got out of dinner with my aunt and uncle.

And well, they told me how they met, basically it was an arranged marriage. Now their 3 kids are also married with kids. I was like omg (to the arranged marriage part).

Here’s a picture of my aunt on her wedding day. She did not look happy.   
Anyways, she went on this whole rant about how I should not have really high standards but I shouldn’t have really low ones either to which I reply, “I’m not at all worried, I just haven’t met the right person and it’s not like I have to marry 10 guys…geez”. Plus I believe if it is the right time, God will bring the right person into my life. Like the whole concept of when you’re happy being single, the right person will come along.

Let’s just say her rant got me kind of annoyed so I said goodbye and came back to write this blog post. Because she was kind of implying that if you are old then you have less chances of finding a mate…which I replied, “what’s the point of marrying just because you are old..like for what?” Basically you’re day old pie that nobody wants, is what she’s implying.

I straight up said “whoever marries me is lucky as fuck”. Minus the fuck part, because I don’t know how to cuss in Mandarin.

Because I just have standards and I only need one man, not a million. So yes, I’m an amazing and awesome woman and I don’t need to stoop down to appease societal standards of when I should marry.

So there’s your first love blog post. Enjoy!

Moral of the story- don’t give into societal standards just because you’re the last one in the family to get hitched. You have to know your own worth. 

I think she was just jealous that I had a choice to pick.