mindingmybiz

This blog is my shared process in working towards integrating self-awareness with all other aspects of life, while on my way to becoming more authentic and whole.

Self-Love Accountability Act

I’m holding myself accountable for, loving myself well. And to love myself well, is to know myself well, not just the parts I’m comfortable with.

This Self-Love Accountability Act will set you free, but more importantly – set me free.

With freedom, comes responsibility. With responsibility, comes freedom.

To the degree of freedom I seek, is the degree of responsibility I take. Outrageous and abnormal freedom requires outrageous and abnormal responsibility.

When it comes to our important relationships (romantic, parenting, relatives, workplace, friendships, etc.) I crave different levels of intimacy, but abhor all levels of vulnerability.

In my observations of being a human and walking with other humans thus far, I’ve noticed that we demand our personal freedoms, yet demand personal indemnity from our choices coming from our personal freedoms. This is not a political statement, but a personal one. We can be very shrewd and sophisticated in our ability to fight for our right to be unaccountable for ourselves within our most important (and vulnerable-laden) relationships. We hold others on the hook, while holding ourselves in tandem. It’s the double-bind of personal power within relationships. There’s this subconscious and tacit rule that can lead to so much avoidable stress within relationships when we energetically or emotionally communicate: “I want YOU to do what I don’t do, but better!'”

Personally, I’m becoming ‘woke’ to the ego-offending truth that I’ve lived for far too long relying on this double-bind to actually work for me, and those I care about. All while mostly holding them accountable while I defend my right to be free. This expansion is empowering me towards working WITH this paradox of personal power, which has both abundant freedom AND responsibility, in tandem.

For example, I’ve often expected others to generously and enthusiastically give me, what I’ve unwittingly been stingy and discriminately willing to give to myself – unconditional acceptance in the areas I feel the most vulnerable in. My vulnerabilities are parts or particulars deep down within, which I judge as least worthy of being seen in their unadulterated and unfiltered lens with dignity, let alone – love. Some call this shame.

The way to release the shame, is to look into my most shamed aspects of myself closely and in the light of conscious awakeness and see these sorely misunderstood and judged parts in the ways I want others to see me – with deep and sincere compassion, yet a no bullshit kind of honesty. These are not mutually exclusive. It’s living in the holding space of the human experience somewhere between “right” and “wrong”. Coming from a budding place of conscious acceptance vs self-ignorance.

It is MY job to know myself better, and love all parts. It is not other people’s job to do this for me. It is MY job to cultivate happiness, meaning, and growth in whatever circumstances I’m in, not others. And oddly, the more I do this for myself, the more I’ll find that this is being mirrored back by others who do this as well, almost effortlessly, but vice versa. Mirrors don’t judge, they just reflect.

This doesn’t mean I shouldn’t ever reach out for support, or receive support that’s available if I should choose to reach for it. Withholding that kind of support for myself isn’t very responsible or self-loving, and just frankly doesn’t get me very far, very fast. If it does for you, then keep at it!

I will receive support to nurture myself, especially when this is something new and outside of my comfort zone. Just as someone who is learning a foreign language would be wise to put themselves in environments where this new language is well spoken. Where they can practice the language while receiving helpful feedback and encouragement, while on their path to learning something new.

Set yourself free by holding yourself accountable to giving and receiving with yourself, the kind of love you want to receive, generously and abundantly. By doing this, you’ll also be setting those around you free to freely love and accept you, without the burden of the subconscious quid pro quo of “give-and-take” when it comes to taking turns babysitting each other’s egos. You cannot give love, in order to feel entitled for having resentment for not receiving love that you do not give and receive consciously with yourself first. Correction: You CAN do that! Just ask yourself honestly – how’s that been working for you? Do you and the other both come out ahead? This is a direct message coming from one who has done this in spades, and comes from a place of self-love and belief in your power to do this, imperfectly but progressively.

I’ve lived long enough in my life to learn this lesson, that getting caught up in the trap of “giving-to-get” gets old and never seems “fair” or “equitable” for long. The tallies just don’t seem to ever add up on each other’s scoresheet.

How am I giving and receiving within myself, what I want to receive from others in my most important relationships? Before I ask myself if others are measuring up (albeit is a valid and necessary question) – I will ask myself if I am first? Practicing outrageous accountability in this, will lead me to outrageous freedom I’m so ready to receive, and thank myself for and attracting this kind of empowering love into my life.

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Benefits of Rejection and Disapproval…

Allowing yourself to be on the receiving end of rejection and disapproval from some, while tolerating embracing your authentic expression from self-love is a transformational yet, intense internal workout. 

Expect to sweat. And yet – KEEP SHOWING UP.

Divine opportunities often present in crises.  You’re faced with a fork in the road. You can see your circumstance from a victim-standpoint swaying to the “Woe is Me” dirge, while indignantly blaming others. Or you can reclaim your personal power in making a conscious choice. Your move here matters. Therefore; you DO have power.

If you choose to remain a victim of life at least observe honestly. Ask yourself if you enjoy blame, shame, and playing the win/lose game with life, yourself, and others. And if so, for how long and at what cost?

If you want to reclaim your personal power, even if you currently feel as if your circumstances have flushed you down the toilet bowl, well then…grab hold of a plunger. Start to unclog the conspicuous beliefs inside which no longer serve you, and keep tripping you up or keep you bound up.  You don’t need to buy into these beliefs anymore my dear. Try imagining these beliefs about you and how the Universe operates being placed in “quotation marks” or ending with a question mark, instead of a period. Even if these beliefs did serve you at one point prior, push back a little. If they can withstand the present-day experiential litmus tests of serving your highest goals in life, keep them! If you’re not sure, ask yourself if you can see where buying into these beliefs has kept you protected on some level, but now; stuck in being stuck.

You can always numb out of from frustration until it’s unbearable because it won’t disappear unless you put a lot of energy into numbing out. Even, to the point of wanting to disappear right alongside of your emotions (some call this Depression). Or, let it energize and awaken you to DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT, especially if it’s uncomfortable (some call this a Breakthrough).

I compassionately, and fiercely DARE you to STEP UP. STEP OUT of an anachronistic north star with self-preservation as the bottom-line, often selling out as staying small to avoid giving it your all.

Please, don’t sell out on yourself. Find YOUR CONSCIOUS North Star from within, and set sail. You are worth it, and your world needs uniquely you to live this one life you have, authentically. Which means, receiving rejection and disapproval as a benefit, freeing you up to receiving something greater than mere fickle approval and acceptance.

Someday, your soul will feel the quiet but clear “Thank you’s” from others for stepping outside of your comfort zone. And, your soul will thank you too.

The Comfort Zone – ROE – Based in young-but-old fears…

These are your Rules of Engagement. If you dare become a defector to this regime of self-government – you’re on your own. But – you will be free. Therefore, choose consciously…

  • Do not be aware of what makes you feel uncomfortable.  At all cost: distract, explain/intellectualize/religionize away these demons and judge others who do not.
  • Don’t you dare welcome, examine, challenge, and shine on the other-side of leaving this comfort-zone.
  • Do not trust yourself.  Look outside for all validation, security, worth, and guidance, and remember to measure the outsides of others against your insides.
  • Interpret all mistakes as evidence that you’re not good/smart/strong/worthy enough, as is.
  • Strive for the appearance of perfection and “having it all together”.
  • Give a lot of fuks about what you cannot control, like other people’s business rather than your own, especially how they judge you.
  • Shrink to make others comfortable within their own comfort zones.
  • Do not be vulnerable/authentic and rock the boat of “normalcy”.
  • Always fear what the critics think, especially your own.
  • Shame and blame everyone else when things don’t go well. Never compassionately look at yourself. Ever.
  • Survival is the ONLY goal. And it’s survival of the ego.  
  • Fear and avoid any and all discomfort.
  • Do not let anyone in to see you. Rejection will not be risked.
  • Do not outgrow this comfort zone.  Conform and live survive.

Pain is the alarm system going off. It’s your Heart’s wake-up call to begin CONSCIOUSLY LIVING. It’s an opportunity saying, “You’ve outgrown your comfort zone.” Hit ‘Snooze’ (Warning: it comes on later) or – ARISE!! And get your lovely ass up…because you are worth it.

Creative Expression of My Highest Self (in memes) – My Imago Dei

Dad’s Transplant

I sat down next to my father who was less than 48 hours away from just having his liver and kidney transplant at Mayo. It finally happened, just like that. He was alert and coherent and I wanted to connect with him, but how? How could I relate to him? After all, I’ve never had a transplant. What was dad feeling? What was he thinking?

I looked at him and picked up this sense that Dad seemed to be in two places at once, internally. Dad has never been one to wear his emotions on his sleeves. He’s reflective, but not very expressive. He’s got a lot going on inside, but is usually a bit reserved.

But this time, Dad’s presence didn’t feel like reservation. He didn’t feel like he was lost in his thoughts. He felt very present, but just present in more than one space, and I wanted him to talk about that other space.

Mom was busy talking, telling us about all the amazing parts that lined up perfectly in order for this surgery to go smoothly. Like if Dad had started dialysis, which he was getting ready for when he got the call, there would’ve been obstacles because of the blood thinner. I was intently watching my Dad, while my mom was talking. I could tell Mom was elated but also very tired.

Finally, Mom paused and asked if there was anything I wanted to ask Dad. I said “Yes, and Mom, you stay quiet and don’t answer for him!” She laughed then agreed.

It was silent and I asked Dad this: “When you’re sitting in your room here alone, what comes to your mind or heart? What do you think or feel?” Dad got a little choked up and became tearful, then said “Amazement.” He said he was in “Awe”. I then asked him if he felt humbled by all this because he also had mentioned the donor. You see, we don’t know anything about the donor other than he was a younger male, and his organs were healthy enough to donate. But, he himself could not survive due to a severe traumatic brain injury. The donor’s family reached the difficult decision to take him off life support, and donate his organs. And this gave Dad a chance to live a life he could not otherwise have lived.

I could immediately see a connection. “Oh, this is kinda like adoption.” Both of my parents paused and looked at me. Then nodded their heads and said “Yes!” The room was silent. As for me, I reflected about this donor’s family being somewhere out there, deeply grieving a loss of life. At the same time, our family was so grateful for my dad to have a second chance at living. The paradox. The complexity. The space of “both/and”. Transplants which involve a dying organ donor has a lot of mixed feelings. Acknowledging that these organs were being donated because the person could no longer survive, yet this opens up the door for another life to go on.

Loss. Grief. Death. These all preceded my father getting the transplant. Now, this young man’s organs are helping to sustain my father’s life, a tragedy turned into a life-giving gift. We are all celebrating this, yet also holding onto this other family’s experience with deep compassion and gratitude for their decision to donate organs, wherever and whoever they are.

It’s similar to adoption. There is both loss and a chance at a new life, wrapped together.

Mom followed up asking me if I would write more about this. It really touched her. It’s the paradox of life, yet it seems this is how God is a Master Weaver, using all things for the highest good. Through tragedy, new life can come.

This is how I understand God works, She brings new life and beauty from ashes. It IS amazing, Dad.

Simply, amazing. Just like you.

Dad less than 48 hours after his liver/kidney transplant.

Love,

Kris

On Race. On Being Me. #POC. (persons of color)

I confess, I’m developing a reactive racial bias, but it’s creating balance, to correct an imbalance within. Though it may seem like all biases create imbalance, like everything else, there’s context to be considered. Read on…

I’m starting to feel more comfortable around POC (see image).  In general, I experience POC as more humble, approachable, and down to earth.  This conscious observation is very new to me.  I’m growing into my own skin.  I’m accepting celebrating who I am, from the outside, in.  

I didn’t grow up with a positive association towards POC modeled to me.  I believe society and my parents (albeit subconsciously) didn’t, hold POC in a consciously positive, or at least overtly positive, light. This is not because my parents are immoral or cruel. They, like everyone else, self included, were conditioned by their culture. And when you are privileged with race, class, gender, or whatever – it’s easy to be ignorantly ignorant. It takes more effort to actually become as my 14 yr old daughters says – “woke”. In other words, have no idea that you’re ignorant unless you intentionally and humbly look, with trusted accountability.  

Embracing my POC status feels very empowering and self-respecting, and healing. This isn’t a grandiose form of empowerment which degrades others in order to feel good.  It’s bringing about a healing leveling playing field, from within.

Would this evolving bias offend some people?  Perhaps.  Like who?  -I’m suspecting those who have subconscious white fragility. A telltale sign of this if if you’re white, and pointing that fact out causes offense, and yet believe they are not impacted much by their racial status. This kind of mindset makes it hard to hear someone like me, who has struggled with racial identity. This racial discord as a trans-racial adoptee, is something I always felt but not on a conscious level. I steered clear from this area, until recently. 

Without any language, I’ve experienced dissonance around my racial identity and didn’t have people I could open up to about this. I’ve found that race is controversial, unless (broadly speaking) you’re in an echo-chamber of those who are just like you.  This was a very complacent but dull part of my identity. I isolated about this because it did make people noticeably uncomfortable and defensive. I grew accustomed numb to it be means of “adaption” or “assimilation” and therefore this watered a shame-based way of existing.

I am starting to really feel proud of being a POC (person of color).  And…

it’s about damn time.  

I grew up wishing (secretly) soooo intensely, that I had curly or at least, blonde hair, blue eyes, and was of course, white. I (subconsciously) loathed the undeniable fact that I was not white. I didn’t have natural blonde hair or blue eyes. This shame was complicitly supported by means of something powerful because it’s invisible – silence.

Unaware that this “thing” called “internalized racism” existed, I was profoundly but ignorantly plagued by it.  I developed ideas, beliefs, and behaviors that supported or colluded with the notion that “white is normal”, or at least was oblivious to this illogical, surreptitious, and pervasive, white supremacy/”normalcy” lens. Whatever was considered “white” in the culture, was “standard”, meaning: “right”, “best”, or “normal”.  Anything in the culture or about me that wasn’t considered in-line with this white standard was considered, deviant or aberrant, simply because it was different.  Different from what?  – whiteness. 

So, I confess.  I have this bias.  I am starting to gravitate towards POC.  I hope I’m not too awkward by my noticing this more. I know, it’s weird, because I am one, too.  A POC.  But, I have not embraced, let alone cherished it.  I’ve maybe accepted or “tolerated” my racial identity at most.

I’m inspired by POC who are proud to be POC.  Who notice the differences, in a POSITIVE and FAVORABLE light, not just a “tolerable” one and can break this silence of complicit white supremacy.

I (like my white parents) have been brainwashed by white supremacy, except they’ve subconsciously had advantages from this, I haven’t. Aka. white privilege.  Sorry, I know that’s a buzz word for some white people. How dare I draw attention to your racial identity! Well, I dare. POC are used to this, being referred to by their race by people of a different (the majority) race, all the damn time. “This Asian girl” “This black guy” “This Native woman” “That Hispanic kid”. Rarely do you hear white people saying “this white man”.

I’m now, in a phase of conscious deconstruction and deprogramming in many aspects of my life, that I took for granted. As a KAD (Korean Adoptee) of white parents I have transracial, white privilege.  Yeah, it’s complicated. Race IS. This is probably why I didn’t question my race for a long time, because it was the water I swam in and nobody in my immediate circles growing up talked openly about it either. This started to shift in adolescents, but I didn’t have adults I could talk to about my cognitive dissonance being transracial.

In adulthood, reflective deconstruction and reconstruction is taking place spiritually, socially, politically, philosophically, and emotionally – I am sometimes a hot mess driven by my inner maverick. It’s a lifelong process of becoming “woke”. For me, deprogramming from mainstream culture or at least the predominant subculture I grew up that didn’t acknowledge my differences within my social environment (white, suburban, Evangelical culture) is an ongoing process of discovery and self-affirmation, in the awoken beautiful face of…


This feels, freeing.  It frees up space inside for me to occupy – me, and love it. I’m liking my racial identity and affinity towards POC, that does not white out, me.


Love and Shit

So, another intimate relationship has fallen through the cracks for me. I’m coming to accept this through grief and self-reflection. On this path, I find myself asking, “why?”

I believe all intimate relationships that cannot overcome its obstacles boil down to this: at least one person is not committed to dealing with their own shit.

This closed door between them and their past shit, comes in between their intimate relationships unless the other party is willing to settle for dysfunction or disconnect, and be at ease with dis-ease.

Everyone has their own shit. Shit from either childhood or adulthood, and usually a mix of both. Humans are biologically wired for relationships. There’s a ton of scientific evidence to support that, go Google it. This is neither good, nor bad. It just IS. When in an intimate relationship, you will find opportunity to either deal with your shit, or have the relationship suffer. Nobody can make this choice for anyone else. It’s a free-will decision that impacts others, but is only controlled by the one making it.

You need to own your shit, or your shit will own you. It’s simple, but not easy.

People who shrink back from going into their shit, will create more shit.

There are a million different ways to shrink back from your shit, which in turn produces more shit, which in turn produces more shrinking back…you see where this leads? To a lot of shit.

A few common ways people shrink back from dealing with their shit, which produces more shit is:

  • Violence/Aggression
  • Isolation
  • All sorts of addictions. Some are more destructive than others and some are more socially acceptable than others but they’re all an escape from your shit.

What keeps you trapped in this downward spiral is the practice of consistently shifting blame onto others for your present day behaviors. This is an effective way of ultimately betraying yourself. When you refuse to take responsibility for yourself, you don’t have to sit with what can actually save you, guilt and self-reflection. This may work for you temporarily, but ultimately comes with a huge cost. Because temporarily is only temporary.

Guilt will lead you back to yourself, but you’ve got to be comfortable enough in your own skin – all of it, to be in it. It’s the language of your own internal moral compass, which is always on your side. But people can spend years, decades, even most of their lifetime, at war with their own moral compass. This is an exhausting battle.

Guilt is meant to jar you, because if you avoid it for long, you’ll eventually experience a break down. Accumulative guilt will weigh a person down with such a heavy toll that they have to self-destruct to find momentary relief, with suffering at the tail-end. Unless you have a serious mental illness where you cannot feel any guilt or shame, in which you are a very dangerous person, especially to those who are closest to you but even to the general public. In that case, you’d be a sociopath.

What do you do when you’re in an intimate relationship with someone who WILL NOT GO THERE…to where their shit is? Clinicians call it trauma. Some people call it baggage, their shadow, or their inner demons. Whatever you call it, if you’re with someone who is unwilling to go there themselves, let alone with you – you are faced with the reality of your powerlessness over someone else you care about.

I’m learning love does this in that painful place – let go.

The most loving thing I can do for the other, and for myself – is to truly let go.

This is where I enter into addressing my own shit.

Doing loads and loads of grieving.

But if I do not enter into this work, I will return to it with more shit. I’ve been here before. I now know, what I didn’t know before. When an intimate relationship ends, there is a need to let go, and grieve with other safe people, and most importantly, with myself.

This is where I will find my own healing. For some people, what doesn’t kill them will break them down, and for some, what doesn’t kill them will make them stronger. I will to be the latter, and need support from others to do so because self-reliance is a sham. It actually makes me weaker. When I self-deceive myself into the delusion of self-reliance, I’ll will create more shit.

I don’t have to shut-down or close the door to my heart, even especially when I’m hurting. I will open myself up to what IS available, instead of fight what isn’t, even if it hurts at first.

I’m ready to meet life, on life’s terms and grieve the losses I’ve experienced and am experiencing. I will remain open, to what is, even though I close myself to what isn’t. This takes strength. The kind of strength I didn’t believe I had, until I was faced with the choice to either shut-down which would hurt my children the most, or to live, and let live.

There is serenity in acceptance, but the path weaves through grief, and will turn out better for me in the end. But now, it’s hard as hell.

But this too, shall pass.

Protected: My Journey with “god”…

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Men: A Call to Men, by a Woman

I’m coming out of the closet with being so fed up with the teeny tiny toxic man box, as a woman. I have HAD it with the ass backwards relationships between a man and his power, which is socially reinforced like it’s on steroids.

By the way, if you don’t know what I’m referring to when I say “man box” watch this:

Mr’s. please hear me. We have brave men who specifically support and speak into empowering women to heal and rise above the toxic social messages that imply or convey that they are second class citizens, and to instead know their worth and resist these sexist messages that society or their past tells them. I appreciate those men’s voices in support of women rising above a culture that tries to stifle them. It may be a long shot, but for whatever it’s worth, I offer my voice speaking into men’s lives wherever it may be received.

It’s challenging for a woman to speak to men about gender issues because an insidious part of gender issues, specifically related to gender violence against women, comes from living inside the man box, where women are considered inferior – easily dismissed or slammed for speaking out. I wonder if this means most men are receptive only to men when it comes to having a conversation about what it means to be a real man even though most men who live with women or girls want to be validated by them as being real men too, even if they don’t show it. I’ll take my chances that some men are receptive to voices that aren’t exclusively from men when it comes to this topic. I believe a part of the problem is that most men are unaware of being inside that same man box, even if they never become violent towards a woman themselves, and this is what perhaps contributes to keeping them silent and complicit – adhering to the invisible man code of omission in the face of commission when it comes to violence against women. I am witness to this, and I will not stay silent, though I am not a man.

I’m a woman who has unfortunately experienced domestic violence, has reached out to men in my life asking them to confront this issue and the man with me, and nobody answers that call. Instead I get a litany of excuses for their disengagement, even if that means a woman they care about is at risk for being seriously hurt or worse. Where are the men? They are hiding in that man box, which is preventing them from being the men they could be, because that means being vulnerable, taking initiative, and therefore putting their egos in the backseat so they’re free to take risks with other men. That is why I’m personally fed up with this man box. The only thing that fits neatly inside is a very fragile male ego.

As a woman, I don’t have that man box to contend with in order to feel validated in my gender. I am not stifled by the socialization of my gender that is highly controlling and restrictive when it comes to having emotions. When I do encounter this from other women, I believe it’s second hand to women who have been indoctrinated by men AND women who believe the man box is all there is when it comes to being “strong”. It can restrict everyone to a certain degree, but less for women than men in my experience.

I know I’m a woman, I don’t feel the need to prove this by acting out in certain ways with men or women that violate or ignore the right to consciously have my own values. That is a gender-based prison our culture throws boys and men into, that creates barriers from ever being challenged from the inside out, by other men, or by women who are obviously not men, and therefore according to the man box, don’t really matter.

Sirs – please. Break out of that man box.

The reality is you DO have power which is unique to being a man. You can choose how, when, and where to wield that power but since it is power, there are big stakes involved. I am speaking as a woman who has been through the clutches of domestic violence, which in most cases though not all (some women do have significant physical and financial advantages over their male partners) involve a man using his advantages to evade his own inner emotional work, at the expense of his own family and exploits a woman’s vulnerabilities by going to great lengths to avoid his own. Although believing (albeit unconsciously) that entering into vulnerability or emotional work is optional at best, or God-forbidden – “women’s work” at worst. That the relinquishment of the only kind of power he knows – power OVER others, including parts of himself that he’s terrified or ashamed of (like his emotional needs) and cannot fully access. It’s as if his penis might shrink or fall off if he gets in touch with his emotional life.

Undoubtedly, you’ve been taught by a culture that you cannot afford to give up this man box. That the only thing to fear is, fear or vulnerability. But your shield of invulnerability is what keeps you caged inside the toxic tiny man box, and locks away your true sense of power – the power to consciously and courageously navigate through your own internal world and integrate that world with your external world. Your internal world of vulnerability exists whether you openly acknowledge it or not. Integrate this in a way that makes you feel undeniably and unpretentiously self-respecting and can entitle you to feel like the kind of man you will be proud of while in the vulnerable unmasked presence of those you’re closest to and know you best, your own family.

I cannot tell you how to do that work, as a man. I’ve never had to break out of the man box, but I’ve lived with men who are extremely attached to it, and it’s hurt. Profoundly. That kind of work IS man’s work. We women have our own work when it comes to getting out of our own unhealthy gendered socialization. It’d be presumptuous and arrogant of me to tell you how to breakout of the man box just like it would be if a man were to tell me how to heal my wounds from sexism or misogyny. The kind of traveling companion you need is a brother of sorts, a man who knows what it’s like to live in that box, and work his way out.

I can tell you that this refusal to STEP UP and LEAD your family, or your community, your department, your tribe of whatever proportions – with courage, humility, and self-respect is squashed when you live in that toxic man box.

The way UP is OUT.

The way to move UP from boyhood and into manhood with bravery, integrity, and strength that doesn’t dominate others out of a fear of vulnerability is to get OUT of this toxic man box, and get around other men who are doing the same. They do exist. Just as women who are healing from our own gender-based wounds, you cannot do this alone, which herein lies a challenge if you’re stuck in that box. You need others, and they need you, because you’re doing what your sperm has to do in order to create a new life – swim upstream. Graphic, but don’t miss the rich symbolism in how men contribute to the creation of a new human life. Swimming upstream!

One of my favorite quotes comes from J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire:

“If you want to know what a man’s like take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals.”

This is the kind of strength and leadership women want from their men in intimate relationships. It’s hot. It’s sexy. It’s admirable and will make most women take pause. But in order to get to that point, you have to stop burying what the man box says you need to bury – your feelings. The vulnerable ones, not just your feelings related to being pissed off or horny, you’ll need the rest of them too – they’re there.

Our culture does you a disservice when they sell you short with the man box, and you cannot escape being exposed to it – it’s widespread in our American culture.

Depending on how much or how little you’ve been exposed to life outside of the man box, you may need either a shovel to dig out your emotions, or an excavator. But who do you need permission from in order to begin doing this work? – YOURSELF.

Doesn’t waiting on other men or mainstream culture to grant you permission to be fully alive and consciously awake to ALL of your emotions render you vulnerable and dependent, which is a violation of that man box you adhere to anyway?

Our culture does no favors to you, women, or children by keeping you in that man box. Dig yourself out, don’t wait for someone else to rescue you or grant you that permission. If you don’t have it from other men in your life right now, that’s OK. Revolt. Find men who get it. If you give in to the man box, you may slowly die by burying core parts of yourself alive inside a box that cannot handle a man that’s fully alive – thinking and feeling independent of that man box. Dig like the quality of your life depended on it, because I’m willing to bet a lot of it does if you have any women or girls in your life that you hold dear. And do it wholeheartedly because, you are worth more than half-assing it.

For more resources go to:

http://www.acalltomen.org/

Thank you.

De-Colonizing Christianity

At a recent local para-Christian ministry meeting, I was reminded of one of the main reasons I left “the church”. Now, once in awhile I’ll attend a church service, but I feel more like an outsider, rather than “one of the flock” and I like it like that for now, and perhaps that won’t ever change.

A home was purchased for the purpose of doing ministry in the community. I think that is a WONDERFUL thing. And the people who were meeting all seemed to have loving and caring hearts, that wanted to reach out to others and help extend the kind of healing they’ve received, to others.

Please note, this is not an attack on the people, this is an attempt to raise awareness on implicit and unconscious biases of a group of people, and there are always exceptions, but my experience didn’t lend to the notion that I was bumping up against an exception, but rather a rule, because of the silence and complicitness within a group of people.

One of the modalities of healing which was shared was of Yoga. There was one very strong and vocal opponent of using Yoga. She is active in something called “Deliverance Ministry” where you deliver people from evil or demonic spirits. She said she had delivered demonic spirits from people who were well advanced into their yoga practice and believed it was in complete opposition to her Christian faith, believing it to be a dangerous practice. This stirred up some tension as there were others in the room in support of yoga. One of the peace-making attempts was initiated by a woman who tried to identify with the woman who was opposed to yoga by saying when she got really into essential oils, this was criticized by other Christians she knew as being “Asian” and the implicit notion was that it therefore, should not be readily accepted by Christians.

Well, I am Asian. Specifically – Korean adopted. I was born in Korea, adopted and raised by White American parents where I was raised “in the church”. Perhaps that’s why I feel so brazen in addressing these heated issues of both race and religion in one post. Part of me feels as though I’m one of them too, who held the same beliefs around Christianity, without being racially self-aware due to a huge lack of race being openly discussed or addressed in my transracially adopted home. It was as if my racial difference didn’t really exist, to the point where I often even forgot I wasn’t White, but Asian. Sorry, I digress, that’s a whole different blog post.

So, I was the only Asian or non-white person in the ministry meeting, and was offended by that microaggression or bordering blatantly racist remark. I spoke up and said “Can I just say, not all Christians are white.” Nobody else commented or responded. The one person who absolutely would have spoken up was on the receiving end of her own microaggressions or scrutiny due to being a yoga instructor. But nobody else spoke up. It’s as if I wasn’t really saying anything anyone else could understand. There was acknowledgment of the offensive talk around the demonization (literally) of yoga, since several others in the group also spoke up and came to the defense of yoga because they’ve had their own positive experiences with yoga, even though from one individual there was a strong resistance and accusation of yoga being “dangerous” partly because it had its roots in India, in Hinduism, this religion that worships false gods and idols, and not the “One True God of the Bible”.

While the following is my interpretation from the not so implicit bias – this is more or less how it came across to me – as implicit racism rearing its ugly but well-disguised “Christian” head asserting its implicit White dominance:

“Yoga does NOT have its origins in the White-European culture, therefore it’s an aberration and is to be feared, thus saith the Lord!”

And it is to this implicit racism I would like to speak quite explicitly to, if you could grant me permission to possibly offend you if you are a White Christian, who is not (in the words of my 13 year old daughter) been “woke” yet.

Granted, I am no Biblical scholar, credentialed theologian, or historian. I am just an average lay person who doesn’t have white skin, who’s intrigued by Jesus, but finds some of his followers, particularly White Christians – very difficult to deal with at times.

Here we go…

Oh – Trigger alert if you have White fragility and if you don’t know what the hell heck that is, you likely have it if any mention of your “Whiteness” as a race triggers you. I’ve learned this is a very fragile space to speak directly to, but for the grace of God, there go I…

Christianity is not a White-European based religion or faith. Jesus’ race was not of European descent, he was of the Middle Eastern/Northern African region and descent.

Reminder: Jesus was NOT White.

According to forensic scientists, Jesus most likely had dark-brown skin, dark brown eyes, and dark colored hair. And his first disciples were likely not White either. Please, stop colonizing Christianity. Like Yoga, Christianity does not have its origins in White-European culture.

A “false god” or “idol” you may need deliverance from is your White privilege that believes strongly albeit unconsciously, that anything that deviates from White-European based culture, including how one practices their faith (Christian or otherwise) is aberrant, and therefore inferior and to be distrusted. This ego that is implicitly racist, just might be playing the role of a false god, which should probably be humbly examined.

You can build a wall around your White implicitly racist egos, but you cannot isolate god or Jesus to those who look and act like you. But, you can be delivered from this false idol by repenting and turning on the lights to your own fears, insecurities, pain, and defense mechanisms which often scapegoat those for doing just as you do, but don’t look or talk like you. There IS hope for your liberation from White implicit racism. The Lord can help you become “woke” but first you’ll have to stop colonizing and White-washing Christianity.

The abundant life is enjoyed better when you’re awake. But just as the Native American proverb goes – “You can’t wake someone who is pretending to be asleep.”

My words are spoken in an attempt to wake some people up who are dangerously sleepwalking in their racial ignorance combined with their Christianity. I’m willing to assume that it’s not consciously intentional. So, now you can examine it with conscious awareness, if you so choose.

Will you now hit the snooze button and go back to sleep? Or will you stretch, and arise?

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