*Following is a journal entry. I’m not trying to explain anything to anyone. It’s mostly raw, unfiltered reflections. Please do read my vulnerability.
Since Monday, every class has been about relationships and emotional baggage We’ve been taking care of our inner child, and mending the gaps between the holes in our lives.
There wasn’t much to reflect on for the Monday’s class. It was mostly lecture. Everything I heard felt like a review. I felt like my heart was not in the right place of listening, but I was nudged of how we seriously do manipulate each other through words and unkempt emotions.
Tuesday, I journeyed through emotional epiphanies. Pastor Maria led us to an exercise where we identified a feeling that has been constantly bumming us down. Mine was the feeling of not good enough, inadequacy, and soaring standards. She asked us to invite this feeling in — don’t resist it, let it be it. One of the strategies she gave us was to rename or reframe this emotion. I gave it a new name called excellence. I asked Jesus if this is any good: “I understand that standards are often not compassionate acts toward myself.” He gently gave me a new framework. When I excel because of love; when I excel for the sake of glory and beauty; when I excel without burning myself out — it’s all in the name of love I should act.
Then came KCL II. Seriously, no one ever asked for this today.
After the class, my internet-geek mind made up a meme (like these) in my head.
The whole universe:
People from all of history:
Danny: Okay, today we bawl.
God: YAY CRY HEALING PARTY!
Jesus: I LOVE EMOTIONS.
Holy Spirit: I understand your sighs.
We talked about trauma. Traumas are all established by the time we’re 8 years old, Danny said. We were given the opportunity to share about our triggers to our small groups.
Mine has been pretty obvious lately. The world doesn’t seem fair when visas are excluded to someone who has lived in one land yet doesn’t belong. The thing is: one, I know it’s not my parent’s fault, I have truly been at peace about this since high school; two, God provides yet it’s just sometimes so hard to grasp when COVID-19 is on every new report, all borders are closed, and there may be no visa; three, homes are people, but that doesn’t work for passports and visas and citizenships. My heart tendencies doesn’t let me stay “home”, money and paperworks do.
“I traced my triggers. These little traumas have been accumulating from the little thing number one: going to Korea for the first time and feeling like I’ve completely changed but the world hasn’t caught up to it yet. Or little thing number two: that one time I came home and told my parents I’m not Korean because I truly feel nationless. Or little thing number three: the times I spent at MK camps in Korea feeling like I belonged but also seeing how spirit of political correctness still hinders most people from acceptance with hands wide open.
Hands. Earlier during worship time, I had my hands open. It just somehow felt like my hands were never big enough. I kept telling God they’re not big enough. I have them wide open because they’re not big enough. He says it’s ok. He asked me in return what if He catches all the things I cannot catch on my open hands? Open hands are hard to hold onto, what if He was the only one I was holding onto?
Hands. When I watch films, I pay attention to scenes with hands. I love the intricate details the actors carry in their smallest of muscles in their knuckles. Hands — how they interact with their wedding ring or the lack of; how they check out their nails; how hands of lovers glide over each other’s finger tips or faces. God is always telling me something about hands.
Danny led us into an exercise of letting go of our traumas, protecting our inner child, forgiving ourselves, and being compassionate to the ones who were supposed to take care of us. There were a lot of imagined hand gestures. Hands are handsome creations.
I cannot spoil this spiritually awakening exercise for you, but let’s just say the whole room was flooding with tears.
As I rambled, vented, cried, smiled, threw tantrums during the guided exercise, Holy Spirit affirmed me that God’s too good to let us go. Hence, that’s why we’re allowed to let go of everything else.
Dearest little Amie, hold on tight but won’t you let go?
During the last part of the letting go, Jesus helped us invite our youngest selves. When I saw my little untainted self skip along to my side, she had the largest eyes, the stubbiest legs, the chubbiest cheeks, and that smile — I still have that smile. Some features run from generations to generations. May I learn to be thankful. May I know that I’m enough. May I know that my inner child is worth protecting. May I see that my dreams can still be untainted.
As I wrote my letter to Umma and Appa, I had an idea of reading it out loud on my wedding day as some couples thank their parents as a part of the ceremony. I urged God that he really needs to improve my Korean. I felt freer than ever yet most exhausted. Letting go isn’t a one-off deal, this will be a process of a lifetime. At least now I understand that his hands are steady and my heart is worth protecting. Letting go can be easier.
I came home to hand my eyes over to my heart — my parents somehow looked amazingly adorable.