A hug for my soul

A journey of grieving and healing after child loss

Humanity within You

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I am usually not an Apple fan.

In Ginza, the busiest district in Tokyo, my daughter and Vincent took me upstairs to use the restroom in a apple store, and decided to sit down at their cinema and watch what was on.

They and Apple popped me a bit more open.

The short movies were typically liberally Americanized. All races, all genders, all ages, all modifications of physical capabilities.

We are the same. We are one. We all love the Apple technology which brings us closer.

Undoubtedly true. On an individual level. We long to be no different than others. We long to belong. We long to express the best of ourselves.

But earth is an interesting place. We chose to come in different facades. Colors. Genders. Sexual preferences. Various density and collective characteristics of cultures. Families.

I imagine some of the choices are accumulated preferences of our past lives, as I myself have been different Asians for many lives, some are goals undone or still room left to work on, some are just purely “hey let’s try this one this time and see the world from that angle, how about being burnt alive for just being Tibetan?”

Then here we are. The veil is suddenly there. Life seems so unfair. Unfair for those who seems to have been dealt with shit cards, unfair for those where everything is just so perfect, so perfect that they have to build a wall mentally and physically to protect the God-sent hand of cards.

Then the accumulated imprints and cultural density kick in. They are bad. We are not. He did that. I am just the way I am. What we have came here to work on left from past lives, and even in this life – prejudices against other cultures, genders, races; Inclined self-esteem; fear, lots of fear of water, animals, sounds, height; denial; jealousy out of self protection; greed; projections..they all suddenly work not in favor of us, but we have to constantly work against them to stay sane and feel a tat sheltered in this crazy crazy world.

I don’t agree segregation is the answer. But that is a political issue so out of control that it is simply handed to one or two souls’ free will and flooded with support out of fear.

But unity first comes from within. It is the harmony between your soul and your current physical body, and the respect from the rest of you to the soul’s past lives lived and experienced. You are strong, you are male, you got your education, you live in civilization where clean water comes from your direct house, you got the package. You were black. You were a female slave. You were a soldier. You were a witch. You were persecuted with an ax. Your current sense of superior doesn’t only sadden the rest of the world, but it hurts the rest of you, which an abundance of wisdom and suffering.

You come from a less favored race, you are discriminated for your gender, you feel no one likes you just for what you are like from the outside. Your currently status and how it is perceived by others, who are also on their unique journey, doesn’t grand you the permission to treat yourself and others with no boundaries such as the classic “I’m xxx and all xxx do this, accept it or you are not my friend” or high walls of a totally closed up heart.

So many lights traveled, so many lives lived, yet they seem to be wasted. Life lessons are tricky and hard, sometimes they don’t make sense at all, and I think I can as well just live it to my fullest awareness to love, then the rest doesn’t matter.

The oneness is within each one of us, the love needs to be first spread within self love, and then we would really learn and experience how it feels to love someone or something that is so fundamentally different yet so close.

The message really is so there yet so overlooked: Different is the one thing about us that is always the same.

The truth is we don’t see things the same, the power is we don’t see things the same.

We all came here to be a part of it, to make the world a more powerful place. Why not use it, since we are already here anyways?

Humanity is plural, not single. And that starts with respecting literally all humanity within each of us. They dance like a river within you and surrounding you, with mind-blowing grace and light.

The Art of Being Enough

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The one tie we have to this world – our family and the society surrounding us, each and every individual member of that category, our parents, kids, partners, siblings, classmates, friends, work mates, neighbors, we learn and test drive everyday with them for our nature in this world – the longing to belong.

We dream to be all things rosy and wonderful, so we are counted as lovable, desirable, capable and resourceful for those we care about. It is like a high once those goals are met, and it hurts the ego like an annoying UTI if we fail to meet those potentials we all think we have, so we feel sorry and incapable, so that must be the reason we feel so low and unappreciated, so we must do better, because you know, nothing is impossible, especially for almighty God-like me. So we try harder, we give more, we push another corner of the wall down, there goes the vicious circle.

The issue here is not you are not capable and you have to put a limit to things you want to do for your loved and cared ones. The issue not addressed is, most people have not learnt how to structure and maintain a healthy boundary with others. Yes we need boundaries, not cold, high walls with scorpion arrows prepared for battles, but firm, clear yet bouncy cushions for your emotional and physical wholeness.

When I close my eyes, it feels like one’s aura, a beautifully knitted net with lights from different shades, like the splash of blinding yet glittering power of sunshine when we flip our wings, shining God’s love and wisdom, but also imprinted with each individual’s own shadows.

What is the light? Energy. Positive energy so pure and powerful brought to this realm by us, wishing nothing else but to experience the fullness and dimensions of everything. What about the shadows? Energy. Energy that is transmuted into something heavier, like fear, insecurity, abandonment, jealousy and hatred. In Kundalini my teachers say when they look at people’s auras, they can always tell how truly centered and happy they are. Sometimes the beautiful nets of lights are holed, torn apart or scared.

This heaviness we carry around can be something a trauma that’s not looked at and cared for, either acute or from childhood or even past lives (I like talking about past lives because I’m a little crazy for this world, just like you are), and not that surprisingly, from your intact environment, cultures, languages, education and upbringings.

I experience in most Asian cultures, girls are perceived as less capable thus less useful than boys, a little girl has to be an all-in-one, meaning smart, slender, beautiful, considerate, caring, kind, generous, learn everything, to even catch up, to not be left behind in the competition, eventually to deserve some love and respect; Many experience in their own relations with their parents as feeling blackmailed, guilty, unfulfilled and unfair.

What’s easier to control? They are told to fulfill tasks, change plans, pick up responsibilities, give up dreams, tear down their personal space on demands of their parents or family, or even a collective country, so the needs of the latter are met – A guilty conscience filled by sometimes unreasonable demands from the closest people, and fear of losing their love if not obeyed. Your particular parents love you with all their hearts, and this was not their own invention. It is passed down through generations, made into cultural norms and renounced traditions, you are a traitor of all those above if you don’t agree that you are never enough, of course for the convenience of everything and everyone else, and later for your addiction for confirmation of being really okay and lusting for more than what’s okay.

Your auras are stepped into. And your family situation, passed on imprints and perceptions, cultures, all teach you to let that happen, so you can shine your goodness more, so love can be sustained. Your boundaries are stepped over. And everyone teaches you to tear that completely down. The more demand you can bear, the more non-guilty good feelings you’ll get in return.

The beautiful wings of light we came into this world with, which we thought was the most valuable assert, was roughly and rudely stripped away, and we are left with our arms and hands chained by deep, deep fear. A fear so foreign that we don’t know where it came from, yet a fear so familiar that when we take a deep breath, it is our dear soul looking back at us in the eyes, murmuring “how are you going to go on without knowing who you are?”

This black mailing system sustains itself, as soon as a little girl becomes a mother in deep fear of wanting to be more and do more, and soon steps into her children’s boundaries, as early as a child learns to please the parents with “good behaviors” for love and affection.

There is a difference between the frustration of not being enough driven by fear, and the pure longing to explore more. The former is composed by the heavy stuff in your aura, and you are feeding it by allowing your ego to tell you “being enough makes you better and more lovable than others”, making it impossible for you to maintain your own boundaries, and step over others’ without even realizing it. The kind of “You are enough” love? You’ll feel the lightness of being trusted and allowed, being let go, fly, explore and soar, like trusting your partner’s loyalty with a vulnerable heart, like watching your parents getting older and more fragile; like getting pregnant after three miscarriages, like saying goodbye to your dying baby and holding his body in your arms.

You are enough when your expertise earns you 200 euros while others’ earn 2000; You are enough when you are too tired to read your children 5 stories like the mom next door; You are enough when you don’t have a present or message for your partner everyday; You are enough if you are no longer happy in your marriage and want a divorce; You are enough if you don’t want to get your clothes dirty playing with your toddler; You are enough when you don’t have enough money for your parents’ surgery; You are enough if you don’t know how to cook; You are enough even and especially when you have only one arm or one leg.

You are enough when you remind yourself so. Others forget and are in a fantasy as if they are in constant competition with the world around? Gently tell them, you are enough, and your soul wants her wings back.

This is our teaching from this week. Thank you.

All Roads Lead to Rome

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A suffocatingly crowded place, Kiyomizudera in Kyoto. After climbing the hills and swimming through the intimidating tourist pool my thighs started to sweat in my rented kimono.

Finally. There we were. The gorgeously grand and graceful Kiyomizudera temple opened her arms and embraced us.

One really has to move mountains to arrive at the top.

I thought to myself.

We took photos, prayed, shopped, and painfully made our way back to the kimono shop at the foot of the mountain, again through the intimidating forest of PEOPLE.

At the corner of the shop, quietly stood the Otani Hombyo. I wanted to take one last look at this one cherry tree in full blossom in there, and this sentence stood right in front of it.

和颜爱语. Gentle in countenance and loving in speech.

The Chinese and Japanese characters capture the essence more accurately than translated into English, in my opinion.

Be gentle with your facial expression and choose loving words while communicating.

The way your face looks shines the light of peace and a balanced soul, while your speech delivers the pure meaning of love and compassion.

Your kindness is reflected on how you look at the world around you. Your words reflect the amount of love you have in your heart.

I like adding different connectives when translating, by playing with various versions of translation, I get to be closer to what the writer really wants to express.

Whichever one you mean, thanks for your kind teaching.

I traveled all the way to get this teaching right at the corner of my eye, yet the whole journey was invincible, expansive and priceless.

Judging and Being judged

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It is our first day back into the surreal and hectic city life of Kyoto from the temple mountain Koyasan. Those countless praying and temple visits which seemed to have been docile and mild, ended up stirring up so much energy which has been pushed deep into the black hole in my emotional jungle.

Judging and being judged. You might think the former is a much more comfortable place to be compared to the latter. However, if you dive deeper, which by the way is always painfully achievable, by peeling the emotional onion, by digging under your layers of faux “I know it all” and “I’m the only person hurt on this planet”, by facing up to the floating headless monsters and haunting black clouds of insecurity, self-doubt, anger, jealousy and expectations for the outside world, you get to meet the tiny shivering body hiding behind – an inner child so denied of compassion and love.

Hurt people hurt. We all judge because somewhere down the road, we all have been judged. Perhaps unconsciously, the world seems to be such a soul-sucking place, the only way for us to maintain the illusion of awake-ness is to push the buttons never meant to be pushed in other realms, or to aid to eliminate confusion of this aimlessness and the longing to belong.

Well we are kinda here to feel different sorts of emotions such as our personal boundary overstepped, it becomes complicated once the energy is formed, because judgement is to my eyes a bit like a careless flame, it ends up lighting up each individual’s fuel, oil, paper, textile and even the most innocent item in the house, depending on his life lessons and imprints. The hurt is real, the pain is real, it is part of what we are here to experience by just feeling it, yet we forget the free will is also real.

Our free will doesn’t allow us to become holier by “doing the right thing”, it is simply here to allow us be.

I often am soaked in tears when I feel wronged, bad mouthed or unfairly judged, my being is denied of its right to just be, and all of a sudden I have to meet some sort of standard which has absolutely nothing to do with me? I get hurt because I mourn for my wholeness which now seems tainted, I am quickly talked into feeling like an outsider because I care about those who did it, or I expect myself to be acceptable, or both. It’s like having ran a marathon later never counted, a well-wrapped present returned, a delicately frosted cake spoiled. Or shit.

I close my eyes and beg for an answer from within: “Hey you! This really is getting annoying! When on EARTH am I done here and when can I come home?”

“A little bit longer. When you have played with all cards and found out that all is a game yet better than a game.”

“That sounds like a smart people game.”

“No, you play as people to realize you ARE smart. Now, can you take the back seat and let me talk to her soul, ego?”

“But I’m not good at playing cards.”

“Nobody is. That’s the fun part.”

Now before you got the urge to decide someone is not up to your standards, before you let that dissatisfaction of somebody’s character determine if he or she deserves your respect and love, before you sit in anger and expect persuasion to not dislike someone or something, turn around and give the child left behind a big hug. Ask him/her if he/she feels not good enough for yourself, if he/she has been exhausted trying to be someone he/she is not, if he/she is horrified by the thought of being ignored even longer for just being him/her, or if he/she has had enough having to take all the blame for judging.

Have compassion and forgiveness for those who seek for security and comforting through judging you, they don’t intentionally long to destroy you, they need help to be reminded what powerful beings they already are, and that their imperfect inner child are part of this perfection. They just have been playing a bit too hard to keep in SOUL that just like a coin and all phenomena, free will comes in two sides too.

If after all they think their one and only path to feel less unwanted and useless is to feed on judging others, well, that deserves a lot of blessings too, wouldn’t that be yet another unique and necessary journey, like all the others we’ve traveled and will soon travel.

Thank you for your teaching.

The Butterfly

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Butterflies. They carry way too many symbols. I used to find them too main-stream: A girl would like a butterfly dress; A woman wants to get a butterfly tramp stamp because when you are 20, that seems important; Butterfly cards, butterfly wings, Butterfly cakes, even Minnie’s ribbons are just butterflies without fluffy legs and spooky eyes.

When Vincent was still in the ICU, I got my daughter a random and varied selection of books on saying goodbye to dying siblings. She took one out of those 7 or 8 books and asked me to read it to her: Ben’s Butterflies. It is about a sister losing her sick brother, with whom she used to paint lots of butterflies. Once he has passed she got depressed and detached from the world. Eventually she finds out she’s surrounded by white butterflies which reminds her of her loving brother, encouraging her to smile again.

My daughter closed the book and looked up to me, mum, Vincent is going to become a white butterfly too.

The day after Vincent passed in the hospital, I went home, melted into a chair and continued to cry. I sobbed and yelled, eventually a white butterfly caught my blurred eyes. He danced around our little garden, looked into our window, and when I got myself up to open the window to go outside, he flew higher and higher, and disappeared into the light.

I could hear my heart being cut into a million pieces, I was completely defeated.

After that, white butterflies were everywhere: On my way to the grocery, appearing from every corner from A to B, in parks we went to, near river bands where I biked to, in our yard playing with my daughter, and in China by my mum’s side. This was the first time I ever experienced a hot summer in Germany, and I trusted it to have just happened at the time needed for our grief.

What about when it becomes cold again? I feared for my imagination of my son’s soul being a white butterfly confirming me that he is always around would be cut short by nature, so I accepted it to just be.

Not long after it started to turn cold we decided to go on this trip. It felt like we were guided by a great force, in whichever country or city, wherever we went, there were white butterflies, tiny little insects I have never ever paid attention to nor remembered seeing much of my whole life, sometimes in mysterious and miraculous colors and forms, fluttering in front of our eyes and vibrating in our hearts.

My daughter has been really caring and careful around them, she worries if one dies her brother’s soul dies too, I tell her butterflies are around because the love in Vincent is always around us, and these mysterious little ones vibrate with pure love.

And today in the very northern tiny island of Okinawa, our daughter looked out the window and saw this scene: hundreds of white butterflies in front of our house.

I don’t feel like crying crying anymore, because this love I feel from Vincent no longer needs validation or confirmation, I was amazed and was in a daze by the scene of so many white butterflies, but I am no longer surprised.

The it suddenly hit me. White butterflies in Japan are symbols of souls of children. Even if he didn’t go through all the way to show us his presence, which was so stunning and beyond any word, I am again honored by his wisdom and compassion, to have witnessed his very own vibration with my physical eyes, when the mind was in doubt and occupied the main stage.

Every flutter of the butterfly wings along our journey, now this hypnotic collective presence and movement of all hundreds of butterflies together, played a whole different vibration. And it felt like, home.

I wonder if all those who have lost their loved ones are lucky to receive and acknowledge messages like this, and just trust what Is. Butterflies don’t bring back my son’s body for me to cuddle, but he so grateful is doing all he can to cuddle my heart through my five senses.

And I feel that. Vincent. With my soul body too.

It is the bravest love and deepest trust I have ever felt. From you to me, and from me to you.

What about those who love us and are still physically around, our children who we think came as blank sheets of paper? If there’s butterflies around them, what about us taking a break and just watch how those wings move? What about for once we allow ourselves to feel their very own vibrations and trust that they are here to unconditionally love us and take care of us, not the other way round?

Just because those butterflies are invisible doesn’t cancel out that vibration around you. The effort may seem absent, the love might be mistaken as your own loneliness, but do remind yourself that your very being, is carried by many many who love you and who vibrate for you in all visible and invisible ways, including your helpless children ‘requiring all those sacrifices you have to make’.

An Important Reminder

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How cute.

It is our 4th day in Okinawa, Japan. And this sign was presented to me on my way home.

Please enjoy yourself.

I was not sure what this hostel intended to say with this sign. Something like, have a good time? Have fun?

That thought did not even get to finish its sentence while the voice came in.

No no, it was specifically intended for the “Self” passing by and looking out for messages, aka at that specific time, me.

Please.

It is a kind reminder, a suggestion, a request, and a must. Do this, because dah, that is the only way, a no brainer.

Enjoy.

For me, enjoying it can be small as being surrounded by the aroma of a certain flower, it can also be as grand as just pure laughter. The laughter from a child, the laughter when something is just really funny, the laughter of non brain-processed nor norm-attached openness to just Be.

Yourself.

Being open to ourselves opens our acceptance of others. The self deserves all the love of the cosmos despite all. It requires no fixing, no doubting, no self-pity, no disciplines nor any makeover. You suffer when the self is told to do better, be better or get better. Your authentic self does not thrive on “I’m just the way I am. Nothing I can do to change it. Gotta live with what I am given.” The self is honored by standing by your birth right, by the grace and power allowed and activated through living the everyday life and practicing integrity with those involved.

I hear you darling. Thank you. Please enjoy yourself.

The Other Kind of Grief

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Today I’m going to share something different, that is any other kind of loss and our grief for what’s gone.

My mother-in-law gave me a book a few month ago and I’m still on it, each time I read a page in a train or on a flight, it got me into deep thinking: The Wild Edge of Sorrow.

Sitting in the train from Taipei to Hualian on Taiwan’s east coast, the stunning scenery outside stings my heart, not because how picture perfect it is, but because how much it reminded me of my childhood, the old green small southern town.

In my memory, where I grew up was always covered by unnamable plantation and trees, even in the winter, the occasional mist and frost mingle with the trees, allowing the mountain range to sit back and just be a mysterious background for the mind to wander. On the highest mountain, there’s the beloved Taoism temple called Baohua. I often looked out of the window and waited for the exact moment when the mist settled and the tip of the temple tower came out into the first sunshine.

The scenes outside of the window now are real yet surreal: banana leaves dancing gracefully among other tropical trees, misty green farmland in between aged and fading semi-high rises, white birds on trees, small shops selling homemade breakfast, wheels, and groceries. Laundry rack, garbage on the road, golden roofs of countless temples, small and big, and running rivers throughout the towns. They are not exactly pretty or artistic, but they are so dear and real that they slowly imprint as my very own impression of Taiwan. My childhood is embraced here on this not so far away yet far far away island.

It makes me miss everything about my home: the way people used to talk to each other, the small but cozy streets filled with rope jumping giggling kids, the neighbors’ food which always tasted better than our own, the Sunday farmers market and its smells, the rituals like picnics and praying, and the quiet nothingness honored with cats, dogs, fish, birds and trees, in the sun.

I wonder if people from my generation often feel this longing to go back or up to somewhere else, I wonder whether people who have witnessed rapid changes of their countries and societies also feel like crying for this hole in their souls, as it is so raw, so alone and so overlooked in such a soul devouring world.

I wonder if it is a sorrow that’s bigger than my individual one, if it is a grief that is deeper than my very own sadness.

It is extremely painful to either actively step away from someone or something we identify ourselves with, be it a country, a culture, a city, a street, a house or a childhood friend; It is extremely painful to be ripped off ones’ surroundings and habitat, like an orangutan all of a sudden having to live in a zoo.

That hole is formed.

That hole is never looked at again, not to mention its desperation to be touched, to be acknowledged and to be loved.

Even it was you who decided to end a relationship, even it was you who decided to stop eating one particular food, that person and emotion from your ‘past’, is still grieving in the present, somewhere not so deep in your shelled heart.

In a world where we are taught to abandon the past and for-love the future, we all need a bit of soul hugging.

That’s my opinion.