Heart Opening Moments

BLOG of a Spiritual Stripper

Twisted Misunderstandings, Twisted Pain

Remembering that cold winter night

Remembering that cold winter night

It was a cold winter night when the snow was coming down hard and quickly covered the streets. I was very happy to have returned home from pre-school and curled myself up indoors to stay out of the blasting wind that was cutting through my skin. It had been one of those days everything was going well and I was overjoyed to see mom after being away in pre-school all day long. I followed her everywhere and all I wanted was to be near her. She smiled at me and told me how helpful I have been just being around her. I hugged her tightly and was basking in tender love.

Within minutes mom had returned to her busy activities. Nevertheless I followed her everywhere. As she gathered a bucket to fill a mixture of cold and hot water while adding drops of liquid soap, she told me that I can help her to soak grandma’s feet. Excited, I ran to the door and picked up grandma’s heavy winter “feet” and ran back to the bucket and dropped them in…

I stood still and waited for mom to praise me for a job-well-done. Instead, she screamed and glared into me with razor-sharp criticism to tell me that I was being a bad child. I was in shock. My tears rushed down uncontrollably as I could not understand why I was faulted for giving her all of my love. I could not understand why my love would make her so angry. And I hated myself for making her angry. I ran to the door, turned to look at her one last time, then kicked the door open with everything I’ve got and raced out into the dark snowy night. I ran and ran, down the cobblestone stairs covered in slippery snow with my bare feet. The tears were still burning on my cheeks when the frigid wind cut through my thin layer of pajamas – just as painful as mom’s sharp glare. I couldn’t stand it. I had to get away and take myself away from mom. Not for my sake but for her sake. I don’t ever want to make her angry again. I ran and ran, headed to the frozen river so I can just float away…

As I matured from 3 to 35, I have learned the different between feet and shoes. Yet whenever I think of that story I still find an old numbing pain in my chest.

That old pain resurfaced again

That old pain resurfaced again

Back in October 2008, I met this amazing man.  We both shyly tried to approach each other in the next several months. We shared a mutual intimacy with one another that was both exciting and intimidating. He was working on a project that could use some positive marketing so I brought in Dave who I have adopted as a little brother for many years to do some video marketing. Instead of being full of appreciation, my amazing man quickly backed off from me and gave me the cold shoulder. I felt that same pain in my chest. Dumbfounded, I couldn’t understand what I did wrong to make him so angry. He ended up breaking our date and asked the whole group of video production out to lunch instead. I didn’t even have a chance to explain to him that Dave is my little brother before he wrote me off. Somehow I pushed him away and into the arms of another girl.

This morning as I finished my walk with my dog and ran into a neighbor. This neighbor is an elder wise-man who cared for me like a father. And I have always respected his perspectives. We casually chatted and he asked me how I’m doing. “Great!” I told him as I have been feeling good and it feels like my life is in a really good place. My garden is blooming beautifully this year, I have found a greater inner strength, and I find myself able to love unconditionally. Like a father, he searched for more, so he curiously asked me if I was dating this young man who came to visit me a week ago. I was surprised and asked, “you mean Dave? He is my little brother! And I haven’t dated anyone for years…” The elder nodded and apologized for jumping to conclusions. Suddenly I found a tear sneaking down my cheek. Unknowingly I was remembering the last time someone mistook Dave (who is 13 years my junior) for my romantic partner. The tears started streaming down my cheeks. The elder padded me on the back and invited me into his home for coffee so I can tell my tale.

I did. Word for word. Tear for tear. I told him that I thought I had come to peace with that incident and I can be happy for that amazing man and his amazing girl. I thought I was able to love them both unconditionally and expect nothing in return. “But, that is not the point,” he sincerely looked into my eyes, “you are beating yourself up for a misunderstanding. It is your pain you must gaze into.”

My pain? I am fine, I thought…

Yet I was still holding onto the pain that I messed up and think if I could only have explained to him what was really going on then we wouldn’t have fought this silent battle for the past few years. I hate being misunderstood. I hate the pain of being misunderstood by someone I love. I quietly went home after my coffee to look within for the source of that old chest pain which resurfaced suddenly this morning. I knew it wasn’t just about that misunderstanding that occurred several years ago. That incident was only a messenger to alert me to a deeper pain that needed healing. As I sat quietly in stillness, I touched upon that old pain in my chest again as tears rushed upward from the depth of me. I saw that little girl, who was me, at the age of 3, crying in the night of howling snow – that was the first time she felt misunderstood. She cried and cried. She couldn’t understand why the abundance of her love would hurt mom so much. And she never forgave herself for the perceived pain she caused. With my eyes closed, I held her, and we both cried and cried until our tears ran dry.

An hour ago I called mom. Told her the story of our first misunderstanding and how much pain I was still holding on. She and I had a good laugh, and a good cry – together. We rewrote the ending of the story. This time, I tossed grandma’s “feet” into the water and waited for mom’s approval. Instead, both mom and grandma looked shocked for a moment, then they laughed until we were all rolling on the ground. She then hugged me tightly and showed me the difference between shoes and feet. Then mom, grandma, and I all put our shoes aside and soaked a total of six feet into that bucket of soothing warm water as we laughed while sipped on hot chocolate. The door was never opened that night. The snow was howling out there, but inside the house, we were basking in love.

August 15, 2013 Posted by | Death & Rebirth, Emotional Freedom, Inner Growth, love, Tears | , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Let the Tears Flow

Me, exposed

"Tears sometimes cleanse the heart and ready it for deeper love." - Bob Luckin (Artist, Co-Director at Spiritual Enrichment Center, Sr. Minister at International Centers for Spiritual Living)

“Crying is for Wimps.” So I was told. But they didn’t tell me where to put my anger, my sadness and my sorrow…  I hurt. My body, my mind, my emotions… Sometimes I felt as if my chest was caving in and I must run away before my heart explodes. Other times I wish I had a strong man to hold me in his arms and tell me everything will be alright. This time I could not run nor use a man to rescue me. This time I am alone.

So I cried. Loud. I screamed out my sorrows from the depth of me. I saw my tortured soul burning in the sea of agony. Her pain ran into the dark abyss. I wanted to pull her out but didn’t know how. So I cried… The waves of hailing tears went on and on… And the end was nowhere near.

I cried for my heartbreak, I cried for not being good enough, I cried for my fears, I cried for my neediness, I cried for my physical pain, I cried for my inability to love freely, I cried for my suppressed feelings, I cried for my failures, I cried for my longings, I cried for my disappointments, I cried for stepping into potholes, I cried for being unkind, I cried for always getting myself into storms of emotions, I cried for my loneliness, I cried for misunderstandings, I cried for hurting the ones I love, I cried for my confusion, I cried for my desires, I cried…

I asked myself if feelings were wrong. Yet how could something so natural and so raw be wrong? If it weren’t wrong then why can’t I show it freely? If I can feel so much hard twisted suppressed pain within me then do you feel the same pain? If I have spent so many years suppressing my true feelings then do you suppress them too? If I only smile to the world and secretly lock away my truth do you do the same? If we all suffer then who is going to rescue us from descending deeper into the abyss? Why do we have such violent feelings? Why can’t I stop crying? … Analyzing my pain only brought up more self-inflected misery. So I discarded my intellect, peeled off my cloth, laid on my back and watched the tears flow.

Naked. Exposed. Raw. This is me. The uncut version.

I feel deeply. I love passionately. I sense intensely. This is me. The truthful version.

I pretended I didn’t care. I acted I didn’t bleed. I toughed it out to demonstrate I am doing just fine. But I am not. That is not me. You only saw the mask and thought that was the real me.

I cried for all the untruth I showed to you, I cried for all the rejected feelings within me, I cried for all the masks I wore, I cried for all the egoic games I played, I cried for alienating you, I cried for the old wounds that still hunt me, I cried for the hope that someday I can show you how deeply I love, I cried for the longing to express my truth, I cried for us and the freedom within reach…

Two days of tears. Two days of storms. Wind. Thunder. Hail. I am still here, somehow standing calmly within the storm. No need to run. No need to hide. The ice melting. A smile softening into the tears. My heart is beating. Regardless of the storm, I am calm. I am here. I am free.

April 18, 2011 Posted by | Death & Rebirth, Emotional Freedom, Inner Growth, Self Realization, Tears | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Ending is a New Beginning

Ikkyu-san

Ikkyu-san was one of my first childhood loves - bashful smile, shaved head, and mischievously intelligent

An Iranian father was asked by a handsome rich doctor for his daughter’s hand in marriage. He thought it was a great idea given his daughter would live a good life with this well-mannered doctor but she said, “papa, a nice man is not enough, there are certain characteristics of him I do not care for.”

The Iranian father gave me the same advice learned from his daughter as he kindly asked for the reasons of my recent breakup. “He is a nice man but trust me everything happens for a reason. You are still young. You never know, the next man might be the one.”

A silent drop of tear snuck out as I tensed up my body to hold in my breath. I didn’t want him to see how torn I really am.

I guess I have been searching for the one since I was six years old. The moment that seven year old monk blushed as he saw the six year curious girl from the corner of his eyes during meditation, she fell in love. This six year old girl did not know of love but she was certain she wanted to spend more time with him. She was fond of him and in a silly way she felt as if only he could understand her. Soon enough she was heartbroken when he did everything he could to avoid her presence.

After 26 years I can still see the little monk’s bashful smile, shaved head, and slightly off-white robe.

Later that year as I turned seven years old I immersed myself into Ikkyu-San – the Japanese anime where Ikkyu is a little boy with a bashful smile, shaved head and a white gi who trained to be a monk at Ankokuji Temple in Japan. He is famous of being mischievous and a known troublemaker. He is extremely smart, which always helped him to get out of all sorts of sticky situations and won battles over those who are bigger and stronger. The way he pushed the mop in front of him as he ran across the endless meditation hall during his daily cleaning ritual captured the depth of my heart. I found myself choked up with tear and not knowing the reasons why.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always secretly held a longing to find the one who can once again touch the depth of my soul like Ikkyu did. Regardless the various ways I have kept my past boyfriends at an arm’s length, I couldn’t help but wonder if “he is the one” each time I fall in love. My recent ex is a dark Hawaiian surfer I met last summer. He is well-mannered and nurturing. Each time I woke up next to his smile I questioned myself if he is the one I choose to be with for the rest of my life. He wanted our fairy tale fantasy like relationship to last forever but I wasn’t sure. Some men make good boyfriends and others make good husbands. He was certainly the best boyfriend I’ve ever had but as I’m beginning to realize that my deepest desire is to be married with children, I didn’t think our lifestyles would coincide with one another. There are some characteristics of him that others might embrace but I would rather shy away from. In a way, I’m glad things have taken its natural course to end abruptly.

Looking into the living room where we shared many heart opening moments, I allowed the tears rush out as I feel the weight of such heavy murky emptiness. I am once again on my own. It feels sad yet hopeful. It is time. It is time to move on. Goodbye love. And hello life once again. The traveler walks on.

August 25, 2010 Posted by | Choices, Death & Rebirth, Inner Growth | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Hidden Heartbreak

Hidden Heartbreak

Hold On or Let Go? The consequence of a hidden heartbreak can dramatically alter the course of your life.

Have you ever gotten hurt on the road of love? Have you ever looked back and still feel yourself being captured by past emotions? Have you thought that you healed yet still feel tied down by your past experiences? Often times on the road of love, there were many hidden heartbreaks we had to endure from as early as our childhood. Most of times we don’t always fully recover instead we find ways to build thick walls around ourselves to keep love away so we no longer have to get hurt. Imagine if a wound so deep has not been fully disinfected while we keep on slapping bandaids to cover it up, eventually the wound will be deeper and cause even more difficulties in our lives.

Recently I encountered a story that profoundly demonstrated the consequences of life in hell due to an unhealed heartbreak. The type of life one could have lived versus the life one chooses to live can definitely become life in heaven or hell.

Dave and Alice moved in together after dating each other for more than 4 years. Dave purchased a car that would accommodate two kids and a puppy. Dave disliked his job. Secretly he disliked himself and thought love could fix everything. He wanted to marry Alice to live a normal American life. Perhaps once he’s settled down, he would be happy. But for now, no matter what he did, he could not find fulfillment in anything. Only moments at a time, he can immerse himself in snowboarding but most of times he struggles with his memory, his finances, and his orderliness. He lives a very strict life with rules and regulations of how things should be. He did not like the people who refused to follow his rules, including Alice. He made sure that she knew her place and the right and wrong ways of doing things.

Alice entertained the idea of becoming a wife and a mom. She felt as if she was settling for less and she told herself that perhaps this is how marriage is supposed to feel like. Alice loved Dave deeply yet she felt as if she was compromising too much of herself to stay in this relationship. She didn’t want this big investment of more than 4 years to fail so she worked very hard to make him happy and did everything to make things work. She cooked like the way his mother cooked. She went to the gym with him to help him bench press. She didn’t see her friends much so she can be with him. She cleaned their apartment and did their laundry. Sex became boring and submissive yet she never complained. She faked smiles to the outside world and told her family and his family that everything was fine. No matter what she did, she realized that she could not make Dave happy and for some reason she will never be good enough for him. She tried even harder. But somewhere in Alice’s subconscious mind she thought, “if this is the ultimate fate of a marriage, I never want to be a part of it.”

Finally after 5 years Alice and Dave broke up. They both cried as Dave moved out of their apartment while Alice helped him pack with tears. He couldn’t love anyone else if he couldn’t love himself he says… She did the best she could yet she still failed she says…

Alice moved on to a new town and lived a new life. She did everything she could to forget about Dave. She worked on healing her emotional wounds and did not date for several years. There were much psychological wounds to be healed on her own. She discovered that incidences from her childhood have contributed to the fact she never set boundaries to maintain who she is when she was with Dave. As she dug deeper, many aspects of herself surfaced that she never knew existed. Those are the aspects that she suppressed in the past. She realized just because Dave thinks something is wrong such as being joyfully expressive it does not mean it is wrong for her. As she began to discover what makes her tick, she found more and more about herself she never knew existed. Now with a new sense of freedom, Alice had consciously chosen a life filled with authenticity – no matter what others might think. She enjoys her new career as a pole dance instructor and the life that seemed so unbearable a few years ago slowly unfolded into such beautiful patterns of miraculous serendipity.

Dave started dating many different women and looked for ways to fulfill the emptiness he felt inside. He did not enjoy the failure of his relationship. And he just wasn’t happy. The pills doctors prescribed for depression took the edge off but he always felt gloomy no matter where he is.  He got a new job hoping not having to be around with difficult people any more but only found himself stuck with a new group of difficult people. They just don’t get him and they are too dumb to understand his logic. The only times he felt good about himself is when women fell in love with him. Dave’s tall muscular physique and his charming personality can get to any women he wanted. He took them home to his beach-front apartment and made them feel special. Within weeks he would always find that they are all flawed just like Alice. Even this new successful stunning model working on her science PhD who he is currently dating is too dump to understand his logic. She did not put the cereal box back the way he liked just like Alice. She let the water splash around the sink like Alice did. She certainly disrespected his property by putting her finger prints on the wall just like Alice had always done. There seems to be a conspiracy around him to attack and destroy him. Dave made a decision that he must breakup with his new arm-candy and move on again.

What happened? Somehow Alice moved on into a beautiful life she truly enjoys while Dave seemed to move around in circles to endure heartbreak after heartbreak.

This is the consequences of unhealed wounds. As you can see, Alice started to work on her inner transformation to create a truly extraordinary life. Whereas Dave tried to do everything he can possibly think of on the outside in hope to feel better within. We have all been on both sides. Sooner or later another Botox injection or a gorgeous new dress just won’t do the job anymore. In order to move forward in life, we must let go of the past. I hope this story will inspire you to look deeper into your own life and see which part of you needs attentive healing. Have the courage to find help and move on to live an extraordinary life. Isn’t it worth to you?

If you are interested to learn more about the tools to let go and move forward in your love life, come to our workshop Saturday Feb 27th, 2010 in San Diego. More support can be found here with free eBook and webinars.

February 19, 2010 Posted by | Emotional Freedom, Inner Growth, Tears | , , , , , | 1 Comment