The inner child

I believe in the universe sending signs. Or hints to examine something coming to surface. Recently Daphne mentioned the concept of hugging the “inner child” to heal past trauma. And then I watched it happen in a documentary on toxic masculinity. Then yesterday, I watched it play out on Rocketman, Elton John’s biography. Not something I felt called to watch in the past but felt incredibly touching and emotional yesterday. Then this morning I was woken up by an intense dream moment. I was talking to Blaine Warbler (from Glee, probably from binge-watching glee last month). He was so sad, and I was apologizing for leaving him and not being there, and then in my dream my thoughts went back to 2006-2007 and how much pain I was in that I could not be there for him. Except that I was him too. I was both sides, both sets of emotions.

So I woke up. And felt as though something was calling for me to re-examine. No coincidence that it’s the full moon these few days? And I sat with it. Then it came to me, and it clicked. The moment in the movie yesterday, where he came face to face with his younger self – who had been un-loved and waiting to be hugged – and hugged himself. 3 signs from the universe and then this dream brings to surface the idea that perhaps despite all my inner work, that there is something I haven’t done. Something that I could. Something that would perhaps heal a hurting inner part of self.

So I go back to 2006-2007. The year my parents separated and my mom left the country. I swim in the emotions, to see what comes to surface. Which parts of the memory and experience remain after all these years. Did my parent’s arguing leave me traumatized? Not anything I can remember in specifics other than sitting on the stairs hidden, with ah ma listening in on their argument/s. Did I feel pain of my mom leaving? Not initially. I was in support of her leaving my dad and moving to her own place down the road. But the memory of that is muddled with the fact that my first boyfriend left me on the day that my mom left. Now, I have no recollection of the break up, other than a very factual memory bullet point of the break up happening as my mom left (which felt like it would have been traumatizing) but I have no idea which would have hurt more. What rises to the top and sits there as I sift through everything else that feels somewhat insignificant is the memory of my mom leaving to go to Australia mid 2007. Once again coinciding with another boyfriend leaving to head to NS, where we could not be in touch except over the weekends when he got his phone back.

Curious as to why both situations of my mom leaving coincided with separation from a partner. Could it be that I imprinted the feelings of being abandoned and alone onto my relationships and always saw it as me needing a partner when the truth was that perhaps I have always just needed my mom? Because up til 5 years ago, I never consciously felt it or brought it up. Her leaving. How much it changed my life entirely.

Mom leaving dad never felt like too much of a shift. Because she was right around the corner. Which for an 18 year old, is probably good enough. We’d see her every day for a while, between the time she finished work and when dad would come back (as we stayed on in the old family house with dad). And then I eventually moved out of the house and moved in with her. And then she left the country. And I didn’t see her until the end of 2009, where she visited for 2 weeks. And then again in 2010 when she made her annual short year end trip. And that was it. 2 weeks with mom. No home to go back to. By then, dad had moved to a new apartment and ah ma and ah kong were back in the old house which I would spend time at when I wasn’t in KL, but it didn’t feel like home anymore. Because as I have experienced with my own kids now, I am their home. It doesn’t matter where we are, as long as they have me, they are home.

So, going back to the dream moment that lingered on. It was vulnerable and heartfelt. And it felt like I was saying sorry. Sorry for abandoning you. I was in so much pain, all I wanted to do was not think about the pain that in the process of trying to remove all the things that would remind me of the pain, I removed you. To think of you was painful. To think of you was to face the reality of all the things that had been lost. I put up a wall. I put up a wall between me and anything that caused me to face that pain, drawing a line between past and present, not addressing anything that had happened. Not addressing anything that was happening. And you were on the other side of the line. I knew you were there, but I pushed you further and further away. I had to reinvent myself. A self that was not hurting, was not dying, not affected one bit by all the sadness. I tried to create a reality where I existed without you. You did not need to exist. You did not need to be addressed. You could just wait there, frozen in time, a fragment of the past. Visible but only in the rear view mirror. Visible only if I chose to look. And I never did.

You, and everything that you represented were locked on the other side of the line that I had drawn and reinforced with brick walls between my current self and my past self, you.

I guess I spent all these years in pain, thinking I was waiting for an apology from mom. Because it was her who abandoned me. Mom left when I was 18, right as I was finishing school. And the thing is, I never had any plans beyond that except living life, finding love and making a family of my own. I did not expect to lose my home and my family and have to figure everything out on the fly. It was absolute fucking chaos. Madness that I dealt with for a decade before even getting to a place of starting my own family, and am still dealing with internally every day. Waiting for an apology, as though it would heal me. Magically. Excusing all this madness, all these feelings of abandonment and attachment anxiety, allowing it room to stay, telling myself the same old story.

But perhaps the only apology, the only embrace I need is my own. 3 times is a sign. 3 times in these few weeks has the concept of healing through embracing to the inner child come to light. Was it more importantly just me who abandoned me? The vulnerable, family oriented, home loving hermit who never wanted anything other than to make others happy by doing what I love, crafting. I needed the wholesomeness that came from having grounding. From belonging somewhere. Not the acceptance nor the numbness that came from being a binge drinking, loose and wild party animal.

Goddamn it took YEARS for me to even begin correcting the path I went down.

I feel, I am finally in my own skin now.

Recently, an acquaintance said to me “Your art brings people joy”. And it almost brought me to tears. Almost because I really am not a person who cries happy tears. But it felt like I was home. I am finally me. Doing what I love for reasons I live for without the unnecessary stress of having to worry about where I’m going to sleep tonight. Where I have to go next. No longer lost trying in every kind of way to be all the things I think everyone expects me to be in order to receive affection or acceptance. I am me. I am home.

And along with this journey, I am rediscovering the vulnerability and gentleness I lost. I spent so many years distorted, crazy, angry. Because when my family fell apart, no one showed me how to deal with the hard bits of life gracefully. All I was shown by my parents was vengeance and anger and ignorance, so that’s how I dealt with everything in life. I used to be a cutter. It began at 16, which is when I think my parents arguing got bad. Now I understand that the cutting was my way to deal with vulnerable feelings of not being in control, not being able to do anything about whatever situation I was in. And then around 2009, it mutated into anger along with the cutting. I stopped cutting some years into my current relationship because it did not lead to any comforting (which it did in the past), but the explosive anger remained and grew. The more frustrated I felt, the bigger the anger became. And then, after feeling fed up with breaking enough of my stuff, I looked up anger and why people behave this way.

And it finally made sense. That the acts of cutting and rage were due to my inability to just sit with my own vulnerability and feelings of hopelessness. Because I never ever dealt with them. Because the first and last time I looked them in the face was all those years ago, in 04-06 before severing them off along with the needy inner child who needed a family to support her.

I see you, inner child. I see you with your big squishy heart wanting to make everyone happy. Wanting everyone to feel accepted and loved and safe, in all of their pain and insanity. To be a safe space for people. The safe space you needed. I see you through all of my pain, just wanting to be safe again. I see you, wanting to fix everything, trying to fix what was broken. You never could fix it. And perhaps that was all meant to be, and nothing was meant to be fixed. And you can stop trying to fix everything now. And just feel. Just feel it all, it’s alright to feel it all and just sit with it. It’s alright to just have a cry when you need to. It’s alright to take some time to deal with things for yourself. It’s alright to retreat, to not put on a happy face. To not need to please anybody else. To not please me. To not play this game and put on a charade. It’s really really okay to just be sad when you are feeling sad. And it’s okay to feel safe again.

You can feel safe again now. No one is going to come and take this away from you. Stop worrying about the ten thousand ways this can be taken away from you. You and me, we got this. Whatever happens, whatever comes our way, we don’t ever have to feel unseen and invisible if we see ourself. It’s alright if no one sees us. We can just see ourself now, and be ourself. Unapologetically. Life is not the apocalypse waiting to happen. We are and really, have always been safe, within ourself.

#istandwiththetruckers

This morning, I woke up from the most vivid and clear dream. Yoong and I were driving down the highway when all of a sudden we saw a row of large trucks getting to the toll. Realising something was up, he very quickly drove onto the side of the road and overtook the left most truck and got through the toll right before they got there. Once they did, they all stopped in unison and got out of their trucks. Epic.

They were there to protest. And of course, I absolutely loved it. I got out of the car and went over to look for someone to talk to. And in my broken Malay, tried my best to communicate all the things I wish I could do in English. Haha! Initially, they seemed uncertain. Like as though they had gotten as far as to organise the blockade but didnt take the time to sit down and decide how they were going to communicate their message and what they wanted out of it.

Of course being the clear headed organiser that I am, I began to prompt them with questions to find out why they were there, what their grievances were and what they wanted out of it. All in my broken, strained Malay of course. Where was someone who knew how to speak English?

Apparently, they were tired. Just tired of the long hours and being undervalued by their employers and society. Despite doing the very hard work of transporting all the things we need to live life undisturbed (this could have been influenced by the J&T riot a short while ago).

Now of course me being me, I immediately started thinking of how to make the blockade most effective. How to get the message out. Seemed most likely through social media, so my dreamscape became the view from a drone beginning with the incredibly long jam behind the trucks, moving past heavy vehicles behind them with harpoons. There were even cops on bikes next to them, but they seemed more interested in the weaponry than there to break it up. I would be too, those harpoons looked totally cool.

As my view floated past the sea of people, my mind began to ponder upon the power of the people, when standing together. How glorious a power in our own fingertips yet somehow the power for the most part lies in the hands of the unjust. Of the corrupt. Of those who haven’t got it all figured out yet seem all too comfortable making decisions for everyone else.

Isn’t the plight of the truckers the most basic, relatable concept?

We all want to be valued and treated humanely. We want to put in good work and get paid fairly and make a good honest living and take care of ourselves and our loved ones. Basic human rights. But there is always the poor and disadvantaged. And somehow we overlook them under the belief that everyone is capable of making their own path and getting out of the undercurrents. And then we put our money towards supporting the systems that continue to abuse power (money) at the cost of all that is humane.

Money is king. Humanity has little to no value. And the world is falling apart. Perhaps not human beings. We will learn to eat food cube supplements heated in microwaves to continue surviving and plundering the earth if that’s what big pharma wants. But the world itself. The forests, the oceans, all the other living beings. Everything that makes up this incredibly diverse eco-system.

Honestly, I believe it begins on the ground level. How we treat each other and how we raise every next generation. The more we overlook each other’s emotions, feedback and value, the more we make our own human existence a soulless, meaningless mechanism to serve someone else’s greed. Because nothing makes for a better foot-soldier than people raised with no humanity, no compassion. no vulnerability. And in order to do better, we have to treat each other better.

What a dream. Perhaps more than anything, it made me think of how much I really do care. I care enough to want to stand with and for people who are choosing to stand up. To fight for what is right. Am I doing enough? I choose to be the light, the change I want to see in the world. But my reach doesn’t impact very much at all. Is working on myself and touching the lives of those nearest to me enough? I can’t help but think of the rest of the world. Everything big and little. The J&T guys who were obviously disgruntled who were forced to apologise “school kid style” rather than be seen and heard and how everyone accepted that and just moved on without addressing the cause of their frustration.

#istandwiththetruckers LOL

I stand with anyone fighting any losing battle for humanity, for all that is good and pure in this world.

on this thing we call covid 19

consider that everything in life, what makes up life is energy. and all of living is an exchange of energy. yin and yang – yang being exertion and yin being replenishing.

everyday we give and receive energy in the things we do. the food we eat. the air we breathe. the love we receive. to achieve a state of equilibrium, we must find the balance between yin and yang. certain activities exert energy and some replenish. one method is to go back and forth = the harder we work, the harder we play to try and keep our energy balanced. the other method is to bring it together and to exert whilst replenishing. when we do things (exert) to serve others or something larger than ourselves, we receive in return (replenish) and need not seek to restore balance. thus achieving a state of “being”. the more we are selfish and function for ourselves, the more energy we consume without replenishing in the world. resources. life. energy.

we may continue to consume, but at some point we would render the energetic being that is earth lifeless. a cycle that does not replenish can not sustain itself.

everyday we consume energy to power ourselves. it is merely a matter of how much energy we consume. pseudo energy that we believe to feed us – shopping – processed and dead food –  chemical drugs –  pharmaceutical medication – mindless entertainment – trigger chemical processes within ourselves to create an illusion of temporary happiness or joy but then leaves us depleted and craving the energy we truly need to thrive.  real energy comes from the sun, everything that feeds off and grows under the sun. real energy comes from the vibrations we receive from each other and life. the less we know how to take in energy effectively, the more we consume in efforts to replenish and sustain.

looking at what is going on in the world now, it is apparent to me that this is a story of energy. and how we exchange and transmute energy is what will decide the end game. looked at in this way, saving lives and preventing an outbreak that is part of nature are small matters. merely a page in the book. as were the outbreaks of the past. the wars. the famines.

the larger picture is who we become as a species with every life altering, consciousness altering event. how we choose to dance with energy. whether we use this to fuel love or fear.

do we choose to breathe deeper, inhaling all the energy from our surroundings with each breath? do we expand that energy through love and return it to life? do we shrink in fear and anxiety, breath held? do we waste what energy we do have on anger and retaliation in the name of justice?

perhaps we use this moment of pause to observe.

we have the choice to choose where our story goes. if we choose to love, to become that perfect balance of yin and yang and choose to transmute tragedy into a gift – then we give energy to each other and return some to the planet. if we come out of this each man for himself, then we scramble and hoard any energy we can get our hands on for security and deplete this planet of what little is left.

this is a call for unity. not just one where everyone stays home to keep each other safe and continue to keep distance out of fear. waiting for science to pump us with what they call a solution so we may trick ourselves into believing there is nothing to fear for long enough that we can return to the illusion of living.

this is an opportunity. a call to face ourselves and transmute all the fear that has been embedded at the core of our collective consciousness with every loss we have suffered. every death we have seen.

we get to take that fear now, face it and transmute it into love. love for one another. love for your neighbour, your friend, your boss, your employees, the unemployed, the homeless, the needy. love for the planet. if out of this mutual suffering, this one shared global experience we can all realise that we are indeed one – not separate from each other and anything the sun has touched, we can stop trying to consume to fill the void of separation from true oneness. from source. and see that energy is everywhere – in each other, in love, in the air we breathe and the ground beneath our feet. we do not need much more. we never did.

we have been lied to for the benefit of the few. we have been divided into different species, races, religions, culture, countries, labels, types. filled with fear that we are alone, that we are fragile. separated from each other and then ourselves so that in this void, we can be sold “wholeness”. in any and every way imaginable. so that we could be put to work, coerced by our own fear into believing that slavery is a fair trade for the currency to buy our safety and happiness.

the time has come for us to step out of the fear and into the light of the truth. to remember what has always been inside our hearts and minds (or guts). that all we need, we already have. ourselves, each other, passion, kindness, compassion, life…and this beautiful fucking planet we call earth. there is nothing to fear. even death of our physical vessel is merely a transition into more being. there is nothing to fear but fear itself.

abandon the fear, it does not nourish us. all things that come out of fear only cause us to require more energy to restore equilibrium. to consume. to destroy. we do not have to travel down this trajectory in order to nourish ourselves. if we transmute this fear and fill ourselves with love, we replenish our collective being and this energetic planet.

love on one another. remember our oneness and take care of each other as we would ourselves. take care of mother nature as we would ourselves. make time for it. make time to care. cut out all these unnecessary excesses and return to community and nature.

it is up to us to choose to see this collective experience as the greatest gift we have been given. to transmute fear into love and remember what truly gives us the energy we need to be alive.

slavery

this is how slavery works.

we take joyful, impressionable children and put them into school. we take away their free time to be creative, imaginative, exploratory and tell them to behave and obey. we reward them for behaving and obeying and doing as told. they may question this, but we tell them that is how things work. that the rewards come after they are done studying. then we systematically remove any sense of being with competition by telling them they need to be the best. we make them obsess over being the best and then limit their interests to what they can compete for. exams. with the ultimate goal of scoring all those As. what a prize! and by the time they are done with school, if school has succeeded, they enter into the next phase with absolutely no clue as to what truly speaks to their soul as they have had no time to explore.

we then tell them that the key to having a good life is further education. so we further educate them, in the ways we believe lead to having a good income. because good income = good life. simple. now they are educated and working the job they have been craftily built for. now they slave away day to day for their paycheck. that prize! for their paycheck that should bring them happiness. because that was what was promised, wasn’t it? that’s what they all want. so they buy buy buy. buy food, buy clothes, buy gadgets, buy cars, buy holidays. trying to buy that happiness. they are not happy, not really. but they have no time to think of that lack of happiness, because of that job that they must have to pay for the things that they need to be happy. but they are not happy, not really.

meanwhile somewhere out of sight, factories buzz with people working (the people who never got that further education of course), to churn out these stuff that they buy. factories leaking toxic chemicals into their environment. into their water streams. into their soil.

meanwhile somewhere out of sight, forests are being cleared. hundreds of acres. thousands of acres. hundreds of thousands of acres to grow palm trees to feed their consumption of palm oil. palm oil that is in their bread, their chocolate, their biscuits, their instant noodles, their ice cream, their shampoo and soaps, their lipsticks, their detergent.

hundreds of thousands of acres to rare livestock and poultry that they need. their cows and pigs and goats and chickens and ducks and turkeys and geese.

hundreds of thousands of acres to grow corn to feed the cattle they rare. corn to turn into high fructose corn syrup that is in everything, that ever so slowly kills their health. corn to turn into ethanol for biofuel.

meanwhile somewhere out of sight, workers drill deep into the earth to extract petroleum. fuel to fuel their needs. fuel that pollutes. fuel that powers their industries and transportation that emit greenhouse gasses that warm the earth. fuels that they use to make more stuff that they need. fuel to make plastic.

meanwhile somewhere out of sight, plastic fills their landfills and oceans. plastic killing their wildlife. their birds, their seals, their turtles, their fish, their whales. plastic that goes from their garbage to their plates.

but they are too busy to care. too busy working to fund the lifestyle they have become accustomed to. to pay for the phone they must own and fancy food they must eat and the car they must drive and the house they must live in. to pay for all the things they own, but not really. to pay off debt.

they want to care, but possess no knowledge or skills to be able to care for. they want to care, but have no time to care for. they want to care, but how can they?

their water is being poisoned. their air polluted. their food mutated. their environment destroyed. their minds distracted. their souls empty.

they are stuck. paralyzed.

this is how slavery works.

we take children with all the magic and potential their lives contain and squash it. we torture them with pointless competition and endless repetition. we tell them it is the purpose and goal. we tell them it is success, while the world literally crumbles around them. they care, but we tell them it’s not their job to.

it is not their job to care for the environment. not their job to stop the pollution. not their job to grow the food they eat. not their job to think of what goes into their food. not their job to fix their things that break. not their job to think of where their trash goes. not their job to keep the planet clean. not their job to save the trees and animals.

we tell them that someone else will do it. somewhere out of sight.

their job, is to make money. because money will solve all their problems. money will buy their happiness.

and then they end up too busy working to fill the void that is caused by being too busy working. and then they die. but what does it matter? when were they ever alive anyways? when they were studying for their As? when they were getting a higher education? when they were working so hard to get that job they were meant to have and then working so hard to keep it?

when were we?

on my own

i have never been comfortable asking for help. i don’t think many of us are. somewhere along our journey as human beings we decided that our narrative should be built on the expectation of everyone having their shit together. that the inability to be self dependent means failure. failure of your own. failure of the family that has raised you. failure of the path you have chosen. just, overall failure. so there’s an incredible pressure to present a picture of having one’s shit together.

how much time is wasted trying to paint that picture.

this has followed me into relationships with loved ones. the discomfort and unfamiliarity in asking for help or conveying my needs results in an expectation of the other party knowing who to be, what to do or how to help and a frustration or dissatisfaction upon not having my needs met.

but i have come to understand that having my needs met is my responsibility and mine alone. whether i meet them myself or i communicate those needs to others so they may extend their love to me in those ways. because love is not owed. it is not a prerequisite to having a relationship. we all know very well relationships can exist with no love at all. and because i am not entitled to anyone else’s love or kindness, i have to be alright with asking for what i need or accepting what i do or do not receive with grace.

it is easier said than done. existing in a society where you can be seen as inconvenient for expressing opinions and needs makes it hard to do just that. it is easier to remove one’s needs than try to communicate it in hopes of finding a workable solution. easier. but all that accomplishes is silencing people to a point of isolation and non-existence.

i believe we all yearn communion. it takes a village to get anything done – building houses, farming a land, raising children, managing a household, running a business – yet we constantly find ourselves without one.

isolation replaces the village. isolation becomes the narrative. you are on your own.

we are quicker to doubt people than we are to trust them. in fact, to trust and rely on others is naive and stupid. we are better off walking around with filters and walls, to protect self from all the things that could go wrong in life. so much to fear.

it took a lot of reflecting to see how i’d built my relationships around that narrative. hardships faced alone because of keeping people out of my struggles. feeling frustrated in relationships when my partner failed to understand my needs. anger when the action of others caused me pain. so much unnecessary loneliness and finger pointing.

but how is anyone to know what i need if i don’t communicate it? and why is the norm to brace one’s self for impact before trying to address an issue. as though humans are so tiny and limited that we are unable to handle situations any better. 

love and life are expansive. our capacity to grow knows no bounds. we limit ourselves because we are afraid. afraid of failure. afraid to try. afraid to ask. afraid to need. afraid of judgement.

so, what if i remove that fear? what if i just ask. what if i just communicate my needs. so simple. so what if someone thinks i am inconvenient for asking. so what if my request actually does trouble people a little. so what if i seem irresponsible or incapable for being unable to manage everything myself. one’s opinion of me need not matter if my opinion of me is fine. i can be fine with being a failure within the old narrative. i can create my own narrative.

because what i do know to be true is that i am always here, waiting to be needed. always here willing to participate. willing to help. willing to show up. willing to be that village. and if i am, i have to believe that others are too. all it takes is asking. to shed the belief that my worthiness as a human being is somehow tied to having my shit together…and just ask.

i replace the narrative in my mind and in the hearts of my relationships. it’s only just the beginning, but already it feels so good. so good to let others into my life. so good to involve them in the things that matter to me. so good to not need to paint any picture. so good to be free to ask rather than expecting, being disappointed, feeling frustrated, getting angry, sitting in pain, fear, distrust and shutting down or just cutting right through everything and entering a situation already shut down.

this journey back to self is so incredibly beautiful. inner battles fought to remove the walls that keep me from feeling supported and embraced. and with every victory i am rewarded with a reminder of what it means to live with and through love.