Monday, June 25, 2018

The Dance Between Who You Once Were and Who You Are Becoming

Here listening to "Good Good Father" by Chris Tomlin after a long day at workshop and a good catch up dinner with Karen and Shu Yi.

Was planning to call it an early night, and go to bed. Wasn't feeling very well with deprived sleep and travelling. These days, the body don't take exhaustion that well. Haha. But here I am, wide awake....writing a blog. Triggered by thoughts that surfaced at workshop and at dinner. And also now...wakefulness (I blame the shower :P)

These few months have been nothing short of amazing. God's goodness over our lives were just overwhelming. The transitions that I go through hasn't ended. As much as I want all the transition to pass quickly so I can be on full swing, I guess I have to just learn to sit with the discomfort and trust the process. After all, there are so many things to be grateful for. What a time to be alive! Many major events had occurred, hence the continuous transitions. Yet, this is the season that I would never want to forget. I am commemorating it here. Moments I have searched, found, grew and learn so much about life as I know it.

Long story short. Kelvin was a candidate competing for MP for his constituency, and he won a great margin. While I have done my best preparing as a wife of an MP, I did not imagine that it would also be this time that there would be a change of government for the very first time. God heard the prayers and cries of Malaysians. So, Kelvin had not just become an MP, but a government MP. I am still wrapping my head around this fact, as it was the first time ever in history ever since our Independence Day in 1957 that there was a switch of government.

To this date it is almost two months. I guess the government is also still transitioning, and Malaysians have been nothing but supportive thus far. It has been really heartwarming to see that a cause many fought for to regain our voices as rakyat since a many years ago is finally coming to pass. For me, I started joining rallies since 2012, and my heart had been very moved by the causes fought since then. I guess this is what made Kelvin and I clicked in the first place.

But what I am about to share here, is more than just these amazing events, but a true, naked account of my journey as a wife and a person in these few months.

Ever since I said yes to Kelvin's proposal to marry him, he made it clear to me that the road ahead would not be easy. Because he had chosen to fight for the cause that he believes in actively (at that time still opposition) and that I need to be ready for him to perhaps face difficulties or be incarcerated for what he would be fighting for. I prepared myself psychologically for that as much as I can. Truth be told, it would probably be very different when I truly encounter it, but I guess better to have some form of preparation than be caught by surprise. LOL. It was a full-on support. I imagined myself as a wife who would be with him, assisting him in his office etc (since it would take some time to find a job after uprooting in Sarawak anyway).

However, in January 2018, while cleaning our new home (and while preparing for our wedding), I received a call from the Malaysian Ministry of Health, informing me that I am accepted to work in a government hospital in Sarawak as a clinical psychologist. This is another miraculous story to share but I shall keep it for another day. Basically, I got a dream job literally "dropping on my lap" because I have always wanted to reach the lower income bracket population with the services I can provide. Working in a government hospital provided me that platform.

But this calls for a change of plan. Back then, it was a different government. And with the law saying that government servant should not be involved in any political party work, and me being the scaredy cat that is quite afraid of what may befall an opposition party politician's wife (as we have heard countless accounts of how previous government is capable of making a hell out of people's living), I was living a life of "hiding" - fearful others may know who I am related to, and becoming very cautious of how I would not appear to be related to opposition (because I do not want to lose my dream job). However, I wanted to support my husband very badly. And being apart from him during the toughest time of his career (preparation for election) was just killing me, as I had to be trained in another state. To compensate it, I began helping him indirectly, such as giving feedbacks through the "ceramahs" I watched via Facebook Live. To a point, I felt it probably became slightly overwhelming for him (the feedbacks :P). I flew in and out and gave the best I could. But still, deep down....I knew  very well, that I was in hiding.

It was a whole load of internal conflicts. On one hand, I am really proud of my husband, but on another hand, I was afraid I may lose my job. Plus the whole notion that I do not want to be my husband's extension (i.e. known only as Kelvin's wife, and lose my identity), the fear of me losing my identity makes me fought even harder to keep my job. Which means, compromising the things I would have done, or roles I would have played in a heartbeat for Kelvin, if I weren't a government servant. So this conflict, resulted in me resorting to temporary solution. Whereby, I filtered my Instagram name list, and only leave names which are familiar or have prior known me and Kelvin before the election period. I was proud of Kelvin's hard work and I wanted a means to express these feelings. So, I resorted to insta-stories (which would be taken down in 24 hours), and refused to add other new colleagues (except one or two) into my list in fear that they may find out who I am and get me in trouble. 

With these postings, I get to gratify my pride and how I felt toward Kelvin, and also to some extent make up for the sadness or loss of not being to be physically there for him or even openly supporting him at a crucial moment of the election. I also justified my actions with: hey these postings are only limited people or people who have known us, and the posts are only up there for 24 hours. LOL.

But then he won. And when we were invited to the nomination centre to witness his winning, I was in fear again. Because pictures were taken of me by the media....and...that instant I was concerned...what if I lose my job? At that time, we weren't sure if PH or BN would be the government yet. And then comes the time when PH won, and government change was finalized. I was still feeling afraid and was still in hiding. This time, the fear was different. Fearing that if colleagues especially know my husband is an MP, would there be less genuine relationships? Would people come to me with motives? Would I be given favour not because of my abilities? Would I lose my identity?

And this whole struggles played out for several weeks. In that period of time, I attempted to keep my husband away from my life at 8am to 5pm, hopefully Hazel can be seen as Hazel for her own abilities....and fully become  a wife after 5pm. LOL. Crazy? Yes. I didn't feel at peace or right at all. Something was definitely missing. It wasn't until one day when Kelvin ask me...."Dear, you are married to me. Why do you not want people to know your husband and what he does?"

It was that question that hit something within me and made me reflect. It was a God-moment. That question reminded me of the vows I made at the aisle, and what I said yes to. When I said yes, I said yes to all that comes with being Kelvin's wife. He is such a big part of my life, and yet I tried to deny his existence in my life? That's quite crazy of me! But it was also then I realized that I am not practicing what I have told him. That in this marriage, we are both team Hazel and both team Kelvin. But for a period of time, I actually quit team Kelvin from 8am to 5pm (haha!).

On hindsight, God made it easier for me through the change of government, and the chance of losing a job because I am an opposition MP's wife now reduced significantly. But yet, I was still fearful of losing my own identity, that others may not see me as me, but me as who I am related to. So I asked myself these questions: is this truly how or what not losing my identity is about? Is my identity now really ONLY about me and my aspirations? Am I willing to go through the possible difficulties that come with being Kelvin's wife? Can I embrace all that comes with being in this position at present?

Yes...that would mean there may be some less genuine relationships, and yes...someone may also see me for my connections instead of recognizing my abilities.....this also mean I may possibly need to try harder to be seen as I really am. To sit with the discomfort of not knowing. To sit with the discomfort that comes with this new life, the anxiety of the transition, without trying too hard to resist it. For some time, I was trying to runaway from the possible difficulties. But I have come to a point of resolution within myself (at least for now) to embrace.

To embrace the fact that this is my identity now. I am fully Hazel with all her capabilities and fully Hazel - Kelvin's wife at the same time. I am not either or, I do not need to choose between the two. I am both, and this is where I am and who I am now. I need to learn how to live this two now. Do I still feel anxious at times? Yes....because its only human. So I am not going to set an unrealistic expectation that I should not be anxious at all... But rather, be aware that it will be a struggle, because this whole thing is new! And its still a time of transition. AND....that is OK....

I do not need to have it all resolve already. Even as I am writing this, I am not there yet. In fact, I believe it is going to be a lifetime experience. If we all can arrived so easily, then there is nothing else to learn about life, isn't it? But at present, I am contented in adopting the posture of learning to embrace that I am both. 8am to 5pm I am fully Hazel with her capabilities and Hazel, the wife of Kelvin. 24 hours, I am Hazel with her full capabilities and Hazel, the wife of Kelvin. Do I need to be careful with what I say or post? A loud resounding yes. Because now, I too represent my husband and like it or not....our lives are intertwined to some measure. What I say, will affect his life and vice versa. But I no longer want to deny, runaway and reject this new place I am at. For now, this is my conviction.

I am not sure how many of you go through the same struggles I go through where your life changes, and you are afraid that these changes may take away a part of you. Because of that, you become anxious and frantically try to maintain the life you know, in some ways attempting to preserve that part of you. But in doing so, you also begin to realize that you are also losing another part of yourself. Because the truth is, it is not about one part over the other. Changes make parts of us evolve, and this evolution of ourselves require us to accept both parts (which have now become one) to move forward. Embracing may not come easy. It takes a lot of awareness, courage and strength. Thus, take comfort even in the struggles. Accept the anxieties that may come with it without trying too hard to resolve it or give too much attention to it. After all, life without struggles is life without pulse.

Life is complicated. Let's not expect it to be simple. Let's trust the process, enjoy the journey... and learn to breathe :)

*post inspired over a dinner conversation*

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Pain (Part 2) - The Wedding Day

My wedding day, was a significant moment for me. Precisely because, I did not try to suppress any emotions at all. I was present for each emotion I consciously felt. The thrill and happiness of starting a new life with the love of my life, the awareness of the pain that this decision may bring about, the losses I would be feeling. It was a wedding and a "burial" at the same time. Many felt it was because I sacrificed for Kelvin, but truth be told...I have never felt I sacrificed anything. While it is not easy to leave the life I know, I gained the excitement of  a new life (not everyone can do that) and the happiness of being with the one I love. In other words, I am too gaining something for myself from this decision (I am not so noble lah!).

But back to the topic of pain: my wedding day....was the proper burial that I have anticipated and prepared for. Months before the wedding happened, I had made it a point, that I wanted it to be meaningful, and for my honest feelings to surface without hindrance. To savor each  properly-managed emotions as they come without judgment. My parents were crying, when they handed me over to Kelvin. And I cried with them...letting them feel these emotions without judgment was very important for me....because I wanted them to have their fair share of "closures" as much as I wanted mine. And for them to be comfortable with their emotions, I had to be comfortable with mine.

So we cried before the wedding. We cried during the wedding....and for all we know, we will still occasionally cry when we miss one another. Well, I am not sure for them, but I do. Grieving a certain change is a process anyway. But this entire experience, had caused me to send messages that I had never sent before in the past. To be honest with how I feel and to say all I wanted to say. Precisely because of that, every now and then when I feel a certain emotions, I still text them and tell them how I feel without holding back. I love it that I could do this now, more than before. Wouldn't have it any other way. And to sit with the discomfort of pain, has made me live life more authentically. Even when I express love, I am more extravagant in my expression (or so I to verify with the hubs haha!).

This experience made me realize who are those I truly treasure, those that I would decide and make an effort to stay in touch with. To learn to seize each moment, be present and be honest. Well, I am not fully there yet, but am making efforts.

The surprise video I made for my husband before I walked down the aisle, was a closure for myself and hopefully for my husband. To remind him, the entire journey of being boyfriend and girlfriend, how great it was, and acknowledged the strength the relationships had given me. Now entering marriage, the dynamics will be different. Hence, closing that chapter, and preparing for a new one. Now, of course, while I was plotting that video I did not intentionally plan with all that in mind (Haha! I am not so smart). I just followed my heart because I felt it would be meaningful....and on hindsight, I am really glad I did it. It was a good closure. Now looking back at the video, I still tear up reminiscing how far we came :)

Walking down the aisle, with my crying parents, I saw my husband cried. First time in my life. He never cried, at least not in front of me ever in our dating years. I am not sure why. He said the video made him well up. Me walking down, he just could not control the flow of his tears. Maybe he is grieving the loss of singlehood (haha!), maybe he is overwhelmingly joyful for what is to come, maybe he finally remembered how much we have been through together....We will never really know....because he claimed he doesn't know :P (it doesn't matter anyway).

But in that exchange, we were all crying each for our own reasons. For me, there was a mixture of happiness and sadness. Complex. And I loved the fact that I was present, and aware of all the emotions that surfaced that day. I allowed each emotion to take its place, because each of them deserve my attention despite its complexity. Life is complex anyway. We further cried during worship, vow exchange, speeches, performances - with the creative mix of emotions. And now, reflecting back on that very day.... I remembered thinking this to myself: This is the wedding I have always dreamed of. Not because of the venue, the deco, the luxuries, the food or what not. But the wedding that we were all emotionally present for one another, with one another.

It will be the wedding with a deepest sense of memory and meaning for me. And for those of us who felt something that night.
All these happened, because of one decision. When I decided to change my lens and approach toward pain and subsequently toward emotions as a whole (why do we label them positive or negative anyway).

Emotions are neutral. We need to know how to address them and at the right time and give them a proper place. Management is the key. Emotions remind us that we are alive. Those who do not feel much emotions (i.e. sociopath) suffer daily feeling "dead" on the inside, in search for something just to "feel" a little.

Pain, is a friend....if we treat them well.
An enemy if we starve or overfed them.
Pain in good amount, is the key to growth.

And in the future, I hope that I can teach my children to embrace pain in adequate amount, manage emotions well, to be there to journey through the process with them, and finally letting these emotional experiences be the teacher.

The most resilient people I know, are those who experienced pain on almost daily basis (i.e. refugees). The irony of pain is that while it hurts you, it also builds you up (if managed well). Having said all that, there were also of course complexity to pain in its manifestation and we cannot always welcome and generalize pain, and it may not always be good. But that would be an entire different topic from what I am writing about here.

I know I have so much more to learn about this emotion. But for now, I have learned one thing.
The world does not need "rescuing" from pain.
The world perhaps need to get-to-know pain from a different facade.

Perhaps, this post too serves as a closure - one way or another :)

Pain (Part 1)

It took me awhile to write this. But I think it is worth the wait. At least, that's what I think :)

Pain, has been a very difficult topic to discuss.
Mainly because, the word "pain" in itself signifies a lot of unpleasant feelings, memories and responses.

Yet, in my past almost 2 years in clinical practice, I have dealt with pain on almost a daily basis.
It gave me a new perspective.

I have seen many different kinds of individuals.
Some, dwell in it, refusing to move forward. The pain serves a function. Some for self-redemption (punishment), some to fish comfort, some as a reminder of a certain past one cannot let go - many different reasons.

Some, want to get out of it quickly to a point it is being ignored. Eventually, like an untreated deep wound, infection grew and affect many different "parts of a body".
Some, ignorant of it, and refuse to feel it. Avoiding it through hardened hearts, so to protect themselves and also to ensure self-preservation. And one day, when a certain trigger comes about, the entire buried "unfinished business" erupted like a sleeping volcano.

Some, seek for pain like an addiction, because beneath the pain there is a kind of pleasure. Because, the pain make their "zombified" being feel alive again.

In essence, many people deal with pain differently.

And for the past 30 years of life, I do my best to "outrun" pain, or can I say, find a "cure" to pain? Perhaps this is what triggers me into joining this profession. I wanted to find an answer to deal with pain once and for all. Idealistic, isn't it?

But I have to admit that my obsession in "eradicating pain" has brought me through an amazing journey of self-discovery, and now, to this place. I have to admit, I do not know pain in its full entirety at this point. But I have begun to see pain as a friend.

Sadistic, much? Hear me out...

As a therapist, I sat with pains that were brought about by many others. And in order to connect and empathize well with them, I have to allow myself to go that place, where I have experienced pain before in my life. Some thought that being a therapist, and a professional, god-forbid that we should feel at all. Else we could not be objective.

Well, here is the eye-opening truth for us all. A good therapist, must be willing to experience pain. If we do not know pain, we cannot go to that place of connection and identify with our clients. If I have learned anything in the past 2 years in being a beginning therapist, is that professional methods are helpful in solving a symptom (and yes, to curb our own anxiety as beginning therapist because that is one thing that we probably feel would bring the "least harm" to clients and ourselves), but the personal element of a therapist (experience, connection, empathy, and finally the formation of a trusting therapeutic alliance) is crucial in the process of deep-rooted healing.

I went into Masters, all geared up. Thinking that I am equipping myself to "save the world" from pains and hurts. Oh, how wrong was I. Masters had changed me in so many ways, so much so, that my entire worldview experienced a drastic shift. In the 2 years of learning, I began to deal with all my internal discomfort of dealing with pain. Painful experience? You bet! It was the time where my emotions went high and low, learning what were my trigger points, what were my unfinished business and so many more. It was a humbling experience. What "superhero" did I think I am going to be? Rising above all, and rescuing the "fellow civilians?" Oh, the pride I had! (Superhero complex).

And finally being a beginning therapist, sitting with different kinds of pain....watching my clients grow, witnessing how they became friends with pain and rose above these discomfort. To the day, I sat with my own pain and grief....I began to see the value of pain.

Grief had been a big part of my life ever since July 2017. Not because anyone died. But the reality of me leaving the life, the family, the relationships, the community, friends, job, place that had been a big part of me for the past decade began sinking in. As usual, it started off with a lot of avoidance. And anger/ frustrations toward issues and myself. These manifestation of emotions began to make me reflect on what is going on internally.

Then, a meet up with my supervisor changed me. I was so pre-occupied with making sure that I end things well, handover was done properly (which I thought was the sole culprit of all my frustrations). And she stopped me as I was in the midst of my rant about the professional-required do's and don'ts - asking me: Hazel, what about you? What is the ritual you need for your closure.

Oblivious, I asked - "Huh? What closure? All these thing I am doing to end my case well etc. are closures no?"
With her motherly gaze she said (probably thinking: oh you poor, oblivious young thing haha): "Hazel, you are leaving many things at once.. Many would get married and just leave their title of singlehood. But you are leaving your life as a single, your life in KL for the past 10 years, increased distance with your family, leaving your church, your friends, the city you are so familiar with, your favorite restaurants, your job, your clients -- you are leaving a lot. Have you thought of how are you going to give all of these a "proper burial"?"

That struck me and disturbed my sleep that night. I thought long and hard about what she said. I knew I was leaving a lot of things. But I did not allow myself to "feel" or "process" much with the excuse that I had too many things to get settled. Its all the "objective solutions" and none of the emotional processes were given leeway. That night, I decided that it is time to go beyond the objective solutions. To avoid from feeling overwhelmed (I still need to work, ya know?), I began allowing myself to process and say goodbye to one thing at a time. Every meet up and trip became intentional. Every post and personal messages of goodbye were being crafted for a closure. Serving in church for the last time, and sitting in my last service for the last time...all became really meaningful. I savored every minute of it. It is not that I will not come back ever or meet these people ever. I remember someone saying this: "you are not dying! and we can always meet again!"

But acknowledging that the next time I return, it would be different. So while the moment last, I wanted to be present. I allowed myself the time to say goodbye and be emotional because these pains deserve the attention. Yes we may meet. But my priorities will change....and because these connections, place, job, experiences mattered in this season of my life, I felt it was necessary to say goodbye to them at its form now.

As expected, the moment I decided to allow the pain within to surface....the floodgates open. You cannot imagine the countless times I cried, wrote random messages, and the amount of time I went back to a particular place, to just savor the food, the environment. Sitting...and just being present. Tearing up, laughing....each emotions were given their respectful time and place. I am glad that I did it.

As I drove to church one day. One of my final services in struck me. The pain that I was so passionate in "solving" and "eradicating" is so necessary in life. If only everyone knew the power of pain (if well-channeled and utilized). Pain is a Great teacher. We can learn from textbooks about the do's and don'ts in life. But it was true experiential pain that helps us grow and learn life lessons. Come to think about it, the most significant growth in most of our lives are moments of "pain" isn't it?

It is not pain that causes mankind problems. It is the mismanagement and misinterpretation of this emotion that propelled so much more troubles today.
Perhaps this could answer to why God did not eradicate sufferings even when He loves us? We'll never know... :)

Friday, December 29, 2017

The Impatience in Mankind

People are impatient.

Almost always they expect immediate changes.
I for one, have heard many of these words in my sessions...or even in my 30 years of life on earth - people seemed to have a perception that change should be immediate.

"You have not changed one bit!"
"I have not changed"
"Not enough...I could not reach my target"
"No, you are repeating your mistakes. Changes are too slow on your part"

Perhaps, technology did play its part in "spoiling" mankind. Everything is quick, fast, and instant. Wait becomes a pain, a wonder we see more and more children with attentional issues (disclaimer: the writer has no backing of valid data. Just a random comment out of daily observations). Everything is about instant gratification! Bleh.

I wish sometimes, human would be more patient. With others, and with themselves.
Having said that, this is also for myself.
That change, does not happen over night. Or even in a month or a year for that matter. Come to think of it, we have been living the way we lived for the past 10, 20 or 30 years? Why do we think that change could be done overnight?

How do we "undo" a wrong that has been done for the past 50 years within just the span of 5, 10 years?
Awareness is key. And then efforts toward those change, should not be taken lightly. In fact, it should be encouraged. We would get there slowly, but surely.

If we want change, we got to be patient.
And got to give credit where credit is due. Do not discount effort. Do not just focus on the results. Life is more than just results. The process matters :)

Trust the process.
Respect the process
Don't hurt its "feelings!"
Because when we do not appreciate the process, we do not see progress. And that is being unfair, isn't it?

This, also serves as a note to myself.


Monday, March 20, 2017

The Man Of My Prayer

There is a story I rarely speak of....and in my recent conversations questions related surfaced more than before.

"Have you really sit down,  and thought it through?" they asked.

See, I am about to marry a man who has committed his life to the nation. There were mixed responses from well meaning relatives and friends. "You'd better consider this properly," they emphasized. "It's not as fun as u think!"

Some were worried about my future, that life might be harsh to me. Others thought it would be a glamorous place to be in and painted a life that's full of positive possibilities.

Honestly, when kelvin first decided on this, I went through a period of  emotional roller coaster. On one hand I'm glad he had such opportunity, but on the other hand fearful of the challenges that may come with it.

We spent a lot of time praying, seeking, searching and grasping for answers, attempting to sort out all uncertainties....even questioning, are we cut out to be together as a couple? Should we break off the relationship before it is too late?

Recalling the many conversations I had with different individuals in search for a clear fearful and intolerable of the uncertainties.  Noone I knew then (not even kelvin) could give me satisfactory advices, simply because it wasn't a common dilemma. And the search became increasingly frustrating with time.

Then an eureka moment happened, when I realized that the preoccupation of the unknown has become a killjoy. And that it is enough to make a decision to the best of my ability according to what I know in the here and now. It's impossible to plan for something that we don't know and that would only hinder me from fully enjoying my too much power to fear of uncertainties.

And the peace each attempt of us sitting down to discuss....the confidence grew.  Not because he had more answers. But because I gradually become surer that he is the man I want to spend my life with. And here we are.  About to seal the deal to a future together.

If you ask me...Am I still afraid? Very much.  Yet excited. The trust and the confidence in the process grew. Simply because we both began to own the decision...It was a conscious decision we BOTH made equally as individuals for this season. No arms were twisted.. 

I still think about the uncertainties and the possible challenges I may face in this journey. I think that's only human. Which is why each step requires more faith. The struggle within only grew stronger as reality inches closer. Truth be told...we are not very accustomed to what's in store in "that" world. But yet, having each other's support is the greatest certainty for now.

Worshipping tonight at a concert,  I was reminded of the prayers I make..this was the man I prayed for, waited and fasted for before I even knew his existence. A man that would understand what it means to have a dream and who would sacrifice for it..

Today...I am also reminded of the commitment I once made to the nations before I knew Kelvin. And how when I met him, I admired his tenacity and brilliant ideas....and when he finally pursued this dream, I remembered feeling proud because he is not just a man who talks...but walk the talk.

 And the feeling I one with overwhelming gratefulness.  I am privileged to be able to be his support. I am privileged because I'm given the chance to experience a rare moment in making a difference for our nation.

And more than that, I am privileged because he is not just a man who would fight for this nation to the best he know how. But who had fought for me again and again. :)

And that is more than enough for now.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016


Just saw the video of #DearYoungerSelf by Jubilee Project. Inspired by it. Writing to your younger self could potentially teach you how to live for what counts in future.

Thought I should write to my younger self too. Here goes nothing.

Dear beautiful Szee,

You were beautiful, are beautiful and will always be beautiful. In case you didn't know I need to tell you why. Because your heart is truly beautiful. You will be afraid to make mistakes because you have been taught that mistakes are fatal. And you are afraid to hurt others. You felt like a disappointment each time you make mistakes. And honestly Szee, this would be something you will struggle with throughout growing up. But it is OK, and it is fine. Mistakes did not kill you, it is not fatal. In fact, these are the things that makes you wiser, bolder and surer about who you are...You have a beautiful spirit. Nobody can restrain that free spirit within you. And that's what makes you so special. That's what make many love you, admire you, get inspired by you and believe in you. Deep down you know what's best. Trust your heart. Trust that voice. And even if it makes you fall, that's OK. It only makes you stronger.

Many would tell you what you are believing in is wrong. Many would not believe in you along the way, bruise you, shrug at you, make you feel rejected, and hurl mean remarks about you, and many would misunderstand you....even your loved ones. They would think you are naive, they would think you do not know the risks of life.....But keep pure that way... Keep believing in that free spirit from within, the one that constantly seeks for what is true and congruent to you. You WILL find your way. And remember this, much as you always struggle and felt that you have not forget that you always have the kindest intentions.

You will become successful in your own ways. And your parents will be proud of you. Many a times when you disappoint loved ones, you felt you have failed God. But no, did not. God loves your free spirit. And He adores you for being that way. Your future partner will adore you for your free spirit, your parents will grow to understand your free spirit, and those who took time to sit down, speak to you, understand you (not judge you), will believe in you. So don't you think less of yourself.

You will find strangers who will build bridges for you because they believe in you. And people believe in you simply because you believe in goodness. That spirit is just contagious! Don't let anyone convince you to stop believing in goodness. The world will try to rob you out of that....but Szee....don't let anyone dull your sparkle. You will shine....and in your own time, you will grow to be such an amazing woman. To others, you are not up to the standard of a successful person defined by this world, you may not be up to par as others in the way you take care of your health....but it is fine. You will learn it. You will grow to love eating oats with time, cutting fruits for yourself, learning how to cook, and different ways of saving up money. You will learn that wedding does not have to be extravagant...but love has to be!

You are not a bad person just because you are not developed in certain things yet. Remember, you will be very well-advanced in other areas. Other areas, that others may have overlooked in grooming, but is so important in finding yourself. So don't stop believing in yourself. Don't stop pursuing what you believe in. You will doubt a lot. But that's ok. It makes you plan...and it will make you become the woman you are meant to be. And that is who you are. Your awareness will make you act and do something. Don't fret. You are not messing life up. You will learn to take care of yourself because you finally understand the value of it. And that's OK. It's not too late. You are not "not good enough" because you are not as skilled as others in certain areas. You develop different areas first compared to others, and that is completely fine.

Remember to really love your mother and father, Szee. They will need you a lot later on. Learn to appreciate them. Because even though you may not feel that they believe in you....they will one day. When you grow up, and when they see that you come to achieve all that you say you will achieve, and when they hear you speak...they will. And they will start believing in you. No doubt they will worry....but they WILL believe in you because you believe in goodness. You will be their pride. Simply because they see how much you grow. And more than that, will find so many people who believe in you. who you are. When you grow up, you wouldn't want to change a thing. Because all that made you an amazing person. Those who believed in you saw the sparkle when you couldn't, remember? And you will learn to see that yourself soon. That free spirit, that pure heart, that belief in goodness. One day, an amazing young man would pursue you just because of that. Your heart. So don't stop investing in your heart. Don't stop. And although it is difficult....and you will struggle with this even when you grow up....try to remind yourself to not live for the expectations of others. You always believe in that free spirit. You may struggle...but at the end of the day you always choose what you feel is good and kind and free. You follow your a free spirit.

Remember to let it continue to thrive in what you believe in. Trust your guts. Live on the edge. Love extravagantly. You will hurt. But you will grow up to be just fine. You will feel insecure, but it is through those times that you will also learn what it means to love unconditionally. Step by step. Don't despise your insecurities. They help you grow up. Don't stop believing in love. Believe in yourself. Many will. Along the way more and more. And I do too. I believe in you. I wished I did and I could tell you this earlier. I am really proud of you.

If you forget, I wanna help you have SURVIVED so many hard times, and gained so many precious relationships. You will make it :) You always make it. And will always do well in your very own way.

Don't change a thing. I love your heart. And I love all that you are right now. Stay beautiful, girl. :) Seize the present, your here and now!

Your future self :)

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Do you know Jesus' concerns?

It has been a tough journey. But I am learning to speak the right words and laugh at all the lies of the enemies. That has been the key to overcoming so many events that happened recently. His grace indeed is enough.

See, when I first signed up for this course, I thought it was about me equipping myself for a call God has for me. The human trafficking sphere in need of God's soldier to answer and meet needs. So I put both hands and feet up high and say...."here God here! Send me!....Hazel is here to rescue!!"

But Pastor Pat was right. I thought I had a dream and ...yayy....but little did I know...that was just the beginning of all the problems.

There were many resistances apart from financial restrains and other personal matters I am dealing with. At one point, I was considering if quitting the course and start to fend for myself would be a better option to relieve financial burdens. Thesis topic seem impossible when I could not access any sex workers or trafficked victims initially (yes, that's what I intend to do with my Masters thesis), because they are my main population for my thesis. And placement in a good hospital seem to be bleak as HKL was not open for HELP students to come in, and I am left to choose from Sg Buloh and Kajang Hospital. But Kajang has very few clinical cases to experience, only mostly assessment cases (i.e. IQ test, ADHD test etc), which was not what I had in mind. I intend to experience working with psychotic patients and etc.... and Sg Buloh is left with ONE spot as one of my friend was already accepted since early this year (only 2 places). BUT......God saved the day. Every one of them resolved right at the dot. Not too early, not too late.  

God knew me better than that. The entire course, one of the biggest struggle I face is to not just juggle with the stress of the demandingness of the course, but the explosion of self awareness. We are trained to be self-aware -- key to minimize harm to our clients during session (knowing what triggers us, and which are client's problem, which are ours) an extent I notice so much about myself.

And that is when I knew God true purpose for this course. It was for me. So I thought He was sending me into the course to equip me for what burdens my heart. But the truth of the matter is...He was more concerned about ME. Not what I can offer. 

One of them happened last week -- I have been going through a lot of anxiety, because I went into hospital Sg Buloh for the first time last Tuesday...and realize that the specialist wasn't expecting me (they only wanted ONE trainee, which my friend already gotten the spot since January)....miscomm between him and my supervisor. But long story short, at the end he decided to keep me because I can speak mandarin and there are many Chinese patients. Hallelujah!! For one of the very few times in life, I am really really glad that my "setengah tong" of mandarin and hokkien are assets. 

With that, I felt rather  unwelcomed, as the HOD was doing me a favor in that sense. So I felt a little ignored etc. Knowing that politics exist in hospital...I began to try to "impress" nurses etc even on the second visit to the hospital (I haven't even start practicum yet), just to ensure that my life in hospital won't be hell.

But little did I know, that it became my main focus. All I spoke about (Kelvin can be the witness...) is about how to make sure that I won't make mistake and to make a good impression during my visits. Patients well being...suddenly become a distant memory. Poor Kelvin have a tough time reminding me of what are my purposes doing this course in the first place. So I began asking myself....why am I in Hospital Sg Buloh? was just to ensure I can graduate with a good name, and everyone likes me. It is not about learning my best so I am equipped enough for my patients.

Realizing that, last Wednesday, I broke down in front of Kelvin. And I told him....I don't know why am I staying in this course anymore. It felt so selfish. I am living in fear and most of the time its a revelation hours later....Is this really for God, or for me? Its about getting good grades, being accepted, being liked. If I am going to be like that, I will quit this course. Because it is no longer for the right reasons (emotional words definitely...hahha).

But that very moment, I began to evaluate the content of my heart. What was the original reason I signed up. And what made me divert from the original purpose? What fear? What's my beliefs about rejections? in Jesus' kingdom, and living by His governing law, is not easy...not natural for the flesh. Tendency is to sway and be selfish, be defensive...even though it seems to be convincing to the world and to myself, that I am doing it for God. For Jesus. To make Him famous. When I am seen as "capable" to others, I am worthy, making Jesus proud, and famous, representing Him well! Yeah! So Christ-centered right? ~ sadly, it was just a selfish facet. I was ABSOLUTELY wrong. 

That was NEVER His concern. That was MY concern. Because deep down the ugly truth is, if the world sees me, then I am important enough to tell people about Jesus. So I came first. Jesus came second. Unconsciously I m still living to the notion of the past, whereby, doing well, means making your parents proud. 

Reading two articles about Jesus during Easter hit me this week. Can I be secure even from a position of a minority to representing His heart? It is about knowing His heart...His heart is never about needing a name blared loudly about Him. He is not that narcissistic. I made Him look narcissistic. He loves people for people. Genuinely. Period. That's it. Not for fame. And I have over and over misrepresented Him. 

I have been in this journey of faith for 10 over years. Yet I am still struggling in my flesh and sometimes overcomplicate and misunderstand His heart entirely. But I want to be different. I want to represent the true content of His heart. Love. Period. And the ugly truth is, it is still a struggle. I am not there yet. I am still in this journey challenging myself to breakthrough in all these self-focus statements and actions. Jesus HAS to be in the picture. I realize moments when I am fearful, I only thought about myself, and my needs. 

Practicum started in the hospital for me. And I really want to represent His heart. More than ever, I need to be dependent on Him. I need to be broken from these chains....and only draw from the RIVER of living water. That's where I belong. Not in the prison of materialism.

Knowing my Abba now.....I am clear and glad that I am exactly where He wants me to be right now. this place of struggle, and a place where I constantly draw closer and closer to Him. Does He need me to be perfect? No.....I need me to be perfect. Not Him. He is happy with me......even in my struggle and my shortcomings. And knowing who Daddy loves, humbles me courage and grace to love others and especially the faces of shortcomings.

And honestly, this LOVE in the faces of shortcomings (yes, even toward myself) is a dynamite...a weapon of destruction deploy for all lies. 

I wish I can make the world see how powerful this is. Because in all honesty, I am not perfect, but realizing this, have given me so much strength. I wish you can come to see this. If you haven't...I pray that God will reveal to you.

Past three days I have been in hospital with psychiatric patients. And this realization of how I have been misrepresenting God, and really....who He is, totally turn me around. I stopped striving, and I walk around confidently even amongst psychiatric patients who rambles senselessly some disconnected stories.....I found my heart soften every single time I look them in the eye.

Suddenly, "me" and "all my circumstances" microsized. The focus change. Because I KNOW, my Father takes care of me, and all my needs no matter what. It was never about equipping me for a greater cause. He is not concerned about how well I can handle the issues of the world. He is concerned about me. My well being and how much He loves me. I know this may sound crazy, but in all the turmoils I face, I cannot help but feel SO EXTRAVAGANTLY LOVED...

And it is out of this love (that we often time forget as human beings - FORGETFUL human beings), is where your heart melts for everything that moves His heart. It is not about being equipped for a work. Nothing is work when you have so much love. When you understand and see how much He loves you and still pursues you, you see how much He loves and pursues just can't help but see Him in everything. And because He loves these patients a lot, I can't help but love who my Daddy loves....

So you see, I thought I signed up to be equipped. But instead, I signed up for an unexpected journey of self-discovery, because My Daddy is just so in love with me.

I wish the world sees....

P/S: These are the articles I was talking about earlier. Worth reading!