I know what it feels like to tolerate or even desire something that’s unhealthy for you. Like a guy who wants to keep you at arms length so you’re at his disposal—accessible when it’s convenient for him, but still far enough that you can’t hurt him or call him your own. If you’re in limbo with someone who makes just enough insinuations to keep you reading between the lines, looking for clues, searching for a reason to keep waiting…and waiting…and waiting… only to see that the waiting was not worth it, I’m here to write out the words you’ve buried in the back of your head. I’m no better than you. You are no more naive than me. I’ve been where you are, so I’m not going to say, “you know better than this” because you’ll just tell me that you know him better than me. And you’re right—which is why it’s time for you to be honest with yourself. I’m not here to argue with you. I’ve just come to speak the doubts you’re too afraid to say out loud. I haven’t come to offer you cliche opinions or pretty catch phrases. I know too well that recycled advice can’t penetrate your soul or tame the ache in your bones when insecurity and fear suffocates the voice of reason clawing at your conscious. I’m just here to give your dignity a fighting chance by turning the volume up so you will hear the truth you already know.
Know that the more you feed a craving, the louder it will demand another bite. Know that it’s your choice to nurture or starve these cravings because they’re carving you into who you’re becoming. Know that people pick each other like flowers, and we’re all being pressed into each other’s pages, so choose wisely which stories you tuck into. Don’t climb into the stories of those who pretend they want you to fill up their pages when you know they’ll keep your corners dog-eared for too long before picking you up again. Know that it isn’t valiant or sexy to wait for things never promised. And know that while you will get second chances and new mercies with every daybreak, what a drag it is to keep choosing something that drains the color from your cheeks and empties the joy from your eyes with every sip. What a pity to fill a man with expectations when you’ve seen puddles left in his tracks. What a tragedy to let him occupy a role in your one wild and precious life when you could be pressing your smile into a shoulder that upholds your beautiful soul. I don’t care that he wants your lips if he doesn’t care for your happiness. I don’t care if he wants your body if he doesn’t want the life attached to it. Don’t accept affection that’s braided with manipulation. Don’t yield to hands that mold you into a shape that will never fit into his future. Why would you want his laugh when it mocks you for needing what he won’t offer?
If he isn’t offering you the consistency you deserve; if he is not reciprocating the kind of love you want to cultivate; if you’re tired of making excuses for him and tired of ignoring the truth, then peel yourself from his page. This may not be for you, but if it is, I hope you do what’s best for your heart. You’ve only got one, after all.
“He may love you. He probably does. He probably thinks about you all the time. But that isn’t what matters. What matters is what he’s doing about it, and what he’s doing about it is nothing. And if he’s doing nothing, you most certainly shouldn’t do anything. You need someone who goes out of their way to make it obvious that they want you in their life.”—Wait, this is beautiful and so so similar to something I recently wrote! » “After All” (via yesdarlingido)
While we were studying, a friend of mine asked us what he should respond to a girl who says this to him.
We all kind of laughed, made up joke responses. ”tell her yup, she’s PHAT!” (I know, we’re all grad students and still extremely childish)
But it bothers me right?
1. It bothers me that we can say such definitive statements about ourselves that isn’t something about us as human beings, but rather about how our bodies carry our weight.
2. It bothers me that we say these statements looking for affirmation from others. As if their affirmation changes everything. As if their affirmation means more than what we think of ourselves. As if their words can somehow fix the skewed perceptions we have of ourselves that have built for our entire lives.
3. It bothers me how often I catch myself saying it internally each day. As I make food choices, the unhealthy choice? “I’m so fat.” As I decide to sleep instead of go for a run in the morning? “I’m so fat.” It bothers me how ingrained it is in our minds, how it shapes our decisions and thoughts. How it shapes how we think, what we do, and ultimately who we are.
So sometimes I think “I am so fat” isn’t so much about being fat. It’s more about the fact that these thoughts consume our lives and our minds so deeply and so constantly to the point where it changes you.
4. It bothers me that such little, destructive things, will change you if you let it.
So don’t let it. I’m slowly learning that you can’t be passive in these areas, but I don’t want to merely be filled with a “righteous anger.” You have to fight, both for yourself and for one another. We have to combat the world by encouraging one another. By speaking truth, grace, and beauty into one another. We have to remind each other of not just who we think we are, but of how God sees us, redeems us, and calls us as worthy.
“When love of one’s people becomes an absolute, it turns into racism. When love of equality turns into a supreme thing, it can result in hatred and violence toward anyone who has led a privileged life. It is the settled tendency of human societies to turn good political causes into counterfeit gods … We can look upon our political leaders as ‘messiahs,’ our political policies as saving doctrine, and turn our political activism into a kind of religion.”—Timothy Keller (via yesdarlingido)
“Femininity in general is seen as frivolous. People often say feminine people are doing “the most”, meaning that to don a dress, heels, lipstick, and big hair is artifice, fake, and a distraction. But I knew even as a teenager that my femininity was more than just adornments; they were extensions of me, enabling me to express myself and my identity. My body, my clothes, and my makeup are on purpose, just as I am on purpose.”—Janet Mock, Redefining Realness (via yesdarlingido)
“Yes, there are many things that are wrong with the world. So many things to be against — but you can’t be against everything. At some point you have to begin to stand for something. Maybe the most important question is not what am I against, but what do I stand for? On my best days, I want to stand for love conquering a multitude of wrongs. I want to stand for forgiveness, for mercy, for beauty, for grace.”—Jon Foreman (via yesdarlingido)
“Saying all women are distractions to men only serves to objectify women and reduces them to shiny trinkets, merely functioning to interfere with men reaching their full potential. Which is utter bullshit.”—(via yesdarlingido)
I’ve been thinking about the life I want to cultivate for myself with one man. I’ve been thinking of marriage and the loving community my husband and I will so desperately need in order to be happy. We will need beautiful people populating our day-to-day life. Not the beauty that’s a side-effect of vanity, but the beauty of mature, secure souls bringing life to others. The beauty of people who invest themselves in other’s lives with intentionality, awareness, authenticity, and generosity. I want beautiful people with the laid-back peace of God ushering them through my doorsteps and into our space, counteracting traps set by isolation and self-absorption.
Come in my home, and see for yourself how analogous the mess is to the state of my humanity. If you dare, come into our life and take your mask off. You’re valued without the performance, so come take a seat and just know you’re free and welcome to breathe and relax. What you see is what you get and I hope you will come through my doors for compelling conversations and honest opinions from kind eyes and loving hearts.
I’ve been thinking about marriage and how I want mine to be unashamed of brokenness—not just others, but our own. I want true communion and gracious opportunities to live and learn and fail and try again. Because we are just men and women figuring life out and I’m just saying that I want my marriage to be more than husband and wife, but a ministry of genuine interaction that sends people away with more joy than they arrived with.
I want people to sit on my couch and feel safe. I want people to sit at my dinner table to share meals and laughter. I want people to feel understood when they’re in my home. I want people to feel inspired when they watch the way my husband serves me, and the way I respect and listen to him. I want every inch of my marriage to be blamed fully on the faithfulness and truth of Christ invading our life with wild irreversible force. And when people see our bending and changing as a result of Christ’s interrupting glory, I want us all to rejoice from the depths of our souls as we’re reminded that there is so much life to live and there’s always more love we’re able to give.
Whenever someone asks me my opinion about gay people, or people who support abortion, or people who picket funerals, or people of other religions, or transgender people, or overly religious people, I usually say, “You mean what do I think about people? Well I’m a people too, and we’re all pretty screwed up. And I think we all need Jesus.”
God loves people. We’re all invited. End of story.
As a Korean Asian-American who’s always felt the bull’s eye on my back for easy punchlines and Bruce Lee catcalls, I’ve been a huge fan of Stephen Colbert since forever. Through the whole misunderstanding about that satire/racist tweet he never actually sent, I never for a second thought Colbert is a racist. And I don’t think Suey Park, who began the whole #cancelcolbert thing, had illegitimate feelings about it either. However exaggerated those feelings were, she has a right to be an “Angry Asian Woman,” and she chose to pick a fight that has eluded victory for Asians since we were slaves in the 1800s (which no one cares about, ever).
But I don’t think anyone really won here. Suey Park was practically disemboweled online by misogynistic death threats, which only exposes the ugliness of the same tweeters who bashed an 11 year old Mexican for singing the national anthem. Colbert’s original target, Dan Snyder’s “Redskins Foundation,” remains completely untouched by the appropriate outrage, to which Colbert rightly says, “I haven’t seen sh_t about that.”
I keep seeing the same headlines and sound bites. “Colbert’s Brilliant Response.” “Colbert Wins.” “He would’ve never said that to blacks, gays, or Jews.” “Five Things Colbert Got Right.” “Suey Park Fail In Huffpost Interview.” And so on.
All the unthoughtful, un-nuanced, tactless, ungracious responses were worse than the supposed debacle that started it all.
Here’s where I grieve the most. There’s a moment in Colbert’s response from his own show (at the 2:30 mark) where Colbert repeats the joke about Asians. It’s right there that I cringed pretty bad, not at the joke itself, but the way the audience laughed so hard. Like a reflex. Because saying “ching chong” with such inflection is easy to laugh at. It’s satire, yes, but you can pretty much hear the racist undertones in the laughter. I’m reminded of why Dave Chappelle walked away from a $50 million contract: because while taping a sketch about pixies in blackface, a white person on set laughed just a bit too hard. It made Chappelle question what he was really doing: and it should probably drive us to the same questions too.
One time a pastor called me at three in the morning because he was really pissed off about something I did. He proceeded to yell at me for forty-five minutes and used the f-bomb no less than six times. I stayed silent. And honestly, I kept thinking, “If I was a black guy or a gay guy or disabled, this wouldn’t be happening right now.”
It’s such a typical reverse-racist sentiment, yet I’ve seen it play out everyday. I’m more likely to get yelled at during rush hour traffic because I’m the bad Asian driver who won’t say anything back. At mostly white social functions, I’m usually relegated to the side and I get everything explained to me really slowly, as if I’m missing some kind of awareness about life. It sucks to see Asians used casually as props in movies. I’m not sure if anyone could understand watching my dad listen to racist prank messages on his answering machine, rewinding them over and over, trying to understand what they were saying. It grieves me to see an internationally known pastor like Rick Warren brush off his casual racism by yelling “Pharisees” at people who supposedly don’t get a joke. I could keep going.
Despite Stephen Colbert’s strangely smug response and his barely restrained ridicule, I’ll keep watching him. He handled the overblown situation about as well as he could (maybe too well). But I do think the pain that Asians feel over racism is NOT merely projection or oversensitivity or political correctness. Certainly not all of it.
It’s possible to over-use the race card, but it’s terrible to ignore the centuries that we’ve endured such dehumanizing dismissal. Unless you’ve been there, I can’t adequately explain just how much it hurts to be abused and neglected simply because I look different than you. Think of how crazy that is. So I just can’t laugh at “ching chong” no matter how it’s used. There’s still so much work to be done for healing all our racial divides, and this small skirmish only proves it. No one really won here. If only we could truly get to the bottom of this pain together, and listen, will we ever build bridges toward each other instead of to oblivion.
“You must ask for God’s help. Even when you have done so, it may seem to you for a long time that no help, or less help than you need, is being given. Never mind. After each failure, ask forgiveness, pick yourself up, and try again. Very often what God first helps us towards is not the virtue itself but just this power of always trying again.”—C.S. Lewis (via jspark3000)
Today I was in a rather innocuous situation with other Anglo-Saxon brothers and sisters, and as it happens sometimes: I felt that ethnic wall of alienation dividing us a mile wide, like I was screaming naked in a glass cage. It felt like flesh torn in two.
I’m not one to pull the “race card” or to “race-bait” at all. I’ve never been about that, and I’m not even sure what those terms mean. But I often feel that some Anglo-Saxons assume I’m missing some kind of basic understanding, as if I don’t “get it” or I’m oblivious to what’s going on, and I’m treated from a detached distance like my life doesn’t really count in the room. In a predominantly white culture, foreigners are often seen as props instead of people, so people of color are these incomplete subhuman creatures that don’t really belong to any inner-circle. We’re treated sort of as a non-entity, which reminds me of this clip from everyone’s favorite romantic movie on Tumblr.
I know how I sound right now, and I’m not saying anything new. But I felt it really bad today. And unless you’re actually a person of color: it’s nearly impossible to understand how utterly helpless it feels to stand in a crowd where no one really includes you into their journey.
It’s sort of this clinical, preserved, shrink-wrapped stigma of innocence around foreigners that views us as slightly clueless. And I hate that. I hate that Anglo-Saxons don’t understand that there isn’t a vacuum-sealed Asian/Latino/Black culture, but that white people have a culture too, and white culture is not just “the way things are.” I hate that I’m treated as an ethnic trophy of diversity in the “main story” of a white person’s life, and that I’m some kind of a sidekick that doesn’t matter. I hate the condescending way that people explain things to me, as if my culture is some kind of uptight chokehold of antiquated ideas that is second place in a Westernized world.
Probably I’m being racist as well. I suppose I’m defeating my own purpose and I’m guilty of what I’m saying too. But — it’s just exhausting to throw off this uncomfortable anxiety that I’m an alien here. I’m not at home anywhere. I’m an American with Asian blood, which means I belong nowhere. And I wish you could see me as a fellow human being with the same hopes, dreams, insecurities, and flaws as all of us, and maybe we could quit talking down to each other like we can’t see the same shades of life. I’m a person first, with thoughts of my own that exist apart from my face, and I hope we can celebrate our unique cultures instead of using it to categorize. I hope I can understand you too, because maybe you’re really trying, and I don’t want to miss that either. Maybe we’ll actually get to know each other, and even like each other just because.
“For what it’s worth: it’s never too late to be whoever you want to be. I hope you live a life you’re proud of, and if you find you’re not, I hope you have the strength to start over again.”—F. Scott Fitzgerald (via splitterherzen)
At times I get a little scared of writing online about race, faith, gender, culture, history, politics, psychology, media, or even a simple story about a dude saving a girl — because I’m pretty sure I’ll offend someone or I’ll say something really insensitive and it’s so hard to know what’s wrong to say these days. The internet has turned us into a raw nerve. Most online people assume you’re a sexist racist mustache-twirling troll and they’ll kill you if you remotely run up on their categories. We’ve all drawn the line much too close to ourselves.
But you know — I suppose someone will always be offended, and online communities are never much happy with anything, and creativity has to take risks. So if you have a story to tell and you really have a good heart about it, just write your thing and learn from the criticism and keep on writing. I don’t think it’s wise to purposefully offend people, but I don’t think it’s wise to shackle yourself in a box in fear of someone else’s opinion. I’d rather you be you and offend me, than you play it safe and be some watered down version of you.
“Calling has this weight that somehow we think that your calling is fixed. That your calling is this line that you’ve finally found and now you’re on that track and that’s what you’re gonna do forever and maybe that’s the case. But I feel like calling has much more to to do with the moment that you’re in.”—Jon Foreman (via godmoves)