They tried to teach us. They put their words into every bag, inside every fortune cookie. You ordered the meal and the cookie came along with. Maybe you opened the cookie. Maybe you read the fortune. And just maybe, if you were lucky, you had the insight to turn it over. It was right there, on the back. A word, in Chinese, with the translation. Collect enough and you had a sort of makeshift dictionary. You got fed in body and mind that way.
They had given us a chance, but so many of us ignored it, or overlooked it. So many of us did that all the time anyway, with everything. But not anymore. No longer do we have a luxury of being the Masters of our own destiny. No longer do we have the luxury of ignoring the signs that had been around us all these many years. For now, we are the minority. Now, we are the ones who have to meekly ask if the shop owner speaks our language. Now we have to go to tiny shops and strip malls in questionable neighborhoods to find a box of Cap’n Crunch or Jif peanut butter. Because now we are all Chinese. Now, English is a second language for all of us, and hot dogs have been replaced by Hunan cuisine.
There wasn’t a war. It wasn’t sudden. But the invasion happened all the same. They were here all along, quietly working, quietly saving, quietly planning. Their strategy was so subtle, so long range, that we didn’t even notice it. We thought they were OK with a second or even third-class existence. It seemed like a good system for everyone. We let them live here, let them own property, let them open up shops. We thought their ways were exotic if we thought of them at all. We certainly didn’t think of them as a threat. Sure, they assimilated, flew under the radar. They changed their names that we couldn’t (or wouldn’t) pronounce into ones like Jack, or Susie, or Joe. They put away their own clothes and adopted the anonymous uniform of America, all jeans and T-shirts, but never went so far as to debase themselves with sweatpants and singlets, not even in private. Even they would not stoop that low in playinf the game to fool us into not noticing them. Because that is what they were doing. They couldn’t change their skin or hair or eyes (though some did with lightening cream or bleach or even surgery to remove the epicanthic fold) so they blended in with all the other little ways that made us experience them as background noise. Hell, they could’ve been from Mars, looked like little green men as far as we’d pay attention if they only wore our costume and took our names. It was that lack of attention that was coming back to haunt us now.
(Written early July 2019)
You have to let go to gain. How can you get new things with your hands full? You have to take everything out of the room to redesign it. I’ve gone through a lot of cleaning-out recently, and none of it has been planned by me. I see it as a gift from God. I’m learning that if I can’t control it, I should accept it as being Divinely ordained.
God has a plan. And I don’t know it. I have an idea of what it is.
I don’t want to work for myself. I am afraid of the risk of standing alone, having to figure out to pay taxes on a small business or to trust someone else with it. So is that what I’m being called to? Or is that what I’m being directed away from?
More and more I can see the source of illness in people. It isn’t about curing disease but preventing it. Disease is just a symptom of a dis-function.
I like the shaman on Northern Exposure. He lived with his patients for three days, eating what they ate, doing what they did. He stepped into their shoes in the most real way. Only then did he know why they were sick. People have to learn how to work with what they have.
Feeding them good food while they are in a rehabilitation center is only part of it. They have to learn how to provide it for themselves when they get home, and how to make good choices when they are at a restaurant.
They will not have the stress of dealing with people who aggravate them while at the center. They have to learn how to speak up for themselves and set boundaries when they go home or to work.
It is about past, present, and future, all at once. This means addressing past trauma and mis-learned lessons in the present, to create a healthy future.
I choose to release my old way of thinking.
I choose to trust that God is leading me on the right path.
I choose to allow God to work in my life.
I choose to no longer define things as good or bad.
I choose to be patient with the process.
I choose to not put parameters on my path.
I choose to believe that God can use me as I am, right where I am – and to embrace that God might transform my life into something totally unexpected.
I choose to not resist God’s will.
I can see a book deal and traveling in my future.
I can see having time to volunteer more.
I can see me healing people with words that I share.
I am grateful that God has planted this seed within me.
I choose to nurture this seed.
I choose to be patient, no longer defining situations as good or bad, and no longer needed to see the outcome to trust the path.
I choose to believe that God is leading me, and that I have the ability to follow God on this path.
One of my dreams is to make custom beaded jewelry for Nashville recording artists. I have no idea if this will ever happen. But I have to start somewhere. I make jewelry. I have it for sale online. I’ve been to craft shows and sold my work. People know I make jewelry. So eventually it will pick up steam and get going.
But I have to do something. I have to make the jewelry. I have to post pictures and descriptions on my Etsy page, Beaded Retort. I have to cast my bread upon the water. These things don’t just happen without some effort.
I want to write a book. But how do you write a book? Word by sentence by paragraph by chapter. Bit by bit. So every post I write is a step towards this. Who knows where this is going? I’m just happy that I’m writing again. And I like the fact that people don’t have to pay to read my musings.
I want to be a peace negotiator. I want to bridge understanding between cultures. So I read about different cultures. I take classes on dialogue versus debate. I’m aware of different conflict negotiation centers nearby. Something might come up that will be a great class at a great price.
I’m building connections with all these things. And I’m working towards these goals.
I’m reminded of the number of people that Jesus made work. They had to go do something to get healed. I feel like there is a reason behind my struggles.
I push myself. I feel like a baby bird, pecking away at the egg. Soon I will break free and flap my little wet wings.
It is hard for me sometimes. I’m quite the introvert. I’d rather stay home most of the time. I get overwhelmed with sensory input often. Because I’m bipolar I have to be careful not to get off balance with exercise and rest and over stimulation. But I know that if I stay home nothing will happen. I keep pushing, taking classes, meeting with people, going to shows.
I don’t really know where I’m going but I know I’m on my way. It is interesting, this journey. I feel like I am watching myself become myself.