The journey of freeing myself from the money ghosts and even befriending them has been like a spiraling staircase. I may be walking up or down the stairs and still uncover layers. It has not been a straightforward ride. It has required shifting and de-conditioning my sense of self before being motivated to seek out money mindset therapy and financial literacy work that does not reinforce prosperity gospel, bootstrap mentality, binary thinking, or economic injustice.
When I started embracing loss, death, and grief more openly, I found myself feeling a sense of freedom that I did not know before. I was suddenly more available to my own grief and the grief of others. I learned to be gracious with the me whom I have left behind.
One way to think about the impact of trauma is to consider the impact accidents have on a car. If a car crashes, it will most likely require fixing. Repeated crashes will most likely lead to even greater issues, not only externally, but also internally. Even if the car can still run, it’s likely that without intervention, its capacity to remain functional will be limited and quickly depleted.
“Journey to the Midwest” is a retelling of my father’s immigration story in the style of the classical Chinese novel, "Journey to the West".
We all have experiences that are difficult to name or even remember. Memories that we consciously or unconsciously try to bury.
Spanish and American colonizers brought whiteness upon our lands. Today, whiteness lingers as a ghost, and many Filipinos struggle to see beyond it, cursed with an inferiority complex that strives for the white ideal — an ideal that can never truly be achieved.
What happens when metaphors and rhetorics about the female body, in service of male control and desire, become literal?
Could women center their bodies as their own way of encountering God, without being subject to male desires or control? Can we articulate our own freedom by listening to, ritualizing, and making meaning out of our flows and cycles and senses?
How will we transcend this cloistered pandemic moment that allowed for intimacies to flourish — intimacies that are usually interrupted by the busyness of the world? How will we respond to being shaped and reshaped by the inbreaking of the “real world”?
Her story is the story of many first-generation Asian mothers. It is neither one of fame nor of accolade, but is one of surviving, assimilating — especially in small towns — living among few Asians. She is one of the mothers who worked out of the spotlight, scraping together meals, saving coins, sacrificing for her loved ones. A mother who lived in one culture with her children, but harbored a sense of homesickness for her own home, her own native comfort food, her relatives, the sounds and sights of her village streets, and the trees and plants of her hometown.
I was challenged with Su not to lapse back into my tendency to be shy or to run away when I feel exposed. The practice was — and remains — to keep showing up. To stay present to the unfolding of a relationship built — from the outset — on the foundation of vulnerability. It is far from easy.
Your daughter loves a woman. You suspected this was the case; you hoped it wasn’t true — the long summer days with this other young woman, her coming home late at night — you prayed it was merely friendship. You were wrong.
Hesitancy to discuss the intersections of sex work with racism in the Atlanta shootings persists. Tenseness fills the air in conversations of taboo subjects with community members and friends, as sexuality is often discussed in private. As such, any movement that does not include and engage Asian American sex workers cannot offer comfort, safety, or hope to us.
If you’ve ever been in the presence of someone who is unafraid of themselves and thus unafraid to truly see you — then you know that it is sacred and holy. The space between you is where the divine shows up fully. There grace abounds.
In this issue, we celebrate women who are “extra” and generous with their abundance; women who are “ordinary” and committed to their everyday sacredness. All extraordinary.
"What a gift it is to be with someone who knows the same stories, the same tastes, the same challenges of belonging and not belonging — as women, as Brown women, as Brown women called to parish ministry, with connections to Hinduism that the church is particularly anxious about and yet has helped us connect to family and also the divine."
Given the long and complicated history of Asian Americans who have been continuously seen as “perpetual foreigners” in this country for far too long, we have felt a selective embrace by dominant culture in how we are deemed “neighbors”. Our “offerings”, particularly food, have been tenuously seen as acceptable currency for neighbor-ship.
Today, we are living in the postcolonial moment when sisters and brothers in the Majority World are rediscovering what it means to be baptized into Christ’s body. The lands of the earth are now crying out to God for healing after centuries of colonialism, and God has given the church a new possibility to garden their lands well and cultivate indigenous cultures in a way that worships God liturgically and eschatologically through tribe and tongue.
Forgiveness is a central tenet of Christianity, but more often than I would like, I’ve seen forgiveness weaponized against the victim, or used by the perpetrator and bystanders to absolve themselves of responsibility and complicity.
Hope cannot be found solely in this world, where cycles of violence repeat themselves, and the idol of a white imperial God-man has brought up killers, not fishers of men. We, as people made in God’s image, are the hope.
This deeply-held belief in the value of individuals, which is not held in a vacuum but rather a value held against the value of institutions and communities, has touched virtually every aspect of our society and indeed, our faith ... As the American church, and as a nation, we overly distrust institutions and overly trust individuals.
I have come to see vaccination as a reverent responsibility and duty to protect myself, my family, and my community. It is a promise to protect the most vulnerable as defined in Scripture — the widow, the orphan, and the poor. Each of these represent a segment of the marginalized in our current world, who might be at greater risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19 and other diseases.
The future doesn’t look great. But it’s also a little utopian: people rally together to create a different way of being community. They grow food, they build shelter, they make family, they establish ritual and connection to the Divine.
"Art and Faith" can be seen as something of a magnum opus, the culmination of many decades of creating paintings and developing his process of “slow art”. Instead of worrying about the completion of a project, slow art values the actual process of making, which Mako does by focusing on each step of the process.
Our genealogies write themselves in traditions and often don’t “write” themselves at all. They are told, they are shared, they are lived. You and I come from peoples who pass and share wisdom, lessons, and riddles as a way to survive, heal, and thrive. You come from ways of life that recognize the balance, respect, and mutuality found in all of creation, and this is completely independent of blood percentages or what “parts” you are of this lineage or that lineage. You are whole. Unified. Integrated.