I was given the same message multiple times by different guides that I needed to heal the parts of my soul that were wounded if I wanted to do the work I was meant to do. Our soul is our intuition, so the more I healed the deeper I would be able to connect with my higher self and Spirit. Doing this required me to take a deep dive into the dark side of my truth. And when I say dark side, I mean absolute vulnerability. I interpret and understand vulnerability as the conscious act of allowing uncomfortable feelings such as fear, shame and guilt to be seen by others without trying to control how they receive it. It is sharing one’s uncomfortable space with the world in its purest form, and in all it’s magnificent glory.
The center of my trauma and pain was deeply rooted in the relationship I have with the two people I chose to be my parents. To start my healing process I needed to rise above my own personal experience. I had to shift my focus from the false narrative I created as a result of the pain I felt, to understanding my mother and father’s life journey and their truth.
To escape what they believed was an unjust and oppressive government, my parents made the decision to leave their home country of Vietnam with the end goal of creating a better life in America. In the early morning hours on August 12, 1980, with nothing more than food to last a couple of days, bars of gold taped to their bodies, and whole-hearted faith, my mother who was 7 months pregnant, father, 3 older siblings (ages 2, 4 and 6), uncle, and 20 other passengers piled into a small rotor fishing boat and went aimlessly into the ocean. Their intention was to get to Hong Kong, although they had no idea where they would actually land.
Their journey across the ocean was turbulent, risky, and some would even say, dangerously foolish. They encountered numerous challenges, including some that were hostile and aggressive. Several of the islands they passed along the coast of China were patrolled by military forces. Some didn’t offer any assistance and forced them back into the ocean in the middle of the night, while others shot at them as they pulled their boat on land. Food and water were scarce. During a rainstorm one evening, their boat hit a coral reef that punctured a hole under their boat. My mother, who already had severe pregnancy complications prior to leaving Vietnam, was hemorrhaging and throwing up. Through these challenges and many others, they somehow found the courage and will to keep going.
Everyone held on to hope for as long as they could, but eventually got to a place where they had nothing else to do but prepare to swim or die. There are always blessings even in the most hopeless of situations, and theirs appeared in the nick of time in the form of a luxury yacht large enough to house all 26 passengers and willing to take them to their destination. Approximately 6 weeks after leaving the shores of Vietnam, they arrived in Hong Kong. It was a miracle that all aboard had survived, including my unborn sister. After living in refugee camps for almost a year, my family finally made it to the shores of Washington on August 12, 1981 - exactly one year after they left Vietnam. Several years later, I was born.
As far back as I can remember, my parents constantly reminded my siblings and I that they left Vietnam so we could have the opportunity and freedom to live healthy and prosperous lives, a luxury not available in a developing country. To them, education was the very key that would open all doors; it was the way immigrants like my family could succeed in a foreign country. In trying to keep me grounded and focused on school, my parents' disciplinary tactics were very rigid and strict. Verbal insults and corporal punishment were used frequently when I misbehaved. While these types of disciplinary methods may seem inappropriate to many, in Vietnamese culture these are common and accepted practices. My parents believed it would take me down the path they wanted for me, which was pursuing an advanced degree in an occupation they valued such as medicine, dentistry, or law.
Did those who had a hand in raising you pressure you to head down a path that wasn't meant for you? Or did they nurture what you wanted for yourself?
While my parents’ intention was for me to do well in school, it had the opposite effect and then some…
Love & Light,