Forgiving those that have hurt us

Finding love for those who have hurt us, discovering purpose, being queer in Japan, how to be respected, and how to love

Hi friend!

I hope you had a beautiful Thanksgiving.

While I am a bit torn on how to celebrate Thanksgiving because of its problematic roots, I acknowledge that this is also a time when many of us spend this time with our loved ones. Currently, I’m writing to you from Los Angeles, visiting my mom and aunt.

It’s been difficult coming out to a conservative family, and over time, I’ve also realized that I haven’t made it easy for myself either. What I was given was never enough, and I was envious of the lives around me.

“I wish my family was like other accepting families.”

“I wish I had a partner whose family will see me the way I wish my family saw me”

“I wish I wasn’t Asian.”

As I was coming to terms with my sexuality, I distanced myself from my family and culture, and sought out a chosen “family" of friends to give me the support I desperately craved.

Except, this family was never equipped with the tools or life experience to be the caregiver of a child they just inherited. Over the years, my friendships suffered because of the heavy expectations I also put on them.

I spent the majority of this year abroad and alone, processing these difficult experiences. In working through these emotional kinks, I made a fascinating discovery. My struggles were from the blurring of two completely separate entities: people and their behaviors. I was judging people based on their ever-changing behaviors, bound by the expectations only I could see.

As I relinquished my expectations and pulled apart people from their behaviors, I found forgiveness within the space that was created. And in loving the people themselves, I discovered a lightness in the way I interacted.

During this holiday season, perhaps we can all share a similar revelation, especially as we spend time with our families we may not see eye-to-eye with.

Release the expectations. It is a yearning for a reality that doesn’t exist.

Stop searching for permanent convictions on temporary behaviors.

Find love for people. We are all imperfect, trying our best, with limited time here on earth.

This week, I made a podcast about some advice and techniques to forgive our parents and caregivers. Check it out and let me know what you think.

You can also find it on Google Podcast, Spotify, iHeartRadio, Stitcher, Overcast, and TuneIn.


How to find motivation

I’ve read countless books and articles on procrastination and this is one of the simplest and effective charts to address procrastination.

How to discover queer life Japan

Ellen Page goes on a “gaycation” trip with her gay BFF, and stops by Tokyo to better understand the queer culture of Japan. Overall, the show does a great job of highlighting the queer Japanese culture and its various sub-cultures within.

Though I will caveat that there are a few questionable scenes that could have been done better, like the coming out scene. But I will say that this is a huge improvement over Queer Eye Japan. (Not to mention, this episode came out in 2016)

How to be respected

A beautiful guide I stumbled on from Reddit: how to get people to treat you with more respect. (TLDR: it comes from within!)

How to love

"It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.” -Antoine De Saint-Exupery

As always, thanks for reading!

P.S. If you enjoyed this, share or sign up here: mindfulmoments.substack.com

Anything else? You can always hit "reply" to email me directly. 💌

Have a beautiful day!

Metta (loving-kindness),
Steven

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