The Power of Faith in times of Transition – a reflection on love, passion, and life’s journey.

It was about seventeen years ago when I left my birthplace – Hong Kong, and arrived at this country – the United States of America. I didn’t know a soul on this land, except my then boyfriend, whom I dated for a year when we met in Hong Kong. I didn’t have much money, no relatives, no connection, and I didn’t even know how to differentiate nickels and dimes. But I was brave, and I had no fear. 

I still remember moments during that long flight from Hong Kong to San Francisco. The flight was unusually empty because of the strike of the airline, and I had the entire aisle to myself. As if the universe was making space for me. It was perfect, for a long and emotional flight. Sitting on my lap was a box of sweet memories – the tokens of love from friends and family. The bittersweet parting gifts. As I looked out the window and glimpsed at the night view of this gorgeous city where I was born, I felt a sense of calm and serenity. A moment of grace and solitude came over me. Deep inside my soul, I knew this is the right path. Reading the words of my childhood friends, looking at the pictures, the gifts, reminiscing the moments of the last goodbye at the security gate; I slowly realized that I’ve made a significant and possibly life changing decision.

It all originated from this simple but strong desire in my heart – to cure my mom. As long as I could remember, my mother had always been in and out of hospitals, and her condition was only getting worse throughout the years. And as I got older, I was determined to help, to find out what was going on, or to at least alleviate her suffering.

The sight, smells, and sounds of the hospital came back to my senses as I recall this memory. I was sixteen years old then, sitting across from my mother’s psychiatrist in her office, attending a meeting about my mother’s condition. “How are you supposed to be able to help her when you only see her every two weeks for 10 minutes? ” I confronted the psychiatrist. I’ve been visiting the hospital every week and I tried to understand what kind of treatment they were providing. And the only “treatment”, it seemed to me, was prescribing and dispensing the meds.  “Well, that’s the way we do things here.” She got defensive, and probably feeling angry that me – a teenage girl was challenging her about her profession. “How about other countries, are there other ways?” I didn’t give up, I genuinely wanted to find out if there are alternative, better ways in treating these kinds of illness. “I don’t know anything about other countries.” She said and her body language told me that she wasn’t going to discuss treatment with me any further. Our conversation ended.

That was the moment, when the idea of studying “overseas” germinated in me. I was determined to find the answer, to search for the cure, for my mother, and for all who suffered from this daunting curse of mental illness. And as if by magic, things unfolded over the years. There were times that were challenging, difficult, confusing. But there were always help along the way – be it angels, friends, guides, or teachers. Life is strange, indeed. And I often found it such a blessings to be on this path, to live, love and work as a healer and a therapist. I just have to remember, to channel my younger self more often – the fierce, determined, passionate soul who seems to have such unwavering faith in life, who lives without fear.

Sometimes a seemingly hopeless situation aren’t in fact hopeless. Sometimes sorrow and tears can be transformed, to hope, healing, and a beautiful path. All we need is to have faith, and trust that there will always be a way. The passion in our heart will keep us warm ,the lights of hope will illuminate our path as we walked through the winding, shadowy road. And as we keep following our heart, keep listening to the little voice that speak to us in quiet moments, we will never truly be lost in the enormous jungle, even if at times, it feels like we are all alone. We will be fine, we will be safe, wherever we are.

I’ll leave you with a poem I love. 

 

The Journey 

by Mary Oliver

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice – – –
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
‘Mend my life!’
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.

You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations – – –
though their melancholy
was terrible.

It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.

But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice,
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,

determined to do
the only thing you could do 

determined to save
the only life you could save.

 

 

 

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