Monday, May 01, 2017 @ 12:54 am
Today's impromptu visit to my friend's house after she got into a gym-related accident triggered memories and got me thinking about heaps of stuff.
After all these years, I am definitely still not fully comfortable having to face people at their lowest, sometimes just barely a few steps away from taking the eternal plunge into darkness.
Sometimes I ask myself why I have to witness all of these, the darkest recesses of humanity. Short of war, I see how people get messed up by family complications, self-harm, are afflicted with illnesses and are at times suicidal. I have once asked around and I was probably the only one who could count with at least one hand the number of close friends who have had mental illnesses and suicidal thoughts/attempts.
I have successfully stayed away from its clutches for the last one year plus and have since learned to be a lot more detached despite being an overwhelmingly emotional person deep inside. I have had close encounters with these matters but managed to get myself out of them.
It feels strange to keep witnessing all these things over and over again, in different forms and in different people. When people ask why Buddhism seems to be glorifying suffering, that is the wrong question to ask. There are many things that we actually choose to blind ourselves from because we think we have suffered enough or that we are unable to help others. Doesnt mean that if we dont think abt it then the problem doesnt exist.
To put it crudely, we are cowards to a certain extent. Ignoring people's problems do not make us truly happy. I have felt this for myself countless times. That is probably why I rather spend the time being there for someone else than blocking out altogether.
But I guess the only issue is that I havent been strategic enough in handling it. Walking into a battle zone in the dark without any strategy was probably the gravest mistake ever. It costed me quite abit but at least I learned.
I met this friend's fundamental darkness today and although I was surprised at my own calmness at managing everything, but deep down I was still doubting myself. I kept asking myself if I had truly become stronger.
But when I chanted and faced myself later at night, I realised that I have indeed transformed over the years. Im not wholly invincible, but I see these matters from the bigger picture now and am learning to be strict, let go or be encouraging according to the situation.
Will continue to fight against all of these everyday.
Monday, March 13, 2017 @ 9:59 am
Life has a funny way of teaching us lessons.
During this time when I initially thought it was torturous and a great suffering, it became a huge realisation instead that allowed me to move on to another phase of life.
As I understand myself better, it became clearer to me that some things are more than just misunderstandings that can be rectified through explanation. It is more than communication. It is simply that we have different perspectives which we can never agree on. Which is why you stopped trying, and when I decided to let go, it was much easier than I thought.
My dad remarked the other day that I tend to be someone who gives help to far too many people, unable to provide preferential treatment to the ones who had loved and cared for me more. I dont think I am that selfless, but I do notice that I am more impartial towards friends (esp those in need) than most people.
And while I know that this caused a lot of misunderstandings, but I also realised that this is me. If I cannot be genuinely appreciated for the unique character that I possess, then I have to either move forward or risk being morphed into someone I am not.
I thought that my active lifestyle, my so-called impartiality and compassion towards others would be my strengths. But it is regrettable to see that you have been always so insecure and uptight precisely because of these qualities that I have.
All this time I have blamed myself so much and had to over-watch my own behaviour it was starting to get unbearable. I didnt know what I could do to make you feel better. Worse, you didnt want to communicate at all.
I look back on all these times and they seem novel-worthy. But these stories are not as nice in reality. I loathe this whole idea of missing someone in a passive manner, loving the other person quietly. I dont know how I can find the balance between not being suffocated by love, and to allow myself to love and be loved wholeheartedly.
I have been almost drowned by love, and I have also thirsted for it because the other person couldnt give me much to drink on. There must be that balance that is the best for two people. Where this love can transform to an oasis or even better, a river where we can love and treasure more people around us.
It was a good run though, and I have learned so much from every single interaction we had.
Loving myself means to allow myself to be with someone suitable, rather than being with someone who fits the ideal fairytale romance in my head. It means not having to be less of who I am to give chances. If one is always struggling to catch up while the other strides on far, far ahead, then perhaps we just cant walk on the same path, aint it?
And so, love is truly not the only thing that can sustain a bond. It takes so much more. Fleeting, passive feelings are not enough at all.
Right now, I am looking forward to everything more in my life. Lets see what happens next!
Thursday, February 09, 2017 @ 9:37 am
No one likes to blame themselves but I need to admit that I have a part to play in this.
I realised that I cannot answer the most fundamental question as to why I had actually been subtly rejecting this leap of faith. Im not surprised that this silence has happened and by instinct, I was pushing the blame on you. But then my eyes were gradually opened to the fact that I play a part in this too.
So I have been wondering why I had pushed all these advances away. I know that I have been playing dumb and I know what you have been doing all along. And I do feel so much for you, so what is up with me not being able to accept all these gestures from you?
I am genuinely not playing hard to get. I just have an issue with myself that I am not sure what it is because this realisation has been too recent.
I thought of all the times with other loved ones that brought this concern to surface. Somehow, when a person does something for me that is super big and sincere, I am touched but also horrified (for a lack of better word). I cannot understand why people would go the extra mile for me. I cannot understand why people can give something precious to me. Worst of all, I cannot understand why this bothers me so much till the point where im upset and unable to accept them.
Is it because I dont think I deserve to be loved? Or that I am calculative?
I dont know what the answer is at the moment. But it is disquieting and uncomfortable to have to enter and resolve something so fundamental within myself.
Yet I know that if I do not realise why I am like that, I will continue to hurt you everytime you pluck up the courage to try at the most unprecedented and unexpected of moments. And your patience will run out.
It was liberating to tell them snippets of the truth, but I was shocked too when all three of them were dumbfounded by what I had shared about us. They were most bewildered by my reactions to these matters.
I didnt want to see this, but I had to. Because otherwise, I would brush this concern away time and again.
I know though that it starts with me. I dont know where to begin, but I need to figure it out as soon as I can. For things like this, no one can fix me except for myself.
Friday, January 27, 2017 @ 11:25 am
The things that I blurt out in the morning.
It threw my aunt into shock and she is currently launching a tirade of reasons why my thinking is wrong.
To be honest, I wonder when I started having such thoughts of wanting to move out, especially when things get tough sometimes and there are moments where I am brought back to the ten-year-old self who had to endure the shouts and screams at home.
But I guess now I know where I got my influence from. It is really so important to pick friends who dont just praise you but able to make you a better person.
How do you even manage to make it seem like everything is okay, things are good for you because of your decision? Facts are facts arent they- you left at the most crucial moment of their lives. If your betterment is at a huge expense of the ones who love you, I am not sure if this is considered a good decision?
I only say such things but I can never be this selfish. And this is me.
This is what defines me.
I have my wild artistic streak, I can be pretty eccentric. Sometimes I am crazy quiet, at other times I explode into this talkative mode that lasts for hours. I dream about many things but in the end, the things that anchor me are my own essence.
Things that I love or used to love, they all change. They are ephermeral. We have to go along with the times. But values, principles and core beliefs are pretty much rock solid. When lost, go back to the fundamentals of who you are and you'll know which are your heart's deepest desires, the wild fantasies and the worst of all- things that you simply follow others to look cool/mature/different.
Funny how adults get very freaked out by honest thoughts, but it is in recognising and acknowledging them that they can be transformed to something better.
Monday, January 23, 2017 @ 9:59 am
Recently I read a guidance about "cherry, plum, peach, damson", which is basically about living true to yourself and allow your unique self to bloom and shine. No character is definitely bad or good; there will always be instances where a certain character quality becomes a weakness and at other times, a strength. The key is to bring out the strength of our character and improve on our weakness as we are.
I used to think that my hypersensitivity is a genuinely bad thing so I end up making a lot of pretty accurate judgment AND THEN ignoring them altogether, chiding myself for being sensitive. So I spend time on seeing the literal and take things as they are, only to realise later on that I was mostly right. The only times I messed up in my judgment were when I mixed my own insecurities with my own sensitivity. As all of them are feeling/intuition based and I have a penchant for logic and reasoning, this gets very annoying for me and I end up feeling overwhelmed and confused by all of my thoughts.
But somehow this guidance struck a chord with me so much and after some daimoku, I realised that yeah, why not I tap on my sensitivity as a strength rather than despising this huge part of myself as a major flaw? In this way, it becomes a lot easier for me to sense things right quickly and also react in a more thoughtful and measured manner.
There is no need to be someone whom I am not. Trust this sensitivity of mine yet making sure that I dont let them be corrupted by self-doubts and insecurities. Sharpen my existing tools instead of always harping on the things I lack and be ashamed of myself.
Thursday, January 19, 2017 @ 10:04 am
I almost wanted to say that I didnt know what I do to deserve it, but I know deep down that it is the ichinen in which I chanted that led me to where I am right now.
I chanted for a good work mentor; that no matter how tough it may be, I wish to be trained under this person so that I can manifest my potential. It has been challenging, but when I saw how my boss noticed my struggles and stepped in to help me out in the things that I had no power to decide or negotiate about, at that moment I felt like crying tears of gratitude in the office room.
It sounds silly af, but because I have mostly been the senior who protects and looks out for my peers or juniors, it felt really comforting to have someone looking out for me in this complicated workplace.
This also reminded me of the day that you and I met so that we could bring our two friends around. I have always been so used to managing relations and planning itinerary that honestly, I never thought about asking for help. I did have some questions which when I asked, uh.........you didnt reply me at all?
But then the plot twist was that you actually read and pondered over the dilemmas I stated, and on the day itself you told me straight that you had done research and came up with a plan as well.
So while otw, we were discussing about how we could best host our two friends before they arrived. Your presence and inputs really brought me immense comfort, reminding me that I don't always have to struggle on my own.
It was a lovely day and while I did hope that we could have some time on our own after that (why were both appointments on the same day........), but it is fine. Another reason to meet up again cos we have barely shared about our December to each other.
Not sure how I exactly survived the lows that came with all these longings. One month of zero contact because at some point in time, we were nestled in some random forest and village in a foreign land with no hint of wifi signal or mobile reception.
The lows were definitely more intense during the first part of my Thailand trip, the start of our lack of any contact with each other. Travelling with the BFF was really fun and meaningful in general but it did take me a while to decide to be strong, happy and to simply not be so bothered by it. Of course it led to me being slightly unaware of my surroundings and the help required of me at times, but I am glad that all is good and everything turned out great in the end! (@BFF: if you read this, thank you for your unconditional loveeee)
In a world where we always need to remain in contact to be reminded of each other's existence, love and care, having to go through this was really strange especially in this era. And what I felt when we met again wasnt really like, oh everything is still the same! It was more of sensing that both of us have grown again but somehow we are supporting each other's journeys along the way. To be able to plan things together and wanting to best serve and host others has already become another precious memory for me.
Not sure why but it is often these simple things that we do together that have been a lot more memorable for me than anything else. Also not kidding, but that day it felt like we were doing kosenrufu together, striving for others' happiness side by side.
I would like to have many more of such moments walking through life's journey together :)
Things havent been easy, but it is only through challenges that we learn, grow and become stronger. Heres to never giving up, never disparaging, never begrudge.
Wednesday, January 18, 2017 @ 9:42 am
Sometimes, you never know when you may be influenced. I realised that dialogues, while important to encourage others, are also crucial to help ourselves. If we keep things bottled up and refuse to tell anything to anyone, we risk getting more and more deluded with our own thoughts, blinded at corners where external parties can otherwise point out to you.
Also, this month we talked about good friends in Buddhism during discussion meetings. It is indeed essential to do our part for kosenrufu by helping to bring out others' Buddhahood, but at the same time don't forget to in particular surround ourselves with good friends and treasure them. They may not always agree with you, but they help you to grow, they want the best for you, and they too recognise your goodness.
I cannot help but feel that this current seating arrangement will enable me to climb greater heights. Not that things will get easier; in fact I may be expected to do even more. But I will get the training that I need, and allow myself to be honed to become a true working professional.
As much as I empathise with her current struggles and I understand why leaving is a sound decision from her perspective, but that shouldnt affect my own resolve. I have a different objective, and my goal doesnt require me to move for any other reason except that things can get tough and demanding at times. I also do wonder about whether what she is doing is fully right or not, but in the end it depends on what a person is aiming for in his/her life.
The basis of karma is creating causes that arise from our habits, attitudes and responses. If we think we are always right but yet suffer from similar consequences wherever we go....then is that being unlucky or punished by something else? It still goes back to changing certain things fundamental within ourselves not to lose our identities but to become even better. Human revolution is the key to changing our karma and leading lives of great growth and fulfilment.
This has always been my problem, being affected by others easily. This was why I had rejected criticism or decided to just shut myself out in the name of being unique and to be myself. But what does being myself means? Do we have to always isolate ourselves to stay away from bad influences and therefore retain our identities?
Surrounding ourselves with good people doesnt mean avoiding the ones whom we think are negative influences like some contagious disease. It means to be able to judge the good from the bad, to treasure both but in different ways, to not be easily swayed.
No matter what happens, I want and must press on. Not that I am most keen on climbing up too high a corporate ladder but I definitely want to be skilled, competent, capable and reliable.
Glad to have mentioned about this issue during breakfast with my aunt and she was able to encourage me from her perspective and experiences.
Heres to picking myself up again and moving forward.
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