Two weeks ago, I got handed a “crazy” diet plan to work around my food allergies, sensitivities and tendency to develop new sensitivities.
Broadly, I have a narrow set of foods to choose from and I can only eat each of them only 1 or 2 times a week. It’s been rough to manage. Two weeks ago, I sought guidance from SGIA General Director and really my focus has been learning to embrace and accept my physical constraints. This is what is need to do to look after my physical self so I can contribute to kosen rufu, my larger purpose, so I can accumulate treasures of the heart i.e. strength of character to cultivate a state of absolute happiness in my life.
I was told, while I am wishing for the situation to be different from what it is, I am looking for the Mystic law outside of myself and that is not the correct practice. On the contrary, when I fully embrace myself and my situation, I will start to find wisdom to best deal with it so I can still contribute to kosen rufu and to happiness for myself and others.
When I started writing this post, I had to actually check the calendar to really believe that it has been only two weeks of this crazy regime. In a way it feels like forever. Last week was full of sleepless nights, with me needing time to wind down, do my health appointments and cook and clean-up each day. My good friend in Sydney suggested I find domestic help again and helped me post an ad on Gumtree. She prayed for me too.
Miraculously, I got only one response.
Turns out the young student lives less than 10 minutes walk away from my home and she came to help me today. Together with her, I could get more of my house cleaning done. Amazingly, she can come to help me in the middle of the week too. She accepted the job at a reasonable and affordable pay, it works for her too – she felt a sense of family when she met me. She said that I reminded her of her sister. She felt safe at coming to my place. She left with a promise to come back on Wednesday, I am looking forward to it.
With all this “fun and games”, you would’ve thought I would’ve naturally felt accomplished and grateful. However, it hasn’t been quite so straightforward. It brought forth my fundamental darkness again.
From SGI USA website:
Fundamental darkness manifests as the devil king of the sixth heaven,which represents negative forces that manipulate at will the lives of others, obstruct good and cause people to fall into evil paths. As we practice Buddhism and free ourselves from the cycle of suffering and help others do the same, this devil pulls out all the stops to prevent us from continuing in our cause, bringing forth doubts and negativity from within our own lives or utilizing the negativity of others to sway us.
The devil king also employs the help of the “ten kinds of troops,” or “ten armies,” to impede our Buddhist practice. These functions that arise from our fundamental darkness are:
2) care and worry,
3) hunger and thirst,
4) love of pleasure (also, craving),
5) drowsiness and languor,
7) doubt and regret,
9) preoccupation with wealth and fame and
10) arrogance and contempt for others
For me to doubt whether I made a wise decision, and also feel that perhaps I am “wasting” money by hiring help, that I am not good enough if I am not able to do all my chores on my own – these are all manifestations of fundamental darkness or the “resistance” Louise Hay spoke about in her book, Yuan Tze in his book. This fundamental darkness is the negative voice that’s called the “voice of anxiety” in the modern medicine.
My great benefit today is in being able to recognise it in this situation and see past it.
For instance, following on from my realisation yesterday, I messaged Mike and let him know that I would like to be friends with him, if he still wants that. He saw my message and hasn’t replied yet. At first the reptile brain’s voice started to come back, and then I kept letting it go over and over until I realised where it was coming from.
Then I told myself, “I forgive myself for not being good enough to keep my relationship with Mike working. I also forgive myself for not being a good enough friend to him. I let go.”
As soon as I did that, I am now able to let go of the need to chase after him to validate me. I can’t control the past. I can only make a determination to be better and do better from this moment on. This moment is all I can control and this moment affects everything.
“When your determination changes, everything will begin to move in the direction you desire. The moment you resolve to be victorious, every nerve and fiber in your being will immediately orient itself toward your success. On the other hand, if you think, “This is never going to work out,” then at that instant every cell in your being will be deflated and give up the fight.”
When I did that, I was grateful for being alive. I am grateful that I have enough life left in me to still want to eat and be awake till 2 am cooking so I can eat lunch the next day. I am grateful that I have enough depth in me to feel deep love for another human being. I am grateful that even when Mike hasn’t replied to my message, I can see when he is online and smile at him.
I am grateful and deeply joyful to be alive.
And everything else is just a story.