Rise and Fall

Yesterday was an exhilarating day filled with connection, joy and accomplishment of seeing others triumph, all through my connection with others. Today feels like a dark abyss.

Yesterday I felt like I can show growth in my life and support others. Today I feel like I am worthless and weak and why anyone would want my support.

This is not my true self. It is my self-loathing, self-sabotaging self rearing its ugly head again.

When this starts to happen, I tend to go in overdrive analysis and diagnosis mode, asking myself what I did to trigger it – did I not eat write, sleep enough, gave myself too to others and did not look after myself etc etc. Then I pull myself back and isolate myself because in a sense I feel that I violated my own boundary and that is why I must be on my own to reconnect again. My isolating myself then leads me to feel further disconnected and depressed and I loathe myself because I am not able to connect with myself and others – which is my true self and what I really strive for and enjoy.

In the past I have put the Western mindset to it, saying that there is a distinction between self and others and if I don’t look after myself first, I can’t connect to others. This has NOT worked for me. And I have this realisation for the first time now as I write this post.

The Western philosophy talks about how I first think about me, look after me and focus on me so I can connect with others in a healthy way.

Keeping myself hidden away and protected in a cocoon so I can look after my needs does not work for me. My need is to connect and engage. Isn’t it beautiful how this blog does that for me? Connection with self and others through my words.

I want more words and more hugs in my life. And that is me. If anyone has a problem with that, that is their problem. I deserve better. 😀

The Buddhist and the Eastern philosophy offer an expanded view on this separation but inherent connectedness between self and others.

“Each of us is a microcosm – a mini-cosmos or universe unto ourselves.”

– Discussions on Youth, Page 21

And further, President Ikeda says:

“We exist, we have life. In the same way, the universe is a giant living entity. Buddhism teaches that life is the universe and that the universe is life. Each of us is a living entity just like the universe; we are our own little universe.
A number of Buddhist sutras have stressed the “oneness of our lives and the universe”.

– Discussions on youth, page 215

With this being in the truth of our existence, how can I ever find connection with myself by isolating myself from the universe? The only way for me is to continue to engage with others in whatever way I can. Some days it is by calling a lot of people, other days meeting them and yet other days by writing to them. It is certainly not by going to the mountain and sitting in silence – that is clearly not the path to enlightenment for me. And yet how do I do this at a profound deep level?

One way is by chanting with others.

I feel disconnected today because I didn’t chant with someone else. But I still chanted on my own. And that ensured I found other ways to connect and engage.

Mystically I felt brave enough to talk to friends openly on a new slack group. I talked to a couple of friends that I hadn’t spoken to for weeks. One of my friends, Zia, she told me how she missed seeing me and sought to embrace me in my darkness and even courageously shared her own struggles. Mitra texted me too.

Nichiren said,

Suffer what there is to suffer, enjoy what there is to enjoy. Regard both suffering and joy as facts of life, and continue chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, no matter what happens.

Happiness in This World, WND1-86 P681-682

My investment today in chanting an hour even though it was not easy to make it happen led me to mystically finding my high life state again

I am back into connection and joy.

A passage from the Lotus Sutra reads that it is “the most difficult to believe and the most difficult to understand.” …. To accept is easy; to continue is difficult. But Buddhahood lies in continuing faith. … To “continue” means to cherish Nam-myoho-renge-kyo …

Nichiren Daishonin in The Difficulty of Sustaining Faith (WND I: 56, Page 471 – 472):

Remembering to be resilient and that it is not easy because it is not meant to be.

The fight continues.

PS – I hate the WordPress block editor. What do you think about it?

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