Experience – Health and Relationships

Earlier this year, I shared my experience about my struggle with relationships and health. It was published in the SGI Australia magazine in Sep 2019, titled “Chanting for Absolute Victory”. Here it is!

I started practising Nichiren Buddhism in 2013 in the depth of my despair. I was very sick and suffered from digestion problems. I had seen several doctors with no success. I kept trying to figure out what might help me. I was reminded of my university roommate from 2008. She had mentioned chanting, meetings and Soka Gakkai. Although I did not like her as a person, I recollected how things seemed to work in her life. Soon, I started chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo using Youtube. In the first week of chanting two minutes twice a day, I found a helpful health practitioner and became hopeful. 

I moved to Australia in 2014 and consulted doctors locally. In December 2014, I was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Having a five-minute phone conversation made me bedridden for days, draining me completely. I was all alone and continued to work full-time to support myself. I couldn’t even chant and felt trapped and hopeless. I felt like a lifeless corpse that was somehow still breathing. I tried any and every treatment that showed in front of me. In this time, my group leader’s unceasing support kept me connected to the practice.

In 2016, I was also diagnosed with widespread but changing food allergies. I followed a strict rotation diet and medicine schedule. This regimen consumed all my energy. Determined to not be defeated, I started carrying my food to team outings. I really struggled with my reality. I looked at others felt envious that they could eat what they liked or go for a walk anytime. I felt lonely, disconnected and hopeless. I chanted to find a life partner to relieve my loneliness.

In 2018, my prayer was answered. I met my lifelong soulmate. I dreamed about a future where I had someone to love and share my life with. However, three months later in July 2018, he broke up with me on the phone, saying that things weren’t working well. I felt shattered, heartbroken and lost. I felt I wasn’t good enough for anyone to love me, reliving my emotions from having had a traumatic childhood.

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Story of the Ex-es

On this blog, I have written about two of my ex-boyfriends – Mike and Jai. Jai was the love of my life (so far) from my 20s who broke up with me 8 years ago. Mike was the recent fiasco, a year ago, after a very short relationship.

Last year, when my relationship with Mike was not going well, I reached out to Jai to seek his advice about my behaviours for the first time ever. He was kind and helpful and since then we have been in touch occasionally. Jai is now happily married to a more age-appropriate, less traumatised woman, from what I gather. He is a very private person and I don’t quite have the patience to navigate that to push him to give me information.

Yesterday I texted Jai to share my experience with him. He got to it quite promptly and he first started with “constructive” feedback – you need to make more eye contact, you should have waited for laughter to die down. Haha.

I thanked him for his feedback and explained that even if I cried and fumbled, people would have cheered for me. He went on to express a lot of what sounded like judgement. For the first time, I just listened, asked some questions but didn’t get antagonistic or defensive in response.

Towards the end of our discussion, I said to him that the next time I come to him for relationship advice, instead of asking me to do better and be better, he should remind me I deserve better. This led to a really really funny and endearing conversation.

Jai said that he tried to tell me in very clear ways whether I really wanted to be with this guy. In his opinion, I was way way better than Mike. I just wasn’t open to it and listening. His remarks were beyond hilarious about what he thought of Mike. I have still been laughing when I think about them.

This conversation was really helpful to finally close the Mike chapter forever. No pondering, no questioning. Time to move on to my next prayer to have a healthy committed relationship in my life. It is so timely too, I was starting to feel a bit rudderless with my practice. Anxious about settling into the new job and a bit low on life force. Losing steam about my goal win in every area of my life this year.

Need to renew my determination and start over.
Which means I must really sleep now at half past midnight.

Moving Mountains

Today was a gigantic mammoth magnificent milestone in my practice. I got up on the stage and shared my experience with 400 people. I shared about my abuse and almost open sourced this information. It is no longer privileged and secret information. I can no longer keep track of or control who knows about it. This information has been set free in the wild and in turn I’ve set myself free.

When I was asked to share my experience, I was going to share the same experience as what I sent to the Indigo magazine. However, my leader nudged me slightly and when I chanted I realised I was missing a huge opportunity. How many times in my life would I have the opportunity to share two unique experiences within a span of a month! Usually the experiences from the meeting are published in the magazine, not the other way around.

As I started to chant to write this experience, I realised it has to be very powerful and courageous. More so than the experience I had already shared. My leaders advised me of the differences between written and spoken experiences, how having too much detail is hard for people to follow in 10 minutes. I still didn’t know what the content would be, just that it would be about my work.

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Hypersensitivity to Rejection

This morning I went to see my psychologist for my weekly Neurofeedback appointment. Last week I had requested her for receipts on my email which she had sent to me. However, today she printed one out. When I asked her for an electronic one, she said she couldn’t as she is working late today. It turned out sending it electronically was too hard for her and she wasn’t good at saying no.

As I understood this, I bid her farewell with the usual pleasantries and she did the same.

However, for hours afterwards, I just could not put this incident out of my mind. I kept replaying and analysing this exchange in my mind. I beat myself up for not seeing the obvious that she did not want to do electronic receipts. I blamed her for not being upfront about her constraints and being a bit snarky and terse.

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