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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Return from Hiatus and Win!

Since I wrote this post, my life has been insanely busy. Everything was devoted to making the utmost effort for my interviews, chanting, engaging with others and going to Buddhist meetings. I struggled so much that I needed all this to keep fighting my tendencies and put in my greatest effort. The more effort I put to contribute to others, the more I found I could do towards my life and prep. Strange how this works.

It was as though this period has been one of deep learning and understanding about myself and my life. This understanding in turn has led to a deep inner transformation and awareness in my life.

After being bullied at work for the last 4 years, I have finally started to find my voice again. I am learning to better identify and speak up when I find something offensive. I am learning to set boundaries and stand up for myself. I am learning to be more in charge of how I want to respond, rather than reacting to someone’s disrespectful behaviour.

It’s like finding myself again, only a new improved version.

Oh and in other news, I got the dream job. Still waiting for everything to be finalised before I can put a stamp on it. But almost there!

Making Life Happen

This morning while chanting I was again reminded of my cowardice and that my life is my hands and I gotta make it happen.

In my cowardice, I was hiding behind my inability to confront what I needed to do in the situation and take action. Instead of aiming to schedule the interview for my dream job, I was already planning for my failure and plan B and planning to spend time doing assignments and interviews for jobs I did not find interesting.

I realised I gotta put them off and give my all to this dream job interview. Here. And. Now.

After much deliberation and turning things around in my brain I now have an idea of when I want to schedule it. I started to rehash it. In this process as I was reading the New Human Revolution volume 6, I came across this quote from Sensei:

A leader has no time for speculation; she must be firmly resolved to win over all obstacles and negative forces without the slightest shadow of doubt.

-Daisaku Ikeda NHR vol 6 p210

Question is, am I going to be the leader of my own life or not?

I firmly resolve to be so.

Dignity at Work

As I was challenging myself towards 3 July, mentor-disciple day in my Nichiren Buddhist practice, things went to hell at work.

The team lead of one of my projects made a remark in a public chat forum on my presentation that I didn’t know what I was talking about and I hadn’t been around in the project in the last six months.

I fought my tendency to react and give him a piece of my mind. Obviously, this also happened just a couple of hours before another big meeting for me. When I confronted him in person with another colleague sitting in as a witness next week, he made further personal attacks e.g. “You play your role in this project only when someone is looking.”, “What have you done in the last 6 months?”, “When you speak up in a meeting, I feel afraid of what you might say.”

Fast forward to this week, many difficult conversations with my manager and HR later, I am no longer supposed to work with this person. Initially, they talked to him and still wanted me to work with him. It took me a while to realise that the situation was not adequately addressed for me. The guy had said later that he had asked me to be removed from the project. I had said I don’t want to work in a project where I am not valued and respected. The management still wanted me to be there anyway. It took all my courage to keep standing up for dignity. Each time I thought they got it but then they didn’t.

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The Obstacle of Illness

Since I came back from India last month, after my grandmother’s passing, it has been a struggle to find my energy and rhythm. I responded to this challenge by creating causes in faith. I have been going to all the SGI meetings in my group and at the centre, I even met with members in my interstate work travel last month. I knew that the practice is the only way I can find my way back to life and even if not, to continue to create value out of whatever was happening to me and inside of me. If I were to think about it, it didn’t even come from a place of what I can contribute but rather from a place of how I can engage with my life through faith and perhaps find some joy.

I signed up to participate in a dance performance for a big meeting next month and this has been a great joy. However, last week, I fell really sick after my dance practice.

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Challenging for Great Accomplishment

In April, I went to the monthly SGI meeting. The general director in his lecture mentioned how when he was stuck in a toxic work environment he started chanting to find the right opportunity that enabled him to use his beliefs, skills and values to contribute to society and kosen-rufu. I realised that my own projects at work were about to end in a couple of months and I didn’t know what I wanted next. I started chanting for this too with a target of 3 July.

A couple of weeks later I received an email from a recruiter at one of the top organisations in my field of work. An organisation I’d applied to before but had only received rejections. This time they were asking me. I setup a call with them and later rescheduled it – I just wasn’t functioning when I got back from India 3 weeks ago.

Finally I spoke to them last week. They said they would like me to apply for a role. I said that I would think about it and get back to them. I expressed my interest on the next day.

In a way, I felt overwhelmed and intimidated at the thought of going through this rigorous process. I thought I was reasonably happy at my job and why would I want to do this. I realised that I need to challenge myself and get out of comfort zone. That when I don’t do this, I end up with other difficult situations because then I’m growing because of problems rather than because of great accomplishment of challenging my tendencies.

Earlier in the year my determination was to use great vision rather than great suffering to show actual proof in my life and advance kosen-rufu.

Now I understand all this but I also feel very lost. I don’t know how to do my best to accomplish this goal and win for the sake of kosen-rufu.

Thinking “aloud” perhaps this is what I need to do next:

  1. Reply to the email, thank them and tell them when I would provide them with my availability.
  2. Update my resume
  3. Apply to the position formally.
  4. Send my availability for the first round of interviews
  5. Look at the interview prep resources and start making some notes so it is easier for me to revise later.

This is the first hash. For now, I am in a plane and don’t have access to the Internet.

Soon I will and I will aim to do item no. 1 today.

There, now I feel a bit ok… I can only focus on what I can do today, tomorrow will be another day.

Learning to Communicate

For as long as I remember, I have been this person judged and admonished for being rude and arrogant. I have been direct in my communication to the point of aggressiveness. I suppose I lived all of my childhood with such deceit and farce of a “happy family and childhood” while hiding behind it being such a complete two-faced lie that my life was, I became extremely direct and truthful in my communication. There was no filter between how I felt and what I said, I didn’t care how my words affected the person in front of me. In my view if they couldn’t swallow the bitter pill of truth I shoved at them, it was their problem. After all, my life was about swallowing the bitter pill of life everyday.

Further, the lack of emotionally healthy people who had time or capacity to teach me emotional self-regulation and communication made it worse. I was little and picked on by many, the only defence were my sharp words and there was no way I was going to let go of them. I had a habit of launching physical assault in a fashion befitting my little-ness – I would just quickly hit the bigger family member of my generation with both my hands before they could grab both my wrists with one hand and immobilise me and render me completely helpless. This stopped one day when my aunt complained vehemently about this behaviour to my mother. From what I recall, she shamed my mother and scolded her for being incapable of “controlling” my bad behaviour.

My mother in her fiery temper tied my hands with a rope while scolding me and slapping me, asking me if I would ever do it again. After that day I was rendered completely defenceless and helpless. I developed an even more fiery anger and deep resentment and powerlessness over my ability to look out for myself.

Anyhow, I digress. This was why words came in handy until I ended up in a job I really liked and found out that everyone disliked my guts and arrogance. That people could not deal with my aggressive attitude and arrogance.

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Loneliness and Hugs

Since I came back from India two and a half weeks ago, I’ve been struggling to adapt to life here in some ways. The thing I miss the most is the abundance of people to hug safely.

First I don’t have that many people to hug in Australia but second and more importantly, my connection disability means that I’m unable to connect to a hug or register the dopamine it would normally bring into a healthy person’s being.

If I’m hugging people regularly I become attuned to it and don’t suppress my emotions as much. Also, the people around me in India are my family that I have deeper bonds with and have over time become better at letting in. While here, when I hug one person a week maybe, my brain switches off the hugging receptor. It’s too overwhelming for my emotional brain to let in this hug, then not be able to process what’s going on because it’s a bit out of practice. But also the other more overwhelming aspect is, it doesn’t want to let in this hug and then crave and not have it tomorrow.

My brain has gone into the mode of protecting myself.

Writing this makes me realize that perhaps I need to chant to have a life where my brain doesn’t have to protect me, where I feel able to cope with whatever is in front of me – joy as well as sorrow.

Regardless, I’ll continue to strive in my practice and go out and engage with others for the sake of their happiness. I refuse to give up and be in my bubble. Sometimes chanting with others feels like a hug, expect that to happen plenty of times over the next week.

✌🏽

Looking forward to it.

Making peace, building friendship

Last week I was traveling for work, quite wiped out and had diminished functioning. I met one of my SGI friends for dinner. It was a wonderful catch-up, always wonderful to see her. First met her in a training course in 2014 and the friendship keeps going.

Afterwards back at my hotel room, after finishing my chanting, I had an overwhelming urge to call my ex Mike from a relatively short but very emotional relationship, at least for me. Earlier this year I’d told him to never contact me again and he understood I needed the space.

As I was about to call him I prayed that only if this is right for me should he answer the phone, putting all my trust in the Gohonzon. I called him and it rang as though he was overseas, I was about to hang up and then reminded myself to persevere. Soon he answered and it was breaking up and his American accent seemed heavier than usual, I had trouble understanding what he said. I just got that he’s away and in a conference and will talk later. Surprisingly he followed up with a text that he couldn’t hear me but he will try calling me over the weekend when he has a break.

Knowing him, I figured I probably won’t hear back. It crossed my mind a couple of times as I went about my weekend, reminding myself that I’m not sitting around waiting or obsessing about it. He texted me late on Sunday night and I was already in bed and replied to him the next morning saying as much.

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Aligning to my mission

After yesterday’s friendship and joy, I found myself better able to connect to my purpose today. It was much easier to chant for an hour this morning. I invited one of my Buddhist group members to chant at the same time from her home. I thought of it as a chore for her because she must have been living a good enjoyable life with her husband.

However, things aren’t as always they seem to be. Even when I think I’m struggling and nobody else is in a soup like me, someone is still struggling in their own way.

When we finished chanting she said that she hadn’t chanted like this for a while and thanked me for inviting her. She said that she needed to redetermine and strengthen her resolve to align with her vow for kosen-rufu.

I was amazed how my new prayers based on President Ikeda’s guidance and persevering in creating causes led to this moment.

This fuelled me to talk to my state leader and reach out to many other young women. I want to strive to create so many causes and accumulate so much good fortune that when PMS and it’s accompanying deep depression and fatigue come around, my good fortune is enough to carry me over, that somehow my life force is so strong that I don’t suffer and am able to keep continuing the cycle of contributing to society and kosen-rufu.

I’m grateful for this challenge that leads me to strive. Thanks to my friend in Melbourne for giving me so much encouragement to focus on my determination.

My most favorite thing from that conversation was – everything I do is ok. If today I can only text one person and chant for five minutes, that’s ok. If I can do more, that’s ok too. As long as I’m somehow doing my best, whatever that turns out to be is enough and ok and will lead me to accumulate limitless good fortune.

This took so much anxiety away. Further that I can only focus on my causes. And if I text someone and they don’t respond, I don’t need to fixate on that, I can go ahead and connect to others who while continuing to chant for those who are not able to step forward yet.

So much to do and strive for. Exciting times!