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.
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.
Continue reading “Learning to Communicate”
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!
Last Sunday I went to the SGI General Director’s lecture. He spoke about his work situation, how last year he found himself in an increasingly toxic work environment with rampant bullying and back-stabbing. He started to pray to somehow be able to use his beliefs, abilities and values to contribute at work in the best way, somehow, whether it was this job or another one.
Continue reading “Changing My Work Environment”
Earlier this week I went to a new group meeting. A new member, a young woman, was asking questions about how she wants to grow in her career and finds that she’s stagnated in her current job in what she can learn and where she can go. She had been praying to find a new job but hadn’t found it yet, how should she pray about it.
Her words and attitude reminded me of my old self – that saw a ladder to be climbed and how I had a path in my mind and if my life or my career didn’t match that path, I was somehow not doing my best or failing.
No, I didn’t burst her bubble. I tried to relate from my own experience. I saw she was stuck in the mindset of what the job is giving her rather than what she is contributing.
This conversation flowed into a self-reflection for me. I realised that I had not been praying about my job situation. When I asked myself whether I was able to contribute from my best self and whether I was expanding my contribution in the best way, or had I become complacent and was going along with the status quo? Funnily enough all of this coincided with events at work.
Continuing on from my post here, writing further about what I learned at the workshop “Trauma, Neuroscience and the Evolving Therapy of Traumatised Children and Adults” by Dr Bessel van der Kolk earlier this week and referring to his book The Body Keeps the Score.
The most important job of the brain is to ensure our survival, even under the most miserable conditions. – The Body Keeps the Score pg 55
Amygdala is the smoke detector in the brain that detects danger. In a traumatised person’s brain, the amygdala becomes hypersensitive, very involved. It goes off all the time. This also translates into low serotonin production. Boosting serotonin can help quieten the smoke detector too.
Using the Buddhist practice in the present moment, I can rely on my prayer for survival. This action focused on bringing out my greatest potential enables me to bypass the in-built brain circuits that were formed in the past. I am gently nudging myself to not fall back to old ways, but let in new possibilities. SGI activities, visiting members, connecting to others, going to meetings gives me a sense of belonging that helps to boost my serotonin levels to calm the smoke detector.
When I sought guidance from the general director earlier this year, I was told that “Until the time, I am stuck in the mode of why is my life this way, why is this happening to me, I am still looking for the Gohonzon outside of myself. Instead when I chant to embrace my situation and I determine to engage with others, no matter what, I will find creative ways to solve my current situation”.
Continue reading “Healing Trauma via Buddhism – Part 2”
About six months ago, I read the Gosho and it’s study lecture – “Happiness in This World”, available freely here.
It took many times of reading it on hopeless days when I was suffering so much and in tears, not knowing how to transform my situation – alone, injured, in love with a man who didn’t have courage to be with me, living with a flatmate who wouldn’t even say hello or make eye contact with me, working in an office space having no natural light, feeling cut off from light, literally. There would be days I would go to the office and read the print of this page a few times before I could even get myself to do any work or be around people.
This morning while chanting in alliance with my friend in Melbourne brought me closer to the truth of this teaching.
Continue reading “Choosing what I want for my life”