Facing ourselves

Facing ourselves…………

When we are fearful to come face to face,feel and experience our pains,sufferings,emotional/mental/psychological turmoils fully and deeply, all we do is burying them deeper and deeper…..we cannot be free of encumberances.we self imprison ourselves to a life of unhappiness and disharmony,confusion,inability to understand and relate and to experience the nobility/sanctity of compassion and joy….how would we be understanding,respectful and be of help and support for another?

When we stop to deal with whatever pain that we undergo one at a time,we can start facing realities,we can start facing the truth of our human conditions,we will come to know our human nature……..we can learn to be tender human beings,kindly and loving(inherent within us).We can therefore,learn to be adept to grow in heartfelt wisdom and not be afraid at handling and facing all other situations and circumstances as they arise……..we can therefore truly enjoy our lives fully and authentically…….

Can we for a minute imagine ourselves in the time of the Buddha or Jesus or the Prophet Mohammed,some thousands of years ago……what would we do for dealing with our everyday anxieties/worries…..can we imagine how we will be…….Who we are?who are we truly…..if we could ask ourselves this question!

Yes the truth is the hardest thing to face, it daunts and torments but once we brace ourselves to confront it head on,the fear dissipates……..we can free ourselves from chaos and witness our noble valor and inner vitality……even the vilest prisoner can free himself/herself from suffering by facing the truth of themselves….and find the freedom and peace and joy while still imprisoned.We need to empower ourselves in the truth rather give away our power to illusory beliefs and ideologies and fantasies that does nothing to help us heal and become humane, peaceful, loving,kind and beneficial to the growth of others……………
“and the truth shall set you free”~~~~~Jesus

 

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Are we ready for healing

Are we ready for healing……

 

When we are sincere, ready and willing…….when we free ourselves to be open minded and to put down our own desire to control and think we already know everything and let go of holding on to our habituated ideas and notions about our lives….even a simple positive word such as ‘love’,’kind’,’forgive’,’tenderness’,’peace’,etc……can bring us to our knees to surrender to be inwardly touched/moved to create a space for meaningful change and spiritual growth and betterment…………………………

On the other hand,no amount of religious practises and promoting all sorts of pious projections ,beliefs,acts and displays of pretentious goodness, and piety will open the door of our hearts for true healing, compassion and wisdom for the absolute truth if the self remains complacent, fettered to fears and still wants to cling to mere egoic ideologies of self and others.
In order for true spiritual growth to be effective and be inculcated,the self must be onward and forward with sincere, fearless and selfless actions and practises to living out,facing and experiencing all manner of life’s lessons as it arises without putting barriers, limitations and conditions on all phenomenon, in order for wise heart to exercise true understanding and knowledge.

When I stood at the door of the church some 21 years ago, I knew within the depths of my heart I was ready and willing to put aside all my worldly egoic selfish habituated beliefs of all sorts in order to open my mind and heart to learn the ways of healing,new life and new birth to anything that might help me end suffering ……………….although I did not know what or how am I to proceed along this new route…..the main thing was taking the first step to be humbled and with the sincere and right intention of letting go of all false beliefs and the need to hold and control things that have already gone out of control…………….I surrendered and took courage to allow myself to walk thru the door of the unknown……………….

The willow and the oak tree

The willow and the oak tree……

I love the anology of the willow bending in the wind,whether it be to a a mighty storm or a gentle breeze….the willow simply bends as low as it will be according to the wind’s gusts and stay down as long as it has to!

And till the winds ease off its fury…it will spring up again and dance and be joyful and grateful for being adaptable to adversities and know that ‘this too shall pass’ .…

For the willow to me represents the strength of humility and the forebearance of resilience……..it accepts its fate of the unknown and uncertain arising of the natural phenomena of the wind element which it cannot control or have power over…

So with its own flexibility and softness it does not resist and try to fight back or struggle against but instead it sees its courage to bend and flow and rise up again and again …so too in our human life,we will face uncertainties of life situations and if we practice humility(not humiliation)and kindness and benevolence,we can be prepared,we open our hearts to resiliency and courage to cope and deal with each present given moment whatever life throws at us…good or bad,sad or happy,praise or blame,gain or loss………

On the other hand the mighty oak tree lives with the arrogance and ignorance of thinking it being undeafeatable, unrelenting and powerful and able to control any circumstances…it is not flexible,it is not prepared for the fiercest rage of the most furious windstorm….so it breaks into two under the blow of the mighty wind and is unable to get up, enjoy and be grateful to rise up again and dance even to the slightest breeze!

Cleaning our inner house!

 

Jesus says….”why look at the speck in your brother’s eye,when there is a log in your own eye!”

Look not at another to see into their faults and flaws and point the finger of blame but instead,look within ourselves when someone criticises, taunts us, hurt us and our feelings and speak out harshly directly at us.Its so easy to get riled up in a negative reaction towards the other,its so easy to get angry and in a split second….all hell can break loose,as the saying goes!We can either create a bad scene and fight back,fight back within ourselves and accumulate bitterness/resentment within the being,allowing further anger and hatred to brew….then manifest all kinds of ‘illness’ physically,emotionally,mentally and spiritually….

Or we can choose the noble and wise way which is the hardest/toughest way but indeed,the most efficacious and potent way to diffuse suffering and attain peace and healing ……….to practice pausing and to look honestly towards our own self….to check and see if our own house needs some cleaning to do.Yet our initial reaction is not wanting to be made a fool and the strong-willed ego(pride and arrogance) is blocking our way towards the wisdom to choose humility,understanding forebearance in order to find healing resolutions and utilising the power of forgiveness and compassion(kinder positive actions)…..

What good will it do,if we do not try to go within ourselves and understand who we truly are,of what we carry inside ourselves….we too react the same way as the others when we resist, defend,fight back and if we can be honest with ourselves,we too hold grudges,animosity,bitterness/anger,retaliate and speak out criticisingly and are also capable of hurling subtle abuses that we might not be aware of. Even when we allow ourselves to be humiliated(made used of),we do no good for others as well as ourselves.

Yes, when we can practice being aware,stopping and looking into ourselves to check our inner states instead of protecting the ego(pride and arrogance and selfishness),our hearts will keep breaking over and over as the ego is being beaten,the diminishing pride and arrogance is slowly giving way to humility(not humiliation),tremendous inner pain is felt,there is nothing to fear,the heart is resilient,it will withstand and make a final break to enter into the purification process and healing,the inner self cannot hold on to too much debris and ‘ugliness’.…..as Sufi poet and mystic Rumi says..”keep breaking the heart,until it opens”………When the heart breaks,a higher spiritual consciousness is born and we learn to take responsibilities and make amends and changes to benefit ourselves and others positively!

The True Self is pure and brilliant….the heart must break to allow light in and be drained of the impurities of un-necessary sufferings!When we hold on to more pain of resentment,anger and bitterness, retaliation and inner/outer aggression,jealousies and greed and maliciousness,we harden the heart thus making it harder to break!We want a soft,fertile and tender heart so the seeds of love that has already been planted can bloom beautifully………….

As humans on this human journey,we always find ways to justify our negative actions,words,feelings,intentions eg.being defensive(using cynicism,chiding,taunting,provoking,abusive language),denying our mistakes and protesting against the ‘other’ when it comes to protecting ourselves.Who or what are we truly protecting?It is most common to look outwardly at the other when something goes awry but if we truly want healing and peace, we look within to find the answers,the true understanding and knowing of ourselves in order to know that the other also suffers the same spiritual malady as every single one of us……..only when we can be sincere and courageous enough to face the truth….that truth will set us free from the chains of illusion, delusion, falsehoods and un-necessary suffering……..as Jesus and all awakened/enlightened teachers from all spiritual traditions will attest …….look within and seek the truth!

I knew what is was like to be taunted, made fun of,provoked,put down,abused,looked down upon,betrayed, hurt,dissappointed and called so many different types of ugly names,yes, I admit when I was ignorant, and not yet spiritually awake(prior to the year 1998), I used to fight back and retaliate and hurt back as much as I could,then I realised I was hurting myself the most driving me into an abyss of miserable suffering.Is it all worthwhile to keep unhappiness and suffering buried within our being?
Sometimes,in those desperate state of unhappiness,I would look at myself and feel unworthy and useless and ask myself if I had deserved to be hurt and why. Why did I have to hurt and hit out so much,I truly did not want to hurt others neither do I want to be unhappy and miserable and I would strive as much as I could to better myself.

At that time, I had no one to teach me how to look within myself or to find true love, peace and contentment within………I thought I was a good practicing Catholic,doing what I believed was righteous as taught by the church.I had to realise that readily believing in any religious teachings is only a small portion of the whole picture of truth…I had to see deeper into the truth of empirical experiences,applying and relating to spiritual teachings to my daily life by subjecting and being open to be hurt over and over,to be vulnerable to all kinds people and various circumstances without retaliation and escaping(running away in worldly pursuits and addictions).In other words I had to encounter the various faces of demons and angels and acknowledge their lessons they had to impart,good or bad and remained with them until they left without any clinging to good situations and rejecting bad ones….all was,is accepted, embraced and given thanks,forgiven and let go…………
I had to learn to sweep my inner house(being) and keep it clean thru rigorous, devoted and disciplined practises of meditation and other spiritual exercises,teachings,and the purification journey to go within myself to learn the truth……………….I am,who I am,no different,a human being like everyone else…….I open the door to everything and everyone who knocks on it with Awareness and Presence!

Moving to the unknown

Moving to the Unknown

January 1991……..my 6 weeks vacation in British Columbia,Canada.I had just gone thru for the 2nd time around……a heartbreaking divorce.I knew it was not something drastic that would make my life crumble and wither away but instead a painful situation that I had to go thru in order to better myself…

So at the constant invitations and beckoning from my sister Angela and her then husband Iain(who both have become Canadian citizens and live in British Columbia at that time)…….I took the courage to take some time off work(mostly unpaid leave)from nursing at the emergency department in a Singapore hospital and fly to this far away land for a long holiday where I thought I could try to regain my strength and inner vitality after struggling thru the broken-ness and betrayal of somebody I thought I had invested my life and so called love in…………….I was going thru mental and emotional torments/anguish.…as what could be called the roller-coaster effect….ups and downs,highs and lows.Despite my active social and ‘fun’living life at the time to drown the pains….there was an inner fire as I will always remember being felt within me…….I would find myself enjoying the comforting quietness of an empty church,sitting in silence and allowing myself to mentally speak of finding relief for all the pains of my life and asking for guidance and strength ………..

I have come to the crossroads of my life,a time for deep reflection and adjusting to life’s directions.I was filled with fear but knew there was fearlessness existing inside of me….something I knew I had to exercise in order to overcome this ‘bad’time.

 

While on this holiday in British Columbia,I went with my sister and Iain to the world famous ski resort of Whistler/Blackcomb mountain where they have a time share cabin………..on the way up there,I heard this popular song playing…”From a distance”by Bette Midler……my heart was beginning to open to its words,I was being moved,being touched,being called.A picture of me standing on top of Blackcomb……..I felt on top of the world surrounded by these glorious,majestic mountains…my mind was singing with the Bette Midler’s song,playing over and over,especially so the words….”from a distance,God is watching me”…”there is hope,there is harmony,there is peace.”

‘YES’….I said to myself…..I said yes to the calling to come and live in BC,Canada and felt a surge of relieve swell in me at that moment,I  knew I would make all efforts to take a big step for transition to move in this direction.More than a year later………in May 1992……I was in BC,a chance for new environment to begin my life…unknown challenges,openings and opportunities …..ahead to face!

 

Prior to my moving to this beautiful new land,Canada……I was plagued by fear,fear of the unknown,fear of my own insecurities,fear of leaving all those who are close and dear to me, my family, my friends,fear of leaving familiar surroundings,life and living,fear of adapting to a new climate and way of life….fear of not being to enjoy my favourite Asian foods….fear,fear,fear of almost everything…..and of course the fear of failure……………….I had to make a decision….do I drop the whole idea and plan to move or take up the challenge to move and start anew.It was heavy on my mind and heart!I was crying out for help to make a decision.

 

One very early in the morning before dawn,while still dark……I took a walk to the beach close to where I lived……I sat on the sand while the sun was coming up…..the sea was so still and everything seemed so quiet,I was in reflective contemplation of my decision to move…….I felt so loved,so blessed and with a stick I picked up I wrote so boldly and hugely on the sand……the word…”GOD”and beamed with joy and walked back home.That very night,I had a significant dream pertaining to my decision………..in that dream,I remember……..I had to make a decision,there were 2 doors and I was to open the right one,if I opened the wrong door,I would be blown into bits…….so in my dream,I felt so scared too and chose to open the door on the right with feelings of trepidations,felt even while in my dream……as I opened the door….it felt good and relieving and I went thru……I got up and immediately I knew I had to move to Canada without a doubt….and here I am in Canada still today 25 years later…after so much excitements,adventures and life changing challenges….the door opens and we walk in and experience each realm ……there is no failure or success……its all about the experiences,lessons to learn and teach and grow from and to be of help!

 

We all have stories to share,we all face challenges,we can choose to allow challenges to disable us trapped in our fears or we can choose to transcend all sufferings and be of help to others who might be quietly or openly seeking for affirmations and encouragements on each our life journey…..

 

Fear of the unknown is a genuine fear….when we dare to face it….we overcome fear itself,we experience courage and find it within ourselves,no one can give it to us………………………..