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.

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Creativity fueled by determination

Yesterday morning, my friend chanted with me in alliance from Melbourne. I felt so exhausted that I was 40 minutes late to the one hour long session. Without begrudging or berating me, she chanted and I could feel her daimoku lifting me out and bringing me in front of the Gohonzon to chant. I feel deep gratitude for her support and daimoku. Her kind gesture reminded me that I could extend this same kindness to others.

First I started with looking for other members I could chant in the morning with. People were ok to chant, but I felt something was lacking. I reached out to my cousin Diya in Florida that I introduced to the practice a few years ago, who has been undergoing deep struggle and hasn’t been able to really get into chanting. With time zones offering a short common time slot, I offered her to chant with her in alliance. Meanwhile I also realised I had another person I could ask in California, my sister’s close friend – Swarn.

This morning I chanted while Swarn was on the other end of a phone call for half an hour. She probably listened to Gongyo for the first time. She was so open and embracing. Chanting with her was a real joy.

Diya couldn’t join in until much later and I missed her message. I continued to send her my daimoku and gratitude and I hope we can break through it tomorrow!

I realised that I wasn’t supporting them by asking to chant with them. They were supporting me. It was the only reason for me to get out of bed at 6.30 am! For the last few weeks, I had a prayer to be able to chant with another member everyday and now I find a creative way to accomplish this feat! Yay!!!

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Tuning in, tuning out of my negativity

As the struggle with food addiction goes, today wasn’t the most successful day in terms of behaviours. However, it was also an incredibly busy and quite a stressful day. If I started to describe what happened with my day, it would seem that I figured what I needed to do and did it quite well. It was a high functioning day from that point of view. However, there were many points during the day when I was checking in with myself and I observed my inner emotional state was quite stressed.

It’s a revelation of sorts. Usually I am so driven by what I am able to accomplish and get done and so focused on it that I don’t even tune in, I presume that if I am able to do things, I must feel good about it. I am sure a part of me really loves being productive, turns out that is just not the emotional part of me. Or rather being hyperproductive seemingly isn’t joyful for me.

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