A Blog A Day

It\’s a blog where I write about the extraordinary and the ordinary things going on in my life.

Choose Happiness

I’m seven years old again. I feel young again. I feel so alive. I feel free. I would never have thought that it would be possible for me to feel this way. I used to be depressed and unhappy with my life. I used to feel numb. There was a point in my life where I wanted to end my life. In a way, my life did end. And what I have now is a second life, a new beginning.

I was four years old when I was sexually abused in the most horrible way. I could not understand why it had to happen to me. I was not aware about the Law Of Karma. And I did not know about the nature of suffering.

My uncle, who I had loved and trusted, had taken advantage of my innocence. There were two victims in the story. I had another relative who was older than me. He is what you would call now mentally challenged. My uncle who was a drug addict at that time, taught me and my relative how to have sex. It was the worst thing that you could ever do to young children. I was robbed of my innocence. We both were robbed of our innocence.

But the pain would continue to spread. And along with it the shame. One day, when me and my relative were having sex, my mother discovered us in the act. It was the most horrible day of my life. And it was only recently that I had realized the impact of that day. My mother was forever scarred. And I was forever scarred. It was a day I would never ever forget.

The news of what happened spread. I can only imagine how my mother felt. The guilt and the shame she felt. I wonder how a mother would take the pain of knowing that she had let such a thing happen to her child. She must have been blamed by my grandparents for being neglectful.

What happened that day was kept a secret. The family felt so ashamed of what happened. For years, I grew up being ashamed of what I did. It did not help that I grew up in a Catholic school where it was ingrained that humans are inherently sinful. I had committed an act that was sinful and so I was sinful and I did not deserve to be happy.

I punished myself incessantly. I grew up ashamed, guilty and unhappy. It was because of my unhappiness that I attracted another unhappy person into my life. We had a relationship that was a very unhappy one. For how can two unhappy people create a happy relationship? I learned later through becoming a Buddhist that the self and the environment are one and the same. When you are unhappy or sad, then your environment would naturally reflect that.

Early this year, I had a nervous breakdown. I had experienced what you would call a karmic cycle where another relative almost took advantage of me. I could not understand why it was happening again. My world came crumbling down. I felt that I had to see a psychiatrist because otherwise, I would lose my mind.

The pain became so unbearable. And the guilt and the shame was so heavy that my mind began to crumble. I almost lost my sanity because I could not accept the unbearable suffering I had to endure. But I realize now how strong the power of choice is. When I was at the brink of insanity, I made a choice. I chose to keep my sanity. I chose to end my suffering. I chose life. And once I made that choice the universe showed me the way.

A few weeks later, I was introduced to Buddhism by my cousin. I was introduced to Nam Myo Ho Renge Kyo. And because I was desperate and unhappy, I took a chance. I took a leap of faith and that path has lead me to where I am today.

I realized the painful truth about my suffering. That what happened to me was perhaps a result of my past karma in another life or perhaps what an ancestor did in the past. I was the unlucky recipient of that karma.

The Law of Cause and Effect is only fair. We plant seeds of pain in the past and we reap pain in the present. But when you plant seeds of love in the past, you reap the benefits of happiness in the present. But since the law is the law, you must not take it personally. Instead, you have to embrace your karma and try to change what you can change in the now.

My Buddhist friend and leader said that to know your future, you must look in the present. To know your past, you must look at your present. The secret lies in the NOW. Plant good seeds in the NOW and then you reap benefits of happiness.

Since I started chanting, I began to realize that there was a way out of my suffering. The more I chanted, the more wisdom I acquired. The more I chanted, the happier I became. For all that was needed for me was to find what was buried deep inside me– the happiness and the wisdom within.

I am not preaching. I am only telling the truth. I am only sharing my own experience. It is so sad that humans are perpetually trapped in an endless cycle of pain and suffering because they are ignorant of the truth.

We have a choice. We have a choice on whether to dwell in the past or whether to let go and move on. We have the choice  on whether to suffer or whether to be happy. God’s greatest gift to humanity is free will. We have the power to choose the kind of lives we want to lead.

In a way, I had died. And I’m now only starting to build my new life. Existence is a gift. Every moment is a gift. Life is impermanent. We all know that we are going to die. The sad thing is, most of us are already dead even when we are still living. It’s time that we choose happiness. After all, we only pass by this earth only once. It would be wonderful if on our final moment we could say to ourselves that we were victorious because we chose happiness.

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