A Blog A Day

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

Faith

” Believe, that once you start practicing, everything from now on will be good for you. We practice so that we can live a regret-free life, ” she said.

My friend Ankita and I were having coffee. She had white chocolate mocha and I had cappuccino. She was ten years younger than me, but infinitely wiser.

” The past is already gone. All we have is the present. We don’t have to worry about the future. The future is whatever we make it. I know that my life is going to be wonderful. I believe that it will be wonderful. I have so many dreams and I know I’ll achieve them all, ” she added.

How could someone so young have so much faith in the universe? And there I was listening to her, almost moved to tears. My faith has suffered a severe blow. I had come to that point in my practice where I was thinking of discontinuing.

” I don’t know why ever since I started practicing, my negativities have come up,” I revealed to her.

” That’s just the result of your past karma. You have to believe that everything has a purpose. Whatever happens to you now, is ultimately good for you. You have to believe.”

I’ve often wondered why some were quick to embrace the practice. And then there’s me, who is full of doubts and negativity. But she’s the only one who ever explained the biggest mystery of all– why I continue to suffer.

I suffer because of my past actions. I suffer because of my karma. I suffer because of my negativities. But ever since I started practicing, I was able to turn all my negativities into positives. But I guess, I just needed to hear from someone that I’m on the right track and that I shouldn’t give up on my practice.

” I don’t tell people that I’ve converted. I’m not a Buddhist per se. Buddhism is not just a religion. It’s more than that. It’s a philosophy. What I tell people is this: I’m practicing life.”

” Yes, I’ve heard about that. They say that we should be experts in life. Buddhism is about the study of life,” I told her.

My dreams and wishes are slow to come true. And I’m doubting whether I should continue on practicing. But since I had a talk with Ankita, I’ve slowly come to understand that the practice isn’t just about making your dreams and wishes come true. Ultimately, we practice to be happy. It’s the only practice that I know of that aims for absolute happiness.

” Wishes take time. Some wishes come true right away. And some wishes take time. Maybe it’s not the right time yet. And if your wishes were to come true at the wrong time, you won’t be able to appreciate it,” she explained.

But I was also wary about what she said, ” If some of your wishes missed the deadline, perhaps it’s not meant to be.”

I admit that there’s a part of me that is afraid that some of my dreams and wishes may not come true. But Ankita showed me the real reason why one should practice. And she reiterated it over and over.

” We practice so that we can be happy. We practice so that we can live a regret-free existence. And sometimes, when you make a big wish, the small wishes will just follow. Just continue to practice.”

I often wonder why some who took faith have improved their lives significantly. And there’s me, who is slow to understand. And probably it’s because I have all my priorities wrong. I complain about not receiving enough conspicuous benefits when the bigger benefits are the inconspicuous ones.

People who knew me before have noticed the changes in me. Not just in my countenance but in my behavior as well. I never smiled before. I always kept to myself. I never felt worthy of happiness. And it was unimaginable back then for me to read self-help books and psychology books. I never tried to understand myself. But the mere fact that I smile often now. The mere fact that I can laugh heartily means that something has happened inside of me. That something has changed significantly since I started to practice. I guess all I really wanted was to be reminded of that fact.

Humans normally focus on things that they don’t have. But focusing on what you don’t have won’t lead you to happiness. It is by focusing on the things that you have that make you a more happy person. It is by focusing on what you have that make you a more grateful person. And the greatest thing is, the more grateful you are, the more you invite the things that you’re grateful for.

Maybe I need to shift my perception. And it does take effort on my part to shift my thoughts to the things that I do have– I have my family, I have my health, I have a job that I love, I have friends, and I have Buddhism. What more could I ask for?

I know that I should stop chasing after happiness. Happiness is to be found within one’s own ordinary life. I try to chase for something outside of myself. I chase for happiness outside of myself. But we all know how the externals change. Circumstances change. And if we put our faith in something that is fleeting, it would only lead us to become more frustrated.

” I guess the reason why I haven’t had so many wishes come true is because I don’t know what I really want to do with my life, ” I confessed to her.

” What you need to do is have a big goal. Have a purpose in your life. And once you have that big goal, everything will just follow.”

It will take a while for me to develop my faith. A great mentor in our practice said that hope is like a muscle that you need to exercise. This is the kind of practice that doesn’t rely on blind faith. We believe because we have seen actual proof in our practice. And luckily enough, the actual proof is ME. The fact that I’ve become a more positive person and a more happy person is proof enough that this practice works.

” I used to be depressed,” Ankita revealed. ” I was the only child. ” I was depressed and I was unhappy for most my life. My parents never got along. My father died four years ago when I was sixteen. It was really bad then. But once I embraced the practice, my life has changed tremendously.”

Ankita told me that she encountered obstacles as well. But the fact that she has overcome them, means that she no longer doubts the practice.

I told her about my greatest obstacle.

” My greatest obstacle is that I lost my friend because I allowed myself to be overtaken by negativities. Things haven’t been the same since then. No one really explained to me that you’re supposed to ignore your negativities,” I told her.

” You’re not supposed to ignore them. You’re supposed to accept them and learn from them. But once you’ve overcome them, they won’t ever bother you again. They disappear from your life forever.”

” I don’t know what to do. How can you learn to forgive someone who has hurt your? And how can someone you’ve hurt learn forgive you?”

” Don’t worry. When the right time comes along, that person will just come back to your life. Just don’t stop practicing. ”

I do admire Ankita. And I know in my heart, that there would come a time when I would fully embrace the practice as well. That time might be sooner than I think. And I feel it in my heart that all the obstacles and negativities that I’ve encountered happened for a reason.

I’ve had so much healing in so many aspects of my life. I used to be an emotional overeater. I don’t do that anymore. I used to have aviophobia. I don’t have that as well. I used to be afraid of what people would think of me. Now, I understand that people are entitled to their own opinions of me. The major thing that has changed is my depression. I used to be severely depressed. There were times when I thought of giving up on life. But when people see me now, they see me as a happy person. It would never cross their mind that I used to be depressed.

I never believed that happiness was found inside of oneself. But ever since I started practicing, I became a believer. Happiness is found in each and everyone of us. All we need to do is to take a close look at our lives and at ourselves. With understanding comes appreciation.

I know that I’ll overcome this major obstacle in my life. And I know I’ll emerge a happier person. Faith after all, is what makes us keep on going on. We have to believe that everything happens for a reason. And that there are lessons to be learned from all the trials that we encounter.

Life is a precious gift. And the only way we can ever show our gratitude for the life that we’ve been given is to learn to appreciate it.

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1 Comment»

  white chocolate depression wrote @

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