Broken /complicated relationship involving third party?

Broken/complicated relationship involving third party is not something uncommon nowadays.

There might be different kinds of situation exist in any relationship. It doesn’t matter what kind of situation, most people would think and believe and expect that two people should commit themselves to be loyal and faithful towards one another being in a ‘committed’ relationship, if oneself has no sincerity to be ‘committed’ and ‘faithful’ in a relationship, then just don’t get into a relationship with anyone, as whether wittingly or unwittingly, oneself will cause ‘hurts’ to the other person in the relationship with oneself. But in many relationships, two people have love for each other in the beginning, and want to be in a relationship together, but after some time, the ‘feeling of love’ is less, or is not there anymore, where they don’t feel love towards the partner anymore, and either they don’t want to be in the relationship anymore, or they would want to look for the ‘feeling of love’ in other love affairs/relationships with other people.

For example, A and B is in a so called ‘committed’ relationship, while B is also having an open or secret love affair/relationship with C.

In such relationship that involved ‘third party’, most people would think that A is the ‘victim’, while B and C are the ‘selfish and immoral’ bad people that are hurting A. A should deserved sympathy and support from others, while B and C should be blamed and condemned for being ‘selfish and immoral and hurtful’. But for those who understand ‘love’ and ‘relationship’, no one is being a ‘victim’ and no one is being ‘selfish/immoral/hurtful’ bad people in a broken/complicated relationship.

There’s neither right nor wrong in ‘love relationship’ even if it’s ‘broken’, whether with or without involving third party. It’s just a relationship didn’t turn out to be the way that most people desire/expect it to be, as well as there’s no ‘love’ in such relationship. And there’s nothing wrong if there’s no ‘love’, or an expected relationship is non-existing, or a relationship is discontinued, for any reason.

If there’s love in the relationship, the relationship won’t be broken/damaged, it’s either a relationship that continues or discontinued/came to an end, due to any reason, in peace. If there’s love from oneself towards the partner, one will have loving kindness, self-control and decency to not commit in any behavior that would be ‘hurtful’ to the partner in the relationship with oneself, whether wittingly or unwittingly. Even if there’s ‘feeling of love’ in the relationship in the beginning, and the ‘feeling of love’ is impermanent, it will change and disappear. But, if there’s love, then even though sometimes the ‘feeling of love’ is less, or not there anymore, one will still be kind to the partner in the relationship with oneself, and would not behave in the way that would be ‘hurtful’ to the partner, not because of the sense of ‘commitment’ or ‘obligation’ towards a ‘committed’ relationship, but out of loving kindness.

There’s nothing wrong either if one feels hurt/disappointed/angry thinking and believing oneself is being ‘a victim’ of other people’s unloving/unfaithful/hurtful/immoral behavior. Everyone has the rights and freedom to feel what they want to feel and react the way that they want to react. But then, one must also understand that if one feels hurt/disappointed/angry, it’s because one doesn’t really love the partner as he/she is, one only loves one’s desire and expectation towards the partner and the relationship has to be in certain ways. One has desire and expectation towards the relationship and the partner to be in certain way, and when things turn out to be not the way that one desires or expects, when one is getting something that one doesn’t like, doesn’t want and doesn’t agree with, and when one is losing what one likes (the relationship and the partner being in certain ways that one desires it to be), or what one likes (the perfect faithful loving partner/relationship) is no longer available, or is ‘disturbed’, or has changed into something else, that’s why one feels hurt/disappointed/angry. It’s not because the partner or the relationship is ‘bad’ and ‘wrong’ that cause the ‘hurts/disappointment/anger’ in oneself, but, it’s because one doesn’t love the partner as he/she is, but only loves what one likes/desires/expects.

It’s how everyone/human beings/the untrained egoistic minds react towards ‘ungratified desires’ of “This is not what I like and want and expect.”, or “I am not getting what I like and want, but I’m getting what I don’t like and don’t want.” or “This is something wrong/bad/hurtful/undeserving happening to me.”

If there’s correct understanding towards ‘love’ and ‘relationship’, then there would be no hard/hurtful/bitter feelings where people can let go the relationship in peace, one won’t see oneself as ‘a victim of the unfaithfulness/betrayal of the partner in a broken relationship’ or ‘a victim of the intrusion of the lover of one’s partner that causes my relationship to be broken’. And there’s no blame or condemn towards the partner and the lover that they should be guilty for being ‘the selfish bad people that cause this relationship to be broken/damaged’.

This is really nothing to do with whether the partner and his/her lover in the love affair/relationship are being ‘selfish’, ‘unfaithful’, ‘disloyal’, ‘immoral’, ‘bad’ and ‘wrong’, or not. It’s about how oneself thinks, understands, feels and reacts being in such situation, where one’s partner is involved in a love affair/relationship with another person.

If a person would commit in a love affair/relationship with another person other than the one in a relationship with oneself, whether wittingly or unwittingly, it indicates that this person doesn’t really ‘love’ the partner. He/she loves it’s desire for satisfaction. When he/she is not satisfied with his/her partner, when he/she is not getting what it desires/expects from the partner, he/she will be looking for something/someone else to gratify its desire for satisfaction, love, passion, pleasure, interaction, or lust. And that’s common ‘human’s nature’, or the normal behavior of the untrained minds under the influence of desires.

Everyone has the rights or freedom whether they want to love anyone, or don’t want to love anyone, or stop loving someone, or having too much ‘feeling of love’ that needs to be shared with many people at the same time, or want to be in many different love affairs/relationships at one time, or whether they are satisfied/dissatisfied being in a ‘committed’ relationship with somebody.

If one truly loves the partner in the relationship with oneself, one will love this person as he/she is, even if the partner doesn’t love oneself, or stop loving oneself, or being ‘the god/goddess of love’ who needs to ‘love’ as many people as possible. One doesn’t need to be in a relationship with this person, to possess this person to be mine. One doesn’t expect this person to be faithful and loyal, or expect the love from this person doesn’t change, or won’t disappear, or ‘should be for me only’. One allows this person to have or don’t have the ‘feeling of love’ for oneself, or stop loving oneself, or doesn’t love oneself, or prefer to love and be with someone else. One can let go the person that doesn’t love oneself, or let go a relationship that doesn’t have ‘love’ or couldn’t continue, in peace, and allow this person to love and be with other people that he/she loves.

One won’t feel hurt/disappointed/angry towards the partner who doesn’t love oneself or towards the relationship that is not the way that how most people would like it to be. Because if the partner loves oneself, then there’s no need any expectation from oneself, without the sense of obligation to be committed and be faithful in a relationship with oneself, but out of loving kindness towards oneself, he/she will have self-control and decency, where he/she will not do anything that would cause ‘hurts’ or ‘damages’ to oneself or this relationship, not even behind one’s knowledge, regardless of whether there’s the ‘feeling of love’ existing, or not. One would know how to ‘keep a respectful distance’ with others who have the tendency to ‘fall in love’ with oneself, as one doesn’t need to look for satisfaction in ‘love affairs/relationships’.

One cannot expect ‘love’ from anyone, but allowing others whether to ‘love’ oneself, or not. One cannot expect how other people should love oneself or behave in a relationship, but allowing others to love us the way as they are. There’s no such thing as “Once you love me and being in a ‘committed’ relationship with me, you will have to be forever faithful and loyal to me, and loving me only.” And if, one realizes that the partner doesn’t love oneself, one can choose to continue or let go the relationship, in peace, without bitterness. There’s neither right nor wrong, either way.

There’s even no need of ‘forgiveness’, if one truly loves the partner as he/she is, even if the partner is being unfaithful, as one is undisturbed/unhurt by the partner’s ‘unfaithfulness’ at all, but would let go of him/her and the relationship. One doesn’t feel bad about oneself or thinking that one is not good enough, if the partner doesn’t love oneself, if one knows love.

Unfortunately, many people couldn’t let go in peace, and be disturbed by hard/hurtful/bitter/angry feelings that doesn’t help to make things better, and might do things that hurt oneself or the partner and the people whom the partner loves.

There’s nothing wrong if one realizes that oneself doesn’t love the partner, and one should be honest and straightforward to let this person knows that “I don’t love you.” or “I don’t feel love for you.” or “I don’t want to be with you in a relationship.” or “I want to be with someone else.” This honesty won’t hurt, if people are matured enough to understand ‘love’ and ‘relationship’. But it would cause deeper ‘hurts/disappointment/anger/hatred’ by being untruthful to oneself and the partner, pretending that one loves the partner very much, but in truth, one doesn’t love the partner, and one won’t be satisfied being with that partner, and would try to find satisfaction in some other love affairs/relationships with other lovers. People who are matured enough would let go the person whom they love very much to be with the people whom this person loves, in peace. That’s love.

When two people don’t hurt one another out of dissatisfaction/disappointment/anger/hurts, then even though there’s no ‘feeling of love’ from one or both of them, or they are not in a relationship, that’s love. Where/what is love, if one or two people keep hurting each other out of feeling of hurts/anger/disappointment being in a relationship that is not the way that they like it to be?

If people are not matured enough to accept ‘honesty’ or ‘the truth’ in peace, when people whom they think they love very much are being honest and straightforward telling them that “I don’t love you.” or “I don’t want to be in a relationship with you.” or “I want to love and be with someone else.”, then it’s their own responsibility if they don’t like that honesty or the truth, and react with feeling hurt/disappointed/angry for losing what they like and want, or not getting what they like and want, but getting what they don’t like and don’t want. And this relationship won’t be peaceful and harmony anyway, even if they continue to be in a relationship, because they don’t really love whom they think they love very much. There will be lots of ‘tension’ and ‘unhappiness’ derived from ‘ungratified desires’ and ‘expectation’ in this relationship all the time.

Be free, to love or be loved, or not.

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Untruthfulness and dishonesty

Whether we like it or not, most people have been being untruthful or dishonest every once in a while or regularly. It’s a habit that has been building up since childhood where the children are being brought up by their parents or elders with the habit of fictional and fantasized stories making and telling (untrue), joking (untrue), white lies (untrue), hypocrisy (untrue), boasting (not necessarily true), pleasing (most probably untrue), or acting (untrue) as something ‘normal’, ‘appropriate manners’ or ‘play safe’ to be interacting with other people in the family, in the relationships, in the society, in the social media, in the politics.

The children are being taught to be untruthful, dishonest and hypocrite by telling (white) lies, boasting, joking, pleasing or acting so that they do not upset or offend other people, or they should please other people, as one of the manners/politeness/appropriate behavior in their cultural and social practice.

A lot of time, untruthfulness and dishonesty is the by-product of fear.

Whenever the children are being aware of they might have done something they shouldn’t be doing that they think it would upset their parents or their friends, and most probably, out of fear of being criticized, or scolded, or punished, or unloved by their parents or their friends, and fear of losing the supportive treatments from their parents or their friends, children would tell lies to hide the truth, being untruthful or dishonest. And this untruthful and dishonest behavior becomes a natural habit to ‘play safe’ and to ‘please other people’ in their childhood and continue to follow them into their adulthood.

When the children have the initiative to tell the truth or admit to their parents that they might have done something that they think it might upset their parents, and if the parents react with anger and aggressiveness towards the children or the incident, or inflict punishment onto the children, the children will tend to be untruthful or dishonest from then on. Instead, if the parents react with calmness, acceptance, forgiveness and letting go, knowing that by getting upset and angry won’t undo what had happened, then the children will tend to be truthful and honest from then on. It also allows the children to learn to appreciate truthfulness and honesty, and learn about acceptance, forgiveness and letting go. Children making mistakes is a great learning process for both the parents and the children, to become responsible compassionate people, who accept and love themselves and other people as they are, even though they are not perfect.

Truthfulness and honesty is one of the important basic practice in yoga. Without it, numerous of other yoga practice are meaningless. But for many people who grew up under that kind of parenting or upbringing to behave ‘appropriately’ and ‘politely’ in their relationships with everyone, in the family, in the school, in the workplace, or in the society, being untruthful and dishonest is something ‘right’ and ‘good’, while being truthful and honest is something ‘wrong’ and ‘bad’. They think that it’s needless to abandon untruthfulness and dishonesty when they take up yoga practice, thinking that it’s the ‘normal’ and ‘correct’ way of living and interacting with everyone in the society in order to have ‘healthy’ and ‘happy’ relationships with everyone.

How many conversations between people don’t contain any untruthfulness or dishonesty?

Many people who are under the influence of the ego are either don’t like the truth or being afraid of the truth. As most of the time, the truth is something difficult or unpleasant or painful for the untrained minds.

When people try to tell the truth of a ‘good son’ to his parents that their ‘good son’ isn’t really good, the parents say, “No. Don’t tell us (the truth). We don’t want to know about it. Our son is all good. We brought him up to be good. He is a good boy.”

People can’t live and interact with other people ‘normally’ in this world without being untruthful or dishonest a little bit here and there.

While yoga is about the truth. No matter how difficult or unpleasant or painful is the truth, one has no fear of the truth.

And hence, those who truly practice yoga, they stay away from the society and observe seclusion and solitude, to avoid unnecessary untruthfulness and dishonesty.

My life stories – Part 2

My life stories – Part 2
Stories from my past memories – childhood, family, friends, growing up, poverty, integrity, dreams come true, finding peace and happiness, Buddhism, Yoga, and now…

I went to an English medium preschool kindergarten for one year before I entered a Chinese medium primary school for six years. I met and mixed with other children who were same age as me and from multi races. I made some good friends and learned about life from these friendships.

Whether I was born this way, or I was brainwashed and taught to be like this, there is something that I always strongly believe in – truthfulness and honesty. I was always very careful about not committing any wrong or immoral doings. If I realized I did something that I believed was wrong, I would admit my wrong doings and ask for forgiveness immediately. Though during the two years when I was disturbed by unhappiness, anger and hatred, I had intentionally hurt other people through my thoughts, actions and speech, especially to my parents.

Sometimes I forgot to do my homework, I went to inform the teacher that I hadn’t done my homework and gave my palm to the teacher to discipline me with a stroke of caning. When the marked exam paper came back to us, I would go to the teacher and asked for remarking and to deduct the extra points if I found out that the teacher mistakenly gave me more points than it should be. We don’t take what doesn’t belong to us. This might be referred as “stupid honesty” by some people, but it’s a great virtue in the teachings of Buddhism and Yoga.

If I found something left unattended in the school compound, I would bring it to the teacher. When the cashiers in the shops carelessly gave me extra change, I would give it back to them so that they wouldn’t get into trouble for losing money from the cash machine. I wouldn’t take anything that doesn’t belong to me. I wouldn’t accept any gifts or receive help from anyone, unless I knew the person who wanted to give me something or help me was pure and sincere.

I was very self-independent and self-initiative. I didn’t need my parents to wake me up in the morning to prepare myself to go to school. I was always punctual and be responsible for myself and all my duties. I always kept my promises that I made to other people. I would show up on time after I had arranged a date to meet up with my friends, even if the date was months later. I would do what I said I wanted to do for myself or for others. That’s why I don’t simply make promises to anybody unless I know I can do it.

My primary school’s class teacher was aware of the truthfulness and honesty in me. One day, she granted me an honour for being honest – In front of all the classmates, she stood up for me and guaranteed that I am an honest and truthful person who won’t tell lies or steal anything, to defend my innocence because of a little incident that happened in our classroom that day.

Someone in the class had been stealing things from most of the classmates from time to time. Things had been missing from our bags or desks. My colour pencils and water bottle also went missing.

One day, my classmate who sat in front of me told our teacher that his exercise book was missing. And so, our teacher called upon everyone and asked whoever took his exercise book to come forward and return the book. He or she would be excused and be forgiven. But there was nobody stepped forward or said anything. The entire class was never been so quiet. Then the teacher asked everyone to search their bags to see if there might be a chance that the exercise book was in one of our bags. I didn’t know what happened, but surprisingly, I found the exercise book in my bag.

Without any fear or guilt I told the teacher and everyone that the exercise book was in my bag and I honestly didn’t know why it was in my bag. I might have put it in my bag accidentally, or someone might had put it into my bag unintentionally or intentionally. For me, it really didn’t matter because I knew I didn’t take it or steal it. But then everyone had the same reaction of thinking that I must be the thief who had stolen the exercise book. The entire class went from silent to noisy. Everyone was pointing their fingers at me and whispering to each other, as if I was guilty for stealing the book. But because I was always being truthful, honest and straightforward, my teacher immediately stood up for me and defend my innocence. She asked everyone to believe in me that I was innocent and I was an honest and truthful person that I wouldn’t tell any lies or steal anything, and she would guarantee that. And so, everyone stopped judging me, but respected me for being a truthful and honest person from that moment.

Since then, my belief about being truthful and honest became stronger than before. By observing truthfulness and honesty will gain such trustworthy and respect from everyone. If somebody who was jealous of me tried to accuse me for something that I wasn’t responsible for, or if someone questioned about my honesty, the people who knew me would believe in me and stood up for me. That’s the power of truthfulness and honesty.

For the first three years in the primary school, I was very bad at Mandarin, but I was good at Malay and English. This was because I had went to an English medium kindergarten. I was good at mathematics and science too. I always paid attention in the class and would asked the teacher immediately after class if there was anything that I missed out or didn’t understand. I seldom study after school, but I could get good results for the examinations.

I was never being close to my two brothers and my sister. We seldom played together when I was growing up. I guess one of the reasons was because there were many years difference between me and them. It’s also because they went to English and Malay medium’s school. They didn’t know Chinese at all. And so, they couldn’t help me in my homework and study as all my subjects were in Chinese. Anyway, I didn’t need anyone to help me in my homework and study. I never needed to go for extra tuition classes like most of my classmates.

I also had very good image memory to remember what I had read. I didn’t need to revise what the teachers taught us in school everyday. I just needed to go to sleep early on the night before the exam, and got up at three in the morning. I browsed through the text book while listening to some music. I would remember page by page of what I had read and could answer the questions exactly like a print out from the book. Though I never bothered about the results and placing in the class, I often had very good results from the examinations. Maybe it was because my parents never pressured us and we didn’t feel that we needed to compete with other people or among our siblings. I never felt that I needed to be good enough so that I would receive love and attention from my parents. My parents never tried to bribe us with things or presents to encourage us to get good results in school examinations. They just told us to do our best. Even though my parents never pressured me to achieve good results, I was self-initiated to do well most of the time, not that I needed to prove to my parents or myself, but naturally, I just did well because I wanted to. My parents loved us the same even though my brothers weren’t very smart and always failed in most of the subjects in school examinations. I am really glad we have such parents.

On one of the celebration days where everyone cooked and ate glutinous rice dumpling, my family had came together to tease me. The lesson was we shouldn’t eat too much glutinous rice dumpling at one time no matter how delicious they are, as eating too much glutinous rice is indigestible and will cause drowsiness. When I came back from school that afternoon, I ate a few of the dumplings my mother made for the family and they were really delicious. Not long after eating, I felt really drowsy and I went for a nap which turned into a deep sleep for a few hours.

Then my mother came to my room to wake me up and told me that it was time to go to school. I was still in a very drowsy condition. I was blur-blur. I didn’t know what was going on and I believed what my mother said to me. I turned to look at the clock, it was six something. Usually the school bus came around that time in the morning to pick me up. At that moment, I heard the bus went passed our house.

I panicked. I was never late for anything. I quickly jumped off the bed and ran to the bathroom. I washed my face and brushed my teeth, ran back to my room and changed into my school uniform, took my school bag and ran out to the gate, and stood there waiting for the school bus to come back for me. I remembered that I was telling myself, “I haven’t done all my homework yet!”

When I was running to the bathroom which was located at the back of our house, I passed by the living hall and the kitchen. I saw my brother was in the living hall pumping the kerosene lamp for the house. Our house didn’t have electricity supply yet at that time. Meanwhile, my mother was cooking in the kitchen. Usually they wouldn’t be awake and do all these things in the early morning. When I ran out to the gate I also saw some children were talking and playing around. Usually nobody would be playing and making noise in the early hours. It all didn’t make sense, but I didn’t suspect anything because I was panicking about being late for school. I still hadn’t a clue what was going on. I was so blurred by the drowsiness and so naive to believe what my mother said to me – “It’s time to go to school.”

I was standing in front of the gate in my school uniform with my school bag.

A few moments later, everyone started to look at me and laughed. My mother came out from the house, grabbed me with her strong arms and carried me back into the house while telling me the truth that it was evening time, not morning! It was dinner time. That’s why there were children playing out there! That’s why my mother was cooking and my brother was pumping the kerosene lamp to light up the house! And the school bus that I heard was sending school children back home.

Until now we still remember what happened that day and we would laugh about it.

I was an outgoing girl who liked to ride my bicycle and went everywhere. I danced most of the time, climbed up the trees, and played with boys and fought with them playing “kung fu fighting”. I played football, basketball, baseball, badminton, flying kites and catching butterflies. I also played rope jumping, hide and seek, slippers throwing, hopscotch, ‘five stones’, and etc. I liked to hang out on the sand hills and the wood factory on top the hill opposite our house. Sometimes I hung out at my friend’s house. I was the leader of the gang of our friends in the village. Among of them were two sisters named Ya Li and Ya Fang. They lived further inside the village closer to the Klang river. There was a Sikh family who had a small cowshed near the river. They bred some cows for fresh milk and sold it in a big milk can placed on top of a bicycle going around the village. I liked to organize games like playing court case, where each of us played a character in the court. We also liked to sing in the school bus. Because of my energetic activities, I had several scars on my knees coming from falling onto the ground while playing and fell off the bicycle many times.

One day, I went to my friend’s house to sleep over. I brought my own pillow and bolster with me. I walked to her house which was about 200 meters away from our house. I was seven years old then. I was so embarrassed that day because I had peed on her bed in the middle of the night. I apologized to her parents the next morning. Everyone knew about it and teased me for that incident and laughed about it for some time. Though this childhood good friend of mine whose name was Lye Wan didn’t go to the school that I went to, she and I had spent so much time together as we grew up together in Kampung Pinang. We lost contact for more than 23 years after the village was gone. One day, she found me on Facebook in 2009.

I befriended a few other kids who were living in the same village, but not from the same school or taking the same school bus. I was good friend with a girl named Shi Huey who was five years younger than me whose house was right behind our house. She always came over to my house to play with me. She fell down on our terrace and lost two of her front teeth on my twelfth birthday’s party. I also knew a girl named Sally who was one year older than me. She came from a Catholic family. I spent lots of time hanging out with her for many years. She became a hairdresser and had her own hair salon near Old Klang Road. I even rented a room in her hair salon to set up my first aerobics dance studio when I was eighteen years old.

There was a Punjabi girl named Sonny who lived opposite my house had picked up Cantonese from being friend with me. We spent lots of time together cycling in and around the village. Sometimes I went to her house for Punjabi meal and she also came to our house for Chinese meal.

I was good friend with a brother and sister named Ah Sang and Ah Fong who were a few years younger than me. They lived next door to our house and we have the same surname. Our surname ‘Lai’ was not a common surname. In the Chinese tradition, those who have the same surname will treat each other like brother and sister even though they might not related to each other. They always came over to our house and we liked to climb up the big cherry tree in our garden. I even organized a ‘bank saving account’ game. I was the banker and a few of my friends would save some coins with me every day. I kept a note book and wrote down the amount of money that they gave me, or took out. Sometimes we would use the total savings to buy some snacks and shared among ourselves. Those were such happy days.

All these childhood happy days disappeared when my family suffered from financial problem for some reasons related to my sister and her late husband, which made me very angry and unhappy for more than two years. Anyway, he died from a horrific work accident years later.

During the financial difficult moments in our family, I had shut myself off from everybody. I was full of anger and hatred and I was very depressed. I didn’t want to talk to my family for a long time. I locked myself in the bedroom and danced every night for a few hours to release my unhappiness. I developed a very special affection for small insects during that time and would prefer to talk to little insects especially bugs, than talking to people. I went out in the middle of the night and sat on the hilltop by myself watching the stars in the sky. I was not afraid of anything.

It is true that a person who is full of anger and hatred will not be afraid of anything, not even God, Devil, or Hell. When a person has intense anger and hatred in the heart, he or she doesn’t believe in anything at all. And so, what is hell and what is God are meaningless to this person. I prayed to Devil when I was very angry and I cursed everything and everyone, including my parents, my family, the people on the street, the sun, the moon, the stars, and God, even though all these things, people and the universe has nothing to do with my unhappiness. I was so unhappy, angry and full of hatred.

My second elder brother was three years older than me. He was also disturbed by our family financial problems and became very cold and rebellious. He couldn’t forgive our parents and our sister and her late husband for many years. I left school a year before the secondary school final year, which was a pity, but I never regret about it because in the end, wisdom and peace and happiness are not coming from school education, but it’s coming from within ourselves through life experiences and self-realization. No doubt that school education is very important to learn how to read and write and communicate, to learn about different languages, cultures, religions, sports, morality, geography, history, mathematics, science and professional skills for living, but how many schools teach us how to be happy and have peace, or teach us how to transcend suffering and be free from unhappiness, ignorance, anger, hatred, greed, fear and worry?

We may have read a lot of books, have many talented skills, speak many languages, know about many things, have been to many places in the world, and have many friends, but it doesn’t guarantee that we will be free from suffering of anger, hatred, jealousy, greed, dissatisfaction, disappointment, doubts, fear and worry, and will have peace and be happy in life.

I was lucky to be able to transform myself and came out from misery that had kept me in two years of darkness. I started to talk to my parents again and showed love and care for them. But my brother was continuing to be very unhappy for many years. Only until recently he forgave my family and started to care for my parents again just a couple of years before my mother died, which was good for him and my parents. Or else, he would regret for the rest of his life, if he hadn’t forgave my parents before my mother died, and she wouldn’t have peace as well.

Though I wasn’t a sociable person at school I made a few true and sincere friends after spending six years together in the same class at the primary school. We continued to be friends and kept in touch with each other once in a while after we finished primary school. Sadly, one of them killed herself in 2004 just before I went to India for the Yoga Teachers Training Course. Her sudden death gave me a great reflection about life, suffering and happiness.

She was born into a broken family. Her father was a wealthy businessman. Her parents were forced to get married as her mother was pregnant with her at young aged. They were separated when my friend was just a few months old and both of them had formed another family after their divorce. Both her parents abandoned her. Her grandmother took her in and looked after her. She was very grateful for that and she loved her grandmother very much, which was also the reason why her depression became more serious when her grandmother passed away. She was one of the top graduates of higher education. She worked as a marketing manager in a big advertising company, and smoked at least 2 packets of cigarettes a day.

Her first marriage lasted for one year. She married to the man whom she thought she knew very well after being best friend for 10 years. The husband was well-educated and had a high income nine to five office job, just like some other well-educated men.

Not long after they were married, she then realized her newly-wed husband was like a complete stranger to her. She started to discover many things that she didn’t know about him. She was so shocked with the truth of his real personality and was deeply disappointed with their relationship and marriage. She didn’t know that he was such an irresponsible man until they lived together sharing a life under the same roof. She found out that her husband was addicted to gambling seriously. She knew he gambled occasionally just like all the other Chinese community, but she thought that was just one of the leisure activities that most Chinese like to engage with. He liked to go to Genting Highlands Casino for gambling. Unfortunately, he lost a lot of money and started to borrow money from the loan sharks money lender. He lost all the money borrowed from the loan sharks and didn’t have the money to pay back the loan. He secretly went to her father and borrowed a lot of money from him. He lied to her father about why he needed to borrow so much money and convinced him not to let her know about it. He took all the money borrowed from her father to Genting Highlands again for more gambling hoping to win back what he had lost, but instead, he lost everything he had. He couldn’t pay back the loan sharks and was in debt with the father-in-law. And so, what he did? He ran away without telling her and went missing for many months without any contact from him.

What worst was, he didn’t just run away. He also took all her savings in cash which she kept in the house. She didn’t want to keep money in the banks. She said she didn’t trust the bank. She taught she could trust her husband, but she was wrong.

She only found out the truth about her husband when the loan sharks came to her house looking for the husband, and threatened her to pay back the money borrowed by her husband who had ran away shamelessly. She also found out about the husband had borrowed lots of money from her father. She was completely heartbroken.

Meanwhile she found out that she was pregnant, which the husband had no idea about it. She was supposed to be very happy for having to be pregnant because she always wanted to have her own children ever since she was a young girl. She strongly believed that a woman’s life wouldn’t be complete until she had her own children to form a perfect family. She was very worried for her unborn child to have such an irresponsible, selfish and shameless father. She made a very heart-breaking decision. She went for an abortion out of great anger and disappointment. She felt guilty for that afterwards and had regretted it for the rest of her life. She filed a divorce after her husband’s disappearance for many months. He showed up one day to sign the divorce paper, but seeing him again was like putting salt onto the existing wounds.

Few years later she met another well-educated man also with a decent high income job. She fell in love and got married again. Not long after they were married, she got pregnant not once, but twice. She was very happy to have her own children that she always dreamt of. She was determined to quit smoking while she was pregnant for the sake of the baby’s health. She continued her two boxes of cigarettes every day as soon as she stopped breast feeding.

She suffered post natal depression after the first baby. She recovered, but not for long. She wanted another baby to fulfill her wish to have a few children to complete her perfect happy family life. She was pregnant again two years later and gave birth to another baby boy. We went to her house to visit her and the baby. She didn’t talk about her problems. She seemed happy with her wishes came true and was very loving towards her new born baby boy. Her husband seemed like a good gentleman.

A few months later, one of our classmates called me in great distressed and told me that she had passed away about a month ago. The three of us used to hang out together frequently before her second marriage and the two pregnancies. We didn’t know what had happened to her or how she died. Nobody knew anything about her sudden death, not any of our classmates. The husband didn’t inform anyone of us about her death and the funeral. I had called her and texted her many times before and after her death, but there was no reply. Then only I knew why she hadn’t returned my calls and messages. Because she was dead. We couldn’t keep in the dark and wanted to find out what had happened to her.

My friend called her husband. The husband didn’t want to tell her anything about her death, but just said that the two boys were living with his parents in Penang. We were looking for an answer. Finally, we found our answer from an old newspaper dated November 9th, 2004. It was really heart-breaking and painful for us to read the article about her death. The article was about how she had jumped from her 15th floor apartment’s balcony and fell to her death instantly in the morning about 10.30 a.m. on November 8th, 2004. The neighbours told the reporters that they always heard arguments from her apartment about money issues.

We knew about her death in December 2004, and I went to India in early January 2005. I was very sad about her death, but I was more determined to find out the truth about suffering and the path of liberation from suffering. She had chosen what she wanted to do with her life. I respect her decision.

That was the past. I continued my journey in search for real peace and happiness.

Thanks to the Dhamma, Madonna and everyone who had inspired and helped me to come out from miseries. Thanks to my parents who didn’t question me for my bad behaviour and they didn’t abandon me and were very patient with me, and continued to love me and care for me, gave me their supports to pursue my dreams in dancing, and for me to have the opportunity to teach aerobics classes for making a living to support myself and my parents.

My mother was the driver who sent me everywhere to teach aerobics classes. She waited in the car park until I finished teaching and then sent me back home because I didn’t learn how to drive yet, not until I was thirty three years old. I had fear of crossing the road and fear of driving in the past because I was involved in a few car accidents as a passenger when I was a child. It would take me very long time to cross over the road. I would wait until there was completely no cars in sight to cross the road. But now it’s a different story. I love and enjoy driving very much. I’m free from fear. After I learned how to drive and bought a small car to travel in and around Kuala Lumpur, I managed to teach a lot more aerobics classes which led to a higher income that allowed me to have a little bit of savings for myself after giving money to support my parents’ living every month.

And thanks to myself, who had uplifted and loved myself and saved myself out of the ocean of ignorance and suffering.

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