A Ship to cross the Sea of Suffering

"Real happiness is found in the struggles we undergo to realise our goals, in our efforts to move forward." Daisaku Ikeda

Feeling the fear and doing it anyway

Today has been such an emotional journey. But one that Im really proud to have persevered through. Possible rant ahead.

Last night I ended up falling asleep quite early, say — 11.30pm thinking that it was early enough, to ignore setting my alarm. But to my surprise I woke up at 1pm!! I just couldn’t believe this. I had 45 minutes to get to my sexual abuse counseling.

It’s very unlike me to sleep like that! so I must have needed it. But unfortunately for me, I was rushed into a fragile state of mind the minute I checked the clock. Monday’s are my day. A day for me to get mentally prepared to talk and work through shifting some of the trauma and karma I accumulated from age 5 -19.  Mental preparation being the key here.

I went. And it was good albeit the lack of mental preparation – Although hard, and as I continue to build a trusting platform with the counselor I have I am sure that we will deepen our journey into the realms of my past.

It has been perhaps 6-7 times that I have seen this counselor, and there have been many struggles in my mind as to how I feel about the service and The process as a whole – For this ground is new territory. At least it feels that way..

It just baffles me that as a ‘survivor’ of sexual abuse, I now have to pay money to heal from what someone else imposed upon me on the first place. And yes this is a wee diversion from the essence of my post, but I just felt it apt to air a root cause of the mental distress behind my day associated to seeing a therapist.  I clearly see value in the service, and have ample gratitude for the skill and knowledge contained within the profession – so my point is not the SUM of money it is the ACTION of a ‘survivor’ or ‘victim’ having to pay for a service they need, because of the actions of another? How on earth can our system work this way? SMH anyway..I will exercise some self control here.

I’ve been with many psychologists, psychiatrists, counselors, social workers and advocates along the years, but this one just feels different. Perhaps the difference lies in the fact that I have chosen to focus on a main issue. It is the bubble that brings me into the room – The lingering secrecy.  Yet still I get lost in myself, and my life… all the intricacies that are ME. The influences, the habits, the behaviors that I’ve adopted throughout my childhood sometimes blurring into an inherent part of me. Yet creating an awareness that it is learnt. Those lines, those boxes, these speeches, thoughts, actions, feelings, reactions, habits…. are yours and mine combined. Theirs and yours mixed and mingled, tied around me and I’m starting to unravel.

Connecting the dots to where I have adopted parts of me. Understanding why I do what I do… when facing stresses.

You know it’s funny because, as a human living in this society I just want to be right. I want to be perfect. But I’m not. And I know it. I have reached a point of letting go, when it comes to hiding what I am truly experiencing. Having become sick of trying to keep it together, I embrace my emotions and am learning to sit with them, without self medicating, without drowning them out with something to numb the pain and feelings. It’s hard. And there is a long road ahead of me.

I got out of bed today, because I knew that my choice to face the fear is bigger than just me. IT is what I am connected to on a grand scale. I got out of bed, because I knew that I had asked for these challenges. It is my choice to face my healing now, instead of later… And If I want to be a role model for those who will one day want to follow in the same path – I must pave a path ahead forged of only the best bricks and sand…

I must not begrudge my life, and the sufferings I encounter because I know deep within my heart that these trials will only make me grow stronger, and allow me to forge a deeper more sturdy path.

I was proud of my efforts today. Even though my mind was trapped in a bubble of thought and memory – uncovering the meaning behind what I was experiencing – I felt strength in knowing that I was choosing to fight through it without sheltering my rawness.

It’s hard not to feel sad or angry at things that have happened but, I must also hold gratitude for the lessons and foundation. All of the things that have torn, and built me shine like a beacon from my heart. Illuminating the way, through encouragement and empowerment. Although some days it just looks like a stain.

Today was hard, and it has felt dark and stormy…. But here I am at the end of it filled with pride, and a sense of value for the lessons and growth I have accumulated through today’s emotional upheaval. I have valued my struggle, valued my perseverance to see the days tasks through and in the end valued the reflection and realizations that I’ve had within it all.

“Life is like photography, We develop from the negatives.” Author unknown

I had a fellow member share this piece of encouragement and found it rather fitting for this post, and my feelings today – enjoy.  Please note the reference to the four devils is that of obstacles and inherent devilish functions in our own behavior as human beings.

“The important thing is how we approach the three obstacles and four devils. We need to “own” them, to look at them as something we ourselves have summoned up. It may seem that we are being assailed by the three obstacles and four devils, but the true reality is just the opposite. Because we have voluntarily set oursevles to the task of climbing the peak of Buddhahood, they have arisen. The fact that we encounter these obstacles and devillish functions is proof that we are upholding the correct teaching and advancing in the right direction. We are in charge; we are the protagonists. The three obstacles and four devils are a trial we must surmount in order to attain lasting happiness imbued with the noble virtues of Buddhahood. When we achieve that awareness, then the struggle against the three obstacles and four devils is indeed a great joy.
…As Nichiren Daishonin writes: When a tiger roars, gales blow; when a dragon intones, clouds gather” (WND-1,799). When we adopt the attitude – “I summoned this storm!”- our hearts will be filled with a bright sense of hope and purpose.”


May there be peace in your heart, xx


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