Ever since I was young, I always searched for answers about life. I tried to unlock the secrets and mysteries of events and people around me. What can I say? I am an extremely complicated kid… sometimes too complicated and analytical for my own good… Or perhaps I was just a very lonely kid that needed lots of answers.
I remember the hours I spent in bookstores and library reading self help books (coz could not really afford to buy them). I wanted all the “whys” in my life answered.
Searching for answers led me to study about horoscopes when I was about 14. Maybe a person’s behaviour could be mapped towards the time and date of birth? Mostly people use horoscope to predict future, life, luck, love, etc… But I studied it as a science to predict a person’s behaviour and compatibility. That, and combined with pyschology, was the center of my interest till I was well into my twenties. After a while, I did observe that there are some collabarity between a person’s star sign and their behaviour. Unfortunately, this turned me into a being a bit judgemental of people, hardly giving people the benefit of the doubt.
Psychology…. we analyze and disect each part of our lives and find out that probably, somehow, every single dysfunctional behaviour in us are somehow tied to our parents and surroundings. Very Freudian in nature. In other words, when something goes terribly wrong in our lives, when we are stuck in abusive or damaging relationships, there are various theories tied to how we were denied love when we were young, etc.
One thing I noticed that Western psychology books (those bestsellers) sold in the market… often aim to identify the root cause of all problems but…. hardly offer much solution. So you managed to dig out all the of skeletons in your own closets. Now, what are you going to do with them? To me, psychology helps us to look for the skeletons but not how to deal with them. And if we do not know how to deal with the scary skeletons, it may cause more harm than good.
In university I even took up psychology paper and attempted to write a paper about the connection between psychology and behaviour tied to a person’s astrological science (haha, you may laugh at this). But I was also busy with my final year lab work and at the same time, I was also discovering Buddhism, falling in love…. so that took too much time. So I droppped the paper.
By the time I was 24, I felt I had everything in life… a good and promising career, a budding public speaker, finally staying in a proper house (no longer a house that leaked whenever it rains). Then suddenly my entire world collasped … I would not dwell into details here- suffice to say that I would not even wished the unfortunate events on my worst enemies. Success, fame, material gains and career meant NOTHING. The only thing that kept me from falling apart is the inner strength that came from the meditation practice that I had acquired from university days.
One thing I have learned in life: always know what are your true and real priorities in life. Hint: it’s often never got to do with having lots of money, super demanding career or fame. It’s always go to do with how often you have spent time with people who means much to you, and what is the difference that you have made to the lives of others. Never neglect what that truly matters such as your loved ones, true friends or your heart’s true calling.
For those who have no one, then dedicate your life to help others. Sometimes we feel so lonely and think we are probably the only ones experiencing that gnawing emptiness in the whole wide world. The truth: many people are lonely and sad too. For instance, last December, I bought lots of eatible stuff and make into mini packages. Then, on Christmas eve, I dragged my brother along with me to General Hospital to distribute them to the patients.
Even though I am not a Christian, I’ve always felt the love and warmth that comes with Christmas. No one should be sad on Christmas. I started distributing with the 3rd class cancer wad. There are patients there, some with their family members. But what made me sad are some of the patients who lying on their beds, dying of cancer… and alone. So sometimes we may be too engrossed in our own miseries to remember the blessings that we have in our lives.
To grow, we have to be willing to unlearn many things in life. For instance, Astrology: You know, people are more complicated than what their star signs claimed they be. Finally, it is all up to us… 2 persons can be deemed incompatible, and yet they worked to overcome their differences. They learn from each other’s differences, give space and respect for each other. The differences are then transformed into strengths. I have seen this in many people- like in marriages of the older generations that lasts for decades.
On the other hand, I have seen people who were supposed to be compatible, but due to their inner insecurities, lack of trust or tolerance- caused the breakup. Sometimes when my friends asked me about star sign compatibility, I always tell them it is up to them to determine if the relationship will work. Read with an open mind, mostly to understand the differences but never use it as an ultimate guide.
Buddhism taught me to look within and take accountability for faults and shortcomings that I can change. Western pyschology focuses too much on the “victim” mentality… claiming we are what we are because of our background, our upbringing or our parents or whatever. There is always something or someone else to pass to buck to. Actually, what we need to so is to stop focusing on our big pride and ego, acknowledge and accept the experience, learn from it…. and let it go.
Until you stop blaming others or circumstances, and instead focused within your self, you can never truly be happy. And if you can never truly be happy, you cannot make anyone happy either. It’s not what I quote from some psycho book but something I verified through my own life’s experience. Just to share, there was a time in my life that I met with a lot of untrue people. People who deceived and told lies. I had always felt unfortunate, sorry for myself (for meeting and trusting them) and blamed them. Until I look at my ownself… and realised that haven’t I myself be always untrue to others also? I also have the habit of telling untrue things and sometimes deceiving others.
Something deep down inside told me that if I want truth, then I must give truth to both myself and others. It may take sometime to wipe up the effects of the past, but after a while, the results will come.
So I consciously do my best to say and do what I meant. To practice sincerity and be true to our ourselves and others. After sometime (I think, close to a year), I really started seeing results. My life will cross paths with those who eventually become a true and sincere friends. Trust me, it is well worth it.
Many of the time we do not want to open our hearts for fear of getting hurt. I believed that we are in each other’s lives for a reason. Sometimes, when the lesson is achieved…. it is time to part. Even if we are still with the same person, the relationship would have changed… to the better or worst. I find that to be true, even in worst relationships that I’ve known- that we always learn something valuable. When the time come to let go, we must find the strength to do so and move on.