Sunday, October 10, 2010

Inner World Journey

In a few months, December, I will be returning to the United States. In my mind I have been assessing what has happened to me since coming here in March of this year. One of the things that I have noticed is that I have been forced to deal more with myself than I would have normally. Most people around me speak a language that I don't understand. It is hard to get books in English although I have a reader and this computer and the Internet. I am for the most part isolated.

I have been going to a church on Sundays only because they speak English during the service which is getting me down as I don't believe in their doctrines and have major disagreements with many of their interpretations of the Bible. I am not a Christian but am interested enough in the Bible as an avid reader to overcome that, but not in overcoming their interpretation of who is in compliance of God's law and who is not. For example, they are not open and affirming to all groups of people. That is, they will accept gay and lesbian people into their meetings but it is clear they condemn their so-called life style. They are very nice people,though, and I would hate to give up going there.

The one person that I have been getting to know better is myself. This is a surprise. I thought I had been pretty good in writing in my journal, meditation every morning and so on. I haven't even scratched the surface if I can use slang here. There has been a lot of things that I have learned about myself that I did not know before because I had no other choice but to explore myself a bit more since there are no other people to talk to but myself for the most part.

I am writing full time now and established a routine so I won't end up doing nothing; and that means working more in my journal since that task sharpens my writing skills and directs my writing projects a bit more. That also means delving deeper into my self and that has brought up some surprises. It always astounds me that no one really knows the person they live with as a spouse or partner and even less the self.

For instance, I am far more spiritual than I ever thought I was. I used to hide this from friends when I was growing up. There are options that are open for men who have strong spiritual interests as becoming priests, ministers, monks and others but not too many for women. The only ones are nuns and they have little power over their own lives and cannot explore spiritual matters on their own. I tended to keep my spiritual interests hidden to some extent and when I was with people who were strong believers in their own faith it was hard not to question their beliefs especially when it contradicted what I thought was the spirit of what the Eternal stood for. Now, that I discovered this I have no intention of inflicting my beliefs on those who just want to be Christians on Sundays and good people on the rest of the week. I have to accept people's limitations.

Sometimes, each of us believe we have been disliked because of some unknown reason but I find being a loner and a reader I may have hurt my friends feelings when I took off to the library or other places to do my own thing while they did things such as socialize that I did not care to do as much. There was really nothing wrong with neither my friends or myself but a misunderstanding. I know my parents did not always understand me either since I did things they did not understand either such I was the first to complete school and get advanced degrees. They thought I should just get married like my sister.

Being a Buddhist, I know I needed to examine past attachments and disengage so that I won't hold past anger. I used these excursions into the past to do that. The more I did it, the more I realized that everyone was just trying to survive the best they could. No one was against me and that those episodes that I was holding grudges were episodes in which people were mad at me, probably, at the time. I did not have to say "I forgive you" and so on. There was nothing to forgive anyone for.

I have a few extra pounds and sometimes I think those pounds are like a wall of flesh that I use to protect myself. I explored that too. I think that is why I have been able to start losing the weight that I have not been able to for years. I find that I don't need to have this wall of fat anymore. I can protect myself without it. There are bullies out there. I can effectively protect without putting anything between myself and people. I can tell people that it is not ok to talk to me like that or just remove myself from the situation. I also explored why I was so easily bullied in the first place.

I have been afraid of going back home in a sense. I don't want a return to the old world, so I have been exploring that as well. There are no guarantees in life and there certainly are no guarantees in this either. Still, I will have the exact same tools in the States as I have now. I can do this. It has been good being in Korea.

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