What do you expect from a relationship? There is an expectation in almost all relationships we have. We might not be aware of it until our heart gets hurt.
What do we do then? We stay away from those who have hurt our hearts. This is the easiest way, not necessarily the right way nor effective way. We stay away physically, though mentally we might still think about it. We still carry this hurt in our mind. Sometimes we also speak about it to people. Everytime we are giving our attention (energy) to it, the hurt becomes stronger. We sustain the hurt through this way.
The weak one will do that. But the courageous one will work on the inside. They will realize the expection they have from the relationship that they thought has given that hurt, and start working on it. It needs courage. To deal with the self always needs more courage. Many people are not ready to see themselves being fragile and weak inside. But if you choose this way, you will become so strong inside. Your heart is strong and protected. And you will stop blaming anyone or situation to be the reason for your hurt. Because it is always the expectation!
What can you expect from a small heart? If your heart is small, you can not expect an abundant love. Your heart is where you can generate true love abundantly. Love that flows from the inside out. It is said if you want love, give it. Love is to be shared not to be taken. Energy attracts energy. So love attracts love. But when your heart is small, it can only love conditionally. You put conditions in giving your love to others. ‘I love you, if you also love me.’ ‘I love you, if you do what I say.’ ‘I love you this much, and you should also love me back this much.’ It becomes like a business deal. It is definitely not a true love. A true love never expects anything in return. You just give it (the energy).
A conditional love is like a tap. You can turn it on and also turn it off. ‘I can love you, but I also can stop loving you.’
Make you heart so big that you can generate so much love. A big heart filled with love is a contented heart, a happy heart. Your heart is not needy for love.
A friend told me that she had decided to divorce her husband. She has talked about it with him. When she shared it to me, I could feel that she was feeling so relieved. She said that she was amazed by herself for being very calm while talking to him about this separation, no emotion was involved. She said that she had been listening to the ‘real I’ a lot and it helped her in controlling her emotion. I was happy listening this from her, not for the divorce, but for the way she handled herself.
She said to me that she did not love him anymore, so she wanted to end the marriage. They had gone through so much conflict. It was not healthy for both of them and also for their children. But she said that her husband still loved her. I replied ‘Wait, is it a real love?’ True love never hurts. If it hurts, it is not a true love.
This short conversation reminded me to a book written by Echart Tolla. I read the book long time ago. It is said in the book that ‘I love you’ often means ‘I need you’. So it is a self-centered love. Because it is self-centered, so expectation is involved – there is dependency and possessiveness. Of course it is not true love. True love is liberating. True love is without any expectation. True love is not self-centered.
She paused for a moment and finally said “Yes, he loves himself.”
In every workshop on journaling, I always encourage people to start writing with an honest heart. Open the heart and start writing the feelings out, because this is how the heart will get healed. Be honest with the self by writing the feeling out.
Some people find it so hard to do it. They said that they have fear that others might read their journal, that other might know their feelings. Is it really harmful if others know what you feel? Fear is definitely unhealthy. It doesn’t make the soul free. Someone shared that when she was a teenager, someone read her diary and told everyone about what she wrote in the diary. This made her really ashamed and since then she stopped writing it.
For me, journaling is the best way to deal with any negative feeling and finish it quickly. I agree that some emotions might be so strong and it takes more time to finish. You might need to journal it several times. But it will definitely become weaker and weaker if you keep journaling it. Finally it will finish completely. When it finishes, you don’t feel it anymore. You still remember the situation, but the feeling is no longer there. Then if others know what you felt, it will be okay with you. I remembered I shared my journal with a friend. I read it for her. She knew what I was writing about. She knew my situation, what I felt and also how I was dealing with that. We laughed together.
This journaling is primarily for the self, not for anyone else. In fact this is a good practice to know the self better, and understand the self better. It is a practice to develop self-awareness. In the long run, it will build a healthy relationship with the self. When you have a good relationship with the self, you will find it very easy to relate to anyone. It is just not possible to have a good relationship with others when the relationship with the self is not healthy.
My friend wanted to introduce me to her long time good friend. It was interesting, she said : “I am sure you will like her. She is a feminist.” I said to her that I was not a feminist. And she quickly clarified : “No,no, I mean that you might get an inspiration to write through meeting and talking with her.”
I think she is right. I get an inspiration to write in my journal book or in this blog mostly after meeting and talking with people. So I always love to meet people – new people, long time contacts or strangers. It is always interesting to talk with them. I believe that each one has hidden amazing things that we do not know until they are talking with us.
I always remind myself that anyone I meet always has something I could learn from. And I never miss the lesson.
Someone asked me to moderate a panel discussion last year. I don’t remember the topic of the discussion specifically anymore. I think it was about having self respect and maintaining humility at the same time. There would be two speakers. I prepared a list of questions the night before for the discussion.
In the next morning I thought I would like to talk to each speaker and share the list of the questions. The first speaker said : ”You can ask me anything.” She didn’t want to see the list. I thought it was good for me, so I could ask any question. Then I talked to the second speaker. He wanted to read the list. He went through the questions one by one and he asked me to take out one question from the list. It was a very personal question. I asked them to share their personal stories on maintaining their humility while dealing with difficult people. Whether they succeeded or not, it wouldn’t matter. I realized that not everyone found it easy and comfortable to share an honest story about themselves.
We always could learn from other’s story. I believe that we can learn more from someone’s experience than just from information. Infomation is a theory and experience is a practice. Because experience is coming from the heart so it will inspire people more. Sharing an experience is always much better than sharing an information. It is a heart-to-heart sharing.
One morning I had a conversation with a friend. I happenedly met him on my way to the dining hall for my breakfast and he just finished his breakfast. I realized that I was so late.
Frank : Tini, what are you doing? Me : Do you really want to know (the answer)? Frank : Well, I am asking you for the sake of politeness Me : I am making friend with squirrels Frank : What? (He might not hear my answer quite clearly) Me : I am making friend with squirrels and birds. (I tried to make it more clearly for him) Do you make friend with them too? Frank : No! I don’t make friend with animals. (He showed disagreement on his face)
It was very clear that we were challenging to each other. Being unfriendly to each other. I thought we did it on purpose just to create an argument to challenge each other. When I shared to someone who was a real dog lover that Frank didn’t like animals, she immediately showed disagreement on her face. Very quickly I clarified “Well, we know Frank. In fact he has a very kind and gentle heart.”
When I met Frank the next morning he asked me if I saw David or not for the squirells. I showed him the video and I could see a very big smile on his face.
Sorry for not being able to upload the video here, but trust me it was really cute to capture the squirrel very closely.
Someone shared her thoughts on how to become creative. She said that we should learn from children to be creative. I notice that most children are very creative. Their spirits are free….to explore everything. They have no worries and no fears in their spirits. They are not aware of what fear is. Each one of us was very creative when we were so young. When we grew up, we suppressed this spirit. We started creating fears and worries of what people might think about us. We started creating fear of being rejected by others. We might then stop doing something because of this fear. At some point in our life we might miss that spirit in us.
I remember when I was in a retreat, I escaped from one of the morning sessions, I went to the garden in the corner of the campus instead. The garden was small, beautiful and quiet. It was really enjoyable to sit there especially in the morning hour. I also could enjoy little birds and squirrels. They were running around on the ground, jumping from one twig to another. Sometimes they went so close to my feet. I really enjoyed it.
That morning I had an appointment with David who stayed above the garden. David is an artist and a musician. He promised to teach me how to feed squirrel at 7 o’clock. I was so excited about it. My heart said “If I can touch and hold the squirrel with my hand, it would be an achievement for me”. We might think that this kind of thought belongs to a child, not an adult. I knew it was the spirit of a little child in me who had that thought. David was ready with bread crumbles in his hand. He then made a little sound to call the squirrels with his mouth. We sat there and maintained silence. We should not make any movement that would create a feeling of threat in the squirells. We created a feeling of love to the squirrels. I said in my mind that we were friends and we loved to meet and play. I held that thought and created a feeling of friendship. We waited patiently and after a while one squirrel came closer to us. It jumped onto David’s lap and started eating the bread. It was so cute. I took the video of it. I hope I can share the video next time here. Then David gave the bread crumbles to me. I held it in my hand and the squirrel came to my lap and started eating the bread. The spirit of a little child in me was so happy.
Nurture this spirit inside you and you will experience so much freedom and joy.
A young successful businessman dropped to my friend’s house one day. He knew my friend from someone he met while he was flying with Singapore Airlines during his business trip. I didn’t know what he was told about her. It might be something very positive and interesting that he wanted to meet and know her. She was a good friend of mine, I had known her for more than 20 years.
When he dropped by, my friend was preparing her lunch; a very simple dish. My friend was a very simple person leading a simple life, but a very happy person. She was a warm-hearted person, very honest and open. Everybody enjoyed talking to her. She liked connecting people. Her friends were various from a taxi driver to a minister and a president. She was very sweet and humble. She treated everyone with kind heart. She respected everyone. I remember she called her house maid as her manager to whom she listened to. She was just a darling for everyone. She had a really beautiful personality.
So they ended up having lunch together, not in an expensive restaurant but in her house, having a very simple lunch. They were chatting and sharing. He enjoyed talking to my friend, and enjoyed the simple lunch. At the end of the conversation he said to my friend “I whished I have 10% of your happiness”.
In memory of my dearest and nearest friend, Helen Margareth Quirin.
If I asked myself what lesson I have learned from journaling? Surely I got some benefits from doing this for almost 4 years consistently. It has healed my heart. It makes my mind very light, as it finishes the burden on my head. It frees me from stress. It brings clarity in my intellect. But one biggest lesson is that it teaches me how to be honest with myself. An honest journaling of my feelings and thoughts have become the biggest gift that I can give to myself.
Do you think you need to learn to be honest to yourself? We have learned to please others so much. We might seek approvals from others for what we are doing, what we are wearing,what we are eating, where we are going. We might also seek approval from other people to feel happy. Probably we have done it since childhood. We didn’t know how to create happiness in ourselves without others’ approval.
We might only realise that when we start journaling, we find it is hard to be honest. It is hard to just write your feeling and thoughts honestly. There is still fear of what others going to think about me if they read my journal or they know what was in my mind. Then we do filtering while writing about our feelings because of this fear. i remember when I was in a workshop on journalling, someone shared her experience in this, that she was afraid that her husband might read what she wrote in her journal book.