Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Old and New Year's Resolutions

Before writing my first entry for 2014, I went back to read what a wrote a year ago, to see if I had any victories to report (who am I kidding, I thought it would be easier to quote something else rather than writing an entirely original piece, but I know you love me anyway.)
I want to start with an apology for my lack of new posts in the past few weeks. I have been rather busy and then down with a stinking flu (I'm not really fully recovered yet).
That is still true, a year on. No posts for over a month and I am once again down with a stinking flu!
It's so nice to see certain things never change! (not).

I'm now going to go through the determinations. I'm quite annoyed I did not put them down as a nice bullet point list. What the heck was I thinking?

I'll sort it now.

1. winning absolutely
2. winning over my limitations
3. challenge myself to keep up my youthful spirit even more.
4. see my district grow
5. see the young women in my care flourish and win
6. make the best of my Dedicated Lilac training, enjoy every activity and feel the wonderful team I'm part of become even stronger and more cohesive.  
7. learn to truly love myself for what I am. 
8. being exactly the kind of person I can, and want to be, the kind of person I can like, love and respect, rather than obsessing over what other people think of me and quite literally allow my self esteem to depend upon other people's life state.

That's scary.

K then.

1. LOL.
2. uber-LOL
3. I haven't really focussed on that especially, but I think it somehow happened.
4. and 5. Now, then. That's a biggie. My district is numerically smaller now than it was then. However during this year I have learnt to embrace the fluctuating karma of my area and I stopped setting myself unrealistic numerical targets. Instead, I determined that every single Young Woman who spent even just a day in my district would feel embraced and supported by me. And funnily enough, the second I stopped forcing reality and complaining and I started just chanting sincerely for my district, reality took on a much nicer shape. I'm so happy in the district right now.
6. I am enjoying Dedicated Lilac so much. In May I have been appointed Vice Team Leader. The Team Leader is one of my best friends, and our team is absolutely SICK. I love supporting those young women. Really. They even liked my study schedule, I mean, hello?
7. and 8. Boy, reading those two was a big wake up call.

Recently, and by that I mean yesterday, I had one of those moments where I really didn't like myself. I felt bitter and full of negativity, contemplated giving up and running away instead of putting my unhappiness in front of the Gohonzon. That was work related rubble (we have a new boss and I realised I have unrealistic expectations about her, this is already changing), but then older issues, like my relationship with my body, came back. 
I spent most of the evening battling the sickeningly sweet thoughts of stopping eating again. Nothing is more alluring than that voice in your head telling you how much better you would feel, how easy it is to just starve yourself for a bit. Then there's the counter-voice that propels you to the fridge to eat, a lot, everything you can find, so you smother the voice.

Keeping sane in the middle of those two voices is not easy. People who did not suffer from an eating disorder have no idea how hard it is, sometimes, to just have a normal meal and not attach feelings to food.

Yesterday I looked at myself, at the whole of me, not just the body, and with enormous effort picked up the pieces again. Yes, I am ill and debilitated. Yes, it's almost that time of the month and I am hormonal. Yes, seeing the new teacher throwing away everything from my best friend's desk shocked me, because I miss her so much since she retired, being in school without her has been an absolute nightmare, I feel isolated and excluded and not emotionally very different from the bullied child I used to be.

Yes to all of the above.

But, and that's a big but, all of the above does not, ultimately, matter.

I want to share one of the most inspiring things I read in 2013. It's from Newsletter 8836.
Before I share it, just one more thing. I honestly don't know how people who are not Buddhist go on in life without the type of inspiration and support I receive every day from SGI. I receive so much guidance and "stuff" that I end up getting jaded about it and taking it for granted. Sod that. And kudos to the human beings around me, who actually don't have a specific place to look when they need wisdom or comfort. Many of them don't even think they need it. 

Sensei says:

As youth who live in today’s increasingly uncertain times, unprecedented problems and complex challenges lie ahead of you. But because you uphold the Mystic Law from your youth and live your lives together with the SGI, there is no stumbling block that you cannot break through. I can say with complete confidence that there is absolutely no adversity that you cannot transform, based on the Buddhist principle of “changing poison into medicine.” 

Faith is the courage to never give up. It means never giving up on the potential of your own life and that of others. It means never giving up on expanding happiness. It means never giving up on the victory of our cause. It means never giving up on creating peace. Faith, above all, is the courage to never ever give up on widely propagating the Mystic Law.

You are my direct disciples who will be “bluer than the indigo”—your achievements certain to surpass my own. You are the ones who will follow in my footsteps to lead long, long lives of great mission that will require unwavering commitment. 

The Daishonin’s spirit of “What greater joy could there be?” expresses the very essence of faith. May your lives always powerfully resound with this same positive conviction. Please fearlessly and calmly discern the true nature of all obstacles with deep faith, and then confidently, wisely, and cheerfully overcome them. I hope you will also reach out to others near and far, and share with them the path of human revolution, which is a source of unsurpassed hope, fulfillment, and joy. (emphases mine)

And this is why all those yeses did not matter.
Because when you fearlessly and calmly discern the true nature of all those yeses, it is clear that the nature is one and the same. They are Fundamental Darkness. 
So there is no point in delving into them, and there is no point in feeling like an abject failure because I feel negativity, because I think I was too "me" with the new teacher and now she's not going to like me, or because I am still not thin and thought about starving myself (and also because once again I didn't even have the guts to go through with starving myself, believe it or not).
This is all Fundamental Darkness.

And why am I receiving such a mighty attack from all fronts?

I think it might have something to do with 2014.

2014, Ladies and Gentlemen,  is the Year of Opening a New Era for Worldwide Kosen Rufu.
This is deep stuff. S**t is going to get real this year.
But I have this to say: I am stronger than ever, and I will, once again, win.

My resolutions are quite similar to last year's.
I'll put them down in a slightly different version:

1. Courage.
2. Turning karma into mission.
3. Support every Young Woman in my district with my whole life, whether they are here for a day or forever.
4. Kick ass as a Chapter Lilac Chief, instead of waiting for others to tell me what to do and cower in the corner.
5. Come to think of it, support any young woman I encounter. Yes, that means also those people at work who scare the fuck out of the bullied kid inside me and trigger the more negative side of me.
6. Make the best of my last five months of Dedicated Lilac training, use every activity to polish my karma and support my team to the best of my ability.  
7. Continue on the path to truly love myself for what I am. 
8. And this can stay as it is: strive to be exactly the kind of person I can, and want to be, the kind of person I can like, love and respect, rather than obsessing over what other people think of me and quite literally allow my self esteem to depend upon other people's life state.

Bring it on, 2014!

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