Learning To Grow: A Sharing (Jing & Me)

Jing Jing (the friend who emailed me to ask about my previous post on suffering) and I have another set of correspondence on the theme of growth and self-discovery.  This is such a universal theme that I felt continuing to share it with all of you would be nice. Jing’s of a like mind and has agreed to have this posted as well (the block quotes are Jing’s words). We hope you enjoy our writing! :P

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Hi Jing,

Yes, thank you for your long reply too! :) ha ha… after reading your reply, I do feel that you got what I was trying to say. :)

ya i am still trying hard to do that. to really open up myself to ME! to see, understand and accept then maybe finally love myself.hahaha.

I like the way you put it! “really open up myself to ME!” :) It’s so true… many people don’t even realize that they aren’t able to really be honest with themselves. It’s not something we find out unless we try to improve our relationship with ourself. Self-reflection and self-knowledge… it takes time, effort and courage, but the results are life-changing (not just ours but impact people ard us too) and very worth-while I think. At least if we’re committed on this journey, we will make sure that in our life as we age we will not just become older, but also better and wiser people than we were before.

sufferings are sometimes so unbearable, but i guess they teach us so many lessons if only we wish to learn. even though i don’t like to suffer, well,who would..haha but ya… after seeing myself growing from it, i do feel a bit more motivated to face the future.. :P

“Growing pains” you know that term, right? When we’re going through something difficult, it’s often hard to see past the pain… but it is during these hardest times that we have the potential to grow the most if we are willing to face it. I find that after such times, I often learn something important about myself… and not just flaws, but also great strengths about myself I did not realize before. So there’s something to look forward to indeed! And you know, I find that when I penetrate my suffering, after the episode/lesson is over (some short, some ongoing all my life), the pain is less, even goes away after I learn my lesson. Because a lot of the pain was due to me…and when I grow, what was painful before isn’t such a big deal anymore! Of course then there will be even more ‘high level’ lessons to learn in the future… heh.

i am very inspired by your idea of accepting oneself as the path to being totally compassionate and empathetic. it is so true. it’s like how people say, if you don’t love yourself , how can you love others? if you can’t accept your own bad points how can you tolerate others’? and a person who is bitter about himself can never be able to give to the world completely i guess…

That’s exactly what I think! And it’s a realization that I only made for myself very recently… like in these past few months! I never thought of it that way before… always thought to be kind and compassionate to others i just focus on them… but now I realize that in order to be able to reach out effectively to others, I must first reach out to my innermost self. In order to provide shade for others, I must first be strongly rooted in fertile soil so that my branches can spread further and my foliage be rich… (tree analogy here… dunno if u read that blog entry which was a little while ago. you can search it on my site if u want :P)

haha i think ur reply actually dealt with many many important issues… haha thanks for the homework on my brain! haha but i truly enjoy this kinda work :P

*laughs* glad you like the homework!

haha regarding what i mentioned about emotions being blinding too… i am not sure if i am right… erm… what i suddenly realized was how people (and me) can’t see the whole picture when they are in love, holding anger, being jealoused or anything.. i used to have this great issue about whether to let head rules or heart rules, i guess now i see the balance that can exist… it’s actually possible to have all your emotions taking a backseat and see everything clearly first then decide what u want to feel.. hahaha … i guess i will continue learning about this

You’re right, people don’t seem to be able to see very obvious things when they’re bound up in emotion… we’ve all been there. *ha ha* That’s because I think the ability to be detached helps us to see things clearly… and it’s not just about 距离美, because detached doesn’t just mean being able to hold things at a distance. It’s not a ‘cold’ thing… in fact, it’s very ‘warm’. Being ‘detached’ means being able to come close, but also being able to withdraw easily… true intimacy requires that. Or else there will be just an unhealthy ‘clinging’ where we’re unable to withdraw at all. When we trust, we are able to withdraw because we know that nothing really changes when we do… it is when we fear that we cling.

The ‘heart vs mind’ issue is also a long standing question with me…. but what I’ve learned recently is that it’s not a matter of just heart or mind. In order to know ourself more intimately, and to transcend our suffering, we must learn to bring both our heart and our mind together. Sometimes, it is when we use our mind alone that we start denying and becoming blind..because we manage to ignore how we really feel. But if we don’t use our mind sufficiently, then our feelings and emotions would be without direction and we cannot learn anything either. When we bring our heart and mind together, we are able to acknowledge our passions and emotions, but we don’t let them overwhelm us. When our heart works together with our mind, it teaches the mind its own ‘reasons’, and together, we come to a deeper self-knowledge. And I think that makes sense, for we are neither just thinking or feeling beings… we are both!

thanks for your email again!! i read the zibin’s post u were talking about in that post too.. haha all really thought provoking and inspiring.. it’s really nice to have someone’s experience to read about to guide me along :)

I’ll pass that on to Zibin! :) It is nice and helpful to be able to read about other people’s experiences… I too have gained a lot of new understanding by reading someone else’s very wise insight based on his life experience (an author Henri Nouwen). But what I read becomes the most useful when I bring it into my own reflection and try and find my own knowledge. Learning to hear my own inner voice of love… learning to be silent in my heart, learning about solitude (which is different from loneliness!).. learning to live with the tension of opposites in my life. It’s all very fun, really! :P ha ha well, ‘fun’ probably isn’t the best word to use cos it’s not easy either… but the rewards are so wonderful that i’m really enjoying the process!

Looking forward to seeing you in Toronto then! Hope you have a safe and smooth trip back!

Cheers,
Ann

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