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Abandoning ‘Me’ Who Hurt My Family

“I was embarrassed about my family, and my colleagues didn’t suit my taste; life felt stifling.”

Being smack in the middle as the third of 5 daughters didn’t suit my taste. I was dissatisfied with my incompetent father. Since my mother was the breadwinner of the family, she was rarely home, and so our house was unkempt, which made me feel very wistful. It seemed that my eldest sister didn’t look after the younger siblings and that she was living her life in whatever way she pleased. As such, I, as a younger sibling, was busy “teaching” my eldest sister. Not to mention that due to the thought that I needed to look after my younger siblings, I tried even more so to “teach” them. I studied hard and took care of the household chores while silently shouting that I should try to live righteously. But since nothing went the way I wanted it to, I ended up feeling resigned. Everything was a disappointment, and my family being the way they were was an embarrassment.

This kind of mindset carried over to my workplace. Of course, some colleagues did their job well, but some colleagues didn’t do their job well, and I was not too fond of the sight of those people. I would especially worry about projects not being done properly and ‘what if we get fined for not doing something properly?’ And I always worked with the thought that I wanted to hurry up and quit my job.

Because I was living like that, I would wake up every morning thinking, “How am I going to get through the day?” The feeling of being stuck made day-to-day living very difficult. Thinking that this was all, there was to life made my heartache. I couldn’t even get married. If I were to get married, I would need to match the other person and do things that I didn’t want to do, and I didn’t feel confident I would do that. All the while, the one person I could not abandon was me.

“Upon realizing that, in fact, the actual shameful person was me, I was grateful for everyone.”

In the midst of living like that, I came across this meditation and got started. Even though I wasn’t perfect, still, I felt that I had lived righteously as I began to look back on my life. For the first time, I was able to see that I had lived a shameful life which I never wanted to think about ever again. When I opened my eyes in the mornings, the thought of discarding my shameful self made me feel grateful as I made my way to the meditation center. Discarding the burden of the thought of having to look after my family and my frame of mind that I had to live righteously allowed my body which was always tired in the past, to become healthier, and my mind became more at ease. I, who had always felt hopeless throughout my life, started to feel hopeful for the first time.

The biggest and most important change was that all the hurt exchanged among family members had disappeared. I am truly grateful to my mother and sister, who introduced me, the bratty and negative-minded person I was, to this meditation. And I, who tried to teach my younger siblings in the past, began to learn from them.

I also came to realize that I had no right to judge my colleagues. I am simply grateful to my colleagues who were minding their own business and doing their work. I am grateful to them for doing some of my grunt work, and I let them know of my appreciation. I was able to benefit greatly from their hard work, which only makes me want to treat them better. - KS LEE/CPA -

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