Becoming autonomous

Discovering the essence of Spiritual Friendship
7 May 2020

« I will never make it! »

 

Here is what I thought when I started to practise five years ago. “It’s a sect”, my mother said “You are shutting up yourself into a group and you should stop” Until then I had very often followed her advice: her opinion was what mattered most for me, especially when it was dictated by her fear. As a consequence I would obey her as a little girl, convinced as I was that anyway she knew better than I did what was good for me. However, maybe for the first time in my life, I refused to yield to her fear. Surprisingly, at the risk of disappointing her, I went on practising. I was really motivated by the friendly link that I was beginning to weave not only with Isabelle, my elder, but also with other Reiyukai members and with the youth group. Through all these friendships, I felt as if I was living again in a state I had not lived since my childhood. I was reunited with my own self, my intentions and emotions were clear, I was freed from my fear-impregnated thoughts. That’s why I continued to follow the method by reciting the sutra, sometimes on my own, sometimes with my practice family or with the youth group. I attended meetings and seminaries where I heard experiences which moved me deeply. So I felt a growing confidence in the spiritual world and an invitation to open up to others while welcoming the reality that was offered to me.

 

An unexpected and inspiring discovery

 

Once again I told myself « I will never make it » when two years after starting to practice, I began to clearly see the anxiogenic and limited thoughts that polluted my parents’ as well as my relative’s everyday life to the point of preventing them to open up to others.

For example, I realized that instead of accepting their suffering, whose causes they did not understand, they preferred to look for who they could blame for it. Simultaneously, in the course of my practice, I lived surprising experiences with my family. One afternoon, whereas I had a tendency to hold my mother responsible for the wounds that still handicap me today, my grand-mother took out old pictures and my two grand parents told me stories about their daughter, my mother. I then discovered who she really was: a radiant child, a little miss sunshine, all smiles and full of energy, who made people laugh, who sang, played and seized the day, radiating so strongly that, I, her daughter, had soon become dependent on her. I then realized I had quite often hidden in her shadow to protect myself, which prevented me from blossoming. I also became aware that I had copied the same pattern with my female friends who all had a strong temperament behind whom I could hide. The same was true with my partner and it made me dependent on him. I heartily thanked the spiritual world for giving me the opportunity to discover who I was, as by understanding who I really was, I could decide to act differently at last.

 

Building a deep friendship

 

In September 2018, Marina, one of my acquaintances, accepted my invitation to attend a seminar and later to put up her family posthumous name at home. Quite rapidly, as I was somewhat afraid of “sharing” this path with someone, the “I will never make it” leitmotiv resurfaced. One day, as I was in front of my altar feeling completely lost and unable to make sense of this practice, I felt deep down in my heart that I was being told: “stop it”. I immediately interpreted it as “stop practising”. So, I practised less than I used to, yet without severing this invisible but so deep and unquestionable link I had with the Teachings. I kept the friendly link I had with my elder who still encouraged me. She told me one day: “You know I will always love you even if you stop practising”, which soothed my mind profoundly. I then regularly got in touch with Marina, we had many conversations and we encouraged each other. Together we learnt how human beings work in every aspect and dimension. This brought us closer and enabled us to create a deep friendship thanks to our common aim to fulfil ourselves.

 

A family ordeal

 

Simultaneously, in my family, one of my cousins, aged 39, who was suffering from cancer, saw her condition deteriorate at the beginning of last summer. I then strove to listen to the suffering of my family confronted to that ordeal, especially my mother, and to support my sick cousin even if unfortunately I felt helpless. That summer, as I was spending the weekend with Marina, my mother called me. We had a conversation, quite different from all those we had ever had in my life. She told me: “I can see everything that you do for people thanks to your practice, you look totally fulfilled and I am so proud of you.” These words I heard straight from my mother’s mouth for the first time in my life instantly tugged at my heart strings and I wept tears of joy.

Then my cousin died and we all had a hard time. Some members of my family are still looking for who to blame and punish. I can see that my mother does not react like this anymore. She is simply there for my cousin’s parents with all her heart. Since then Marina has expressed that, after reciting the Sutra, she felt how related she was to her own family. This new practice with a companion still makes me -sometimes- say to myself “I will never make it” but it is getting easier for me to overcome this karmic hindrance when I look at what has grown in my heart as well as in my family’s since I began practising.

 

Lucie