John and I drove back from Gilroy yesterday morning. I went to a Buddhist meeting at the Buddhist center in Santa Clara, and it was very encouraging. A few women shared their experiences, and another woman gave a brief study presentation on faith. One quote reads, “Buddhism is like an ocean that one can only enter with faith.” While the idea of faith may seem somewhat intangible, our SGI Buddhist leader Daisaku Ikeda states: “Faith, which at first glance may appear weak, is actually the most powerful force in the world.” I am always trying to strengthen my faith, especially when I get discouraged by something that the voices say.
We were in Gilroy at my in-laws Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday morning. We went for a ride to Half Moon Bay on Thursday, and had lunch at Sam’s Chowderhouse. It was a beautiful day, and we enjoyed the drive back through Santa Cruz on Hwy 1. Friday, we worked out at the gym in Morgan Hill, and I wrote down a few things that I heard. My voices have a tendency to tell me what I’m allowed to do, and what I’m not allowed to do. Sometimes it’s Buddhist meetings or chanting, other times it’s our travel plans or what I’m writing about. Lately, they’ve been focusing on our living situation. On Friday, they said, If you write your book, we’ll kill your dad. I told my husband, and Saturday, they continued. First they said that I wasn’t allowed to go back to our apartment in Sunnyvale, then they said that we’re not allowed to stay with John’s parents in Gilroy until our house is ready in February (you’re not going to do that to John’s parents!). Then they said that I had to stay in our apartment, and that I couldn’t leave or move into the new house that we bought. Eventually, I lost track.
I showed my husband some of the things they said on Saturday night. He said that the voices were very demeaning. They are extremely negative, so it’s a constant battle to stay positive. John’s sister and brother came over for dinner, and we were all sitting around playing a card game. They were threatening my husband, and said You might as well take that ring off! A woman’s voice said, You’re the one we really don’t like! Someone else said that the reason why they are doing this is because of who I am as a person (meaning that this is happening to me because I am such a terrible person). Sometimes they say, You’re not very smart are you?
I was writing in my journal last night, and I looked briefly at what I had written the night before. I realized that I was about to write the same thing. I had written “I think it is best not to listen or pay attention to what they say.” I still strongly believe this, although sometimes it can be difficult. Buddhism provides me with a constant source of encouragement. So does my husband, and I am very fortunate to have him.
Today, I start packing. Yesterday, we gave notice at our apartment complex. We’re going to move out and spend a few months with John’s parents, and then move back to Sunnyvale in February. We’re going to have a busy month, but we’re both looking forward to moving into our new home.