Yesterday I told John that I didn’t want to spend $60 a week on private therapy anymore. I told him I didn’t think it was worth it. My last therapy session I felt like the hour was dragging on slowly and I didn’t have much to talk about. Partly it’s because I’ve improved so much since I started private therapy last September. Every week I went, I had some new pressing issue to discuss with my therapist. Now, I don’t hear voices as much, and when I do hear them, I am almost able to ignore them completely. This is a tremendous improvement over last year and the year before when I was listening to the voices, having conversations with them in my head, and treating them as if they were real people. Now, the voices are nothing to me.
John & I went to a Buddhist meeting last night at the Buddhist center in Santa Clara. Once a month we have a World Peace Prayer meeting where people share experiences and we listen to guidance from SGI President Daisaku Ikeda. Yesterday I was researching information about Buddhism on the Soka Gakkai International website (www.sgi.org) and found a great quote by President Ikeda. The quote reads:
Cowardice is harmful, for it delights the enemies of Buddhism and obstructs the advance of kosen-rufu (world peace). The fainthearted cannot savor the true benefit of faith; their ability to tap the power of the Buddha and the power of the Law [of the Gohonzon] in their lives is enfeebled.
I really like this quote because when it comes to talking to other people (even just in small social settings or with family), I am always terribly shy and often afraid to engage in conversation. I am easily intimidated by strangers, and I’m always worried about what other people might think of me. I have trouble thinking of something to say, and as a result, I often don’t say anything at all. In this sense, I need to have courage. I need to have courage in order to be able to talk to other people, make new friends, and share my experiences with others (aside from posting to my blog). I also enjoy talking to other people about Buddhism, but my own fear prevents me from sharing Buddhism with others. Even in public places like Target or the grocery store, I see other people shopping, but they seem like they’re living in a different “normal” world. I, on the other hand, often feel like I’ve been living in my own little “crazy” world surrounded by the voices. I need the courage to break out of the crazy voice-world, and leave it behind forever.