I’m definitely making progress! I really feel like I am improving little by little in all areas of my life. I keep making an effort to get away from my old habits of shutting myself off from people and remaining silent. I force myself to talk to other people even if I don’t necessarily want to, and after every conversation, I am always glad that I talked to that person, even if just for a few minutes. To this date, I’ve never regretted initiating a conversation! It doesn’t come naturally to me, and I usually have to take a minute or two to work up the nerve, but after the conversation gets going, I’ve found that I’m able to keep it going. Sometimes the other person does most of the talking, but occasionally, I am the one that has the most to say. I always try to make a point of practicing my social skills – at the grocery store, at the gym, at my Buddhist meetings, on the phone with my family, with my husband, and with my friends. Eventually I’ll become an expert!
I still hear the ‘voices’ trailing after me, sometimes whispering, sometimes yelling. I still chant to defeat these devilish functions in my life so that they will leave. I believe there is a reason they are still here although I’m not sure exactly what the reason is. This is how it works sometimes in Buddhism. Nothing is coincidence and everything happens for a reason, even if we don’t know at the time what the reason is. These ‘voices’, these horrific people traipsing around after me seem stuck in some sort of demented, insane rut that they are either incapable or unwilling to get themselves out of. There isn’t any logical or rational explanation. I’ve been driving myself crazy since 2002 trying to figure it out – to no avail.
My decision has been to look at this experience from a Buddhist perspective. From the perspective of faith, there is value and there is meaning in something that might never be truly understood. This is another reason why I chose to write about my experience as a memoir. My memoir will be something meaningful that came about as a consequence of this incredible experience. In this manner, my memoir will be a source of inspiration and encouragement for others.