For the last five years, if I’m honest, since my early twenties, when I hid the wooden chest of secrets in the deep ocean trench, I knew it was there but hidden. I never forgot its existence.
My fear of what I would find behind the door or inside the wooden box was to face Little Kyomi, who I’d sabotaged and kept there, which had erupted when Mama talked to me at the hot spring. The land-cracking earthquake shook the bottom of the ocean trench, and the countless bubbles from the crack brought the box to the surface of the ocean and me.
Since that day the box surfaced to me, I’d been consciously holding it in my mind yet unopened. Opening that box felt like still a long path walking in the dim light toward the door. I would carefully walk along the path with my guideposts and work through these years by reframing my mindset, reinforcing myself to keep positive attitudes and actions, and practicing good habits.
While I was re-inventing myself, I was simultaneously undergoing grieving of my losses and healing within. These processes happened rather violently yet I was willing to face these challenges. For this, writing combined with my daily Buddhist spiritual practice based on the six paramitas, which are offering, discipline, perseverance, diligent practice, meditation, and wisdom helped me get through.
I believe two aspects of healing have maintained myself and my practice during the period.
One is to live in a natural flow of time and space with compassion for myself. I’ve needed to soak myself in love and much-needed care. It’s required intentional self-care and self-love in a flow state. I’ve needed this love to keep myself in the center.
The other is a subtle yet big shift by choice and intention to live in the present moment. This leads me to a life bigger than me, like loving-kindness, compassion, wisdom, love, and light. This is, in its essence, not too far from the former, yet mind and actions abide in “constant surrender” to whatever we call it, the universe, the essence of impermanence and change, or truth with which we all are contained. I was walking in the love of our universe, love, and light.
At the beginning of this year, I knew the time for me to open the door and get to the other side, to rescue the little child was approaching.
Was the fruit of my conscious and intentional practices for five years as I was re-establishing our relationship as we were; Mama, my family, and me enough to welcome Little Kyomi?
Can the gap between this mature version of me, and the little girl, who experienced many difficulties, be closed? At the beginning of the two sets of 12-week courses, I had hope but was unsure of the outcome.
During the courses, I was constantly reminded I was the center of the now. While I was preparing the lesson on listening in Essential Speaking, I learned to listen to myself, and others. Listening to myself made me agree to open the box in which Little Kyomi had resided inside for decades, or the door, behind which Little Kyomi had been living.
* * *
I was nervous before opening the box.
Remembering the fear that had prohibited me to open it for so long.
I’d imagined I would find the damaged suffering child crying inside.
As I opened it, Little Kyomi was there, smiling.
Seeing her, her innocent pure smile shocked me.
She was a bright, kind, and compassionate creature as she was.
I wanted to hug and kiss her, but part of me struggled.
The memories of things in the past,
what transpired to the child, and the guilt of
how long I’d sabotaged her in the darkness
and how I became the mature version of myself.
How can I close this gap between Little Kyomi and me?
But finally, with trembling arms
I took her in, holding her in my arms.
I became one with her,
the essence of me.
* * *
This journey was to finally embrace Little Kyomi, the recipient of the residual yet the deepest trauma I’d long hidden inside me. I’ve witnessed my bias, separations, and fears of being a victim of the wounds, the resistance to face what is real, and all the sacrifices to kill the present moment. Finally, I’ve learned to embrace my Little Kyomi, the essence of me, holding her in my arms, which has helped my love for Mama, my family, and myself flow more naturally.
The journey of fully accepting Little Kyomi, my essence, continues. It expands my love and happiness and helps me live every day in the moment.
To transform me from a victim of tragedies to a good survivor of difficult experiences, and to an integral person who wants to create space for anyone to celebrate our commonality, humanity, love, and light— is truly a blessing. I thank my mother, my family, and Little Kyomi for the precious experience.
Thank you very much for reading the series of “the Awakening.”