My deepest apologies for the extremely delayed postings.
I have been wrought with one thing after another, or several things at the same time.
It just does not stop.
I did say, “Bring it on”, didn’t I?
Well, so here they come – in pairs, in trios and what have you – to complete a real grand parade of pushing me to a breaking point.
I will be doing something different in this posting.
I will be combining a few days into one because I am not sure when my laptop will decide to crash again. As of yesterday and last week, it decided to hang itself and crash every 10 to 15 minutes. And this was just the beginning of the many trying ordeals coming at me.
Yes, I am making most of the time I have, with whatever else I can manage at this time.
I will not be choosing a quote for each day as I have been doing...I will choose one to sum up this whole week from DAY 56 to today, DAY 62: 21st May 2010.
Desperate times call for desperate measures – I’ll improvise as long as I need to, but I will not stop.
If I didn’t know any better, I might even say that “something” is deliberately stopping me or making things just much harder for me.
As I type this, I can tell you that some keys on my laptop have been switched on its own, when it decided to crash. For example, the key for @ has been replaced by “. Yes, so when I want to actually type @, I have to use this key “ instead, and vice versa.
And while I am typing, the cursor will decide to jump from one paragraph to another, without prior warning, of course, and I would be typing over something that I have already written, in the previous paragraph. Oh yes, this is happening as I write this. Imagine how very frustrated I am feeling right now!
Also, I can't copy and paste anything. It won’t allow me to work anything of real significance.
The best is when I press the space bar, it can decide to delete the whole paragraph or sentence that I have written – yes, all by itself, without prior warning.
To say that this laptop is “possessed” would be putting it mildly.
And this is after we have tried re-formatting this laptop.
So, please bear with me if this post may sound funny or seem strange, if I had not been able to catch all the mistakes in time.
I do apologise in advance.
Yes, I am writing this with much anger and frustration held back. I wish you all could see how weird this laptop is acting as I type this all out. I must admit, I had given up writing for a while because it was just too bloody trying on my patience. So, I am attempting to do so tonight.
I had not touched my laptop for over two days now, because I felt like taking an axe and hacking it to pieces.
Let’s see if I can complete this post without me “losing my top”. But then again, I guess, that may be just the very purpose.
So, let us begin, before my time runs out...
DAY FIFTY-SIX: Saturday, 15th May 2010
I joined team KSK tonight in their midnight routes.
As we had many volunteers tonight, Justin (KSK’s Project Director) decided to venture into ‘exploration routes’ – that is, going to places that KSK has not been before, but has received tips that some homeless people are spotted in that area.
And tonight, a Director and a cameraman joined Justin and I in one car. We went round to Masjid India and then to the Sentral Station.
We were shocked to find that there were 20 new homeless people in Sentral Station. Two of them were Malay females, and the rest were males. And they were all mostly elderly folks.
Most of them are not from Kuala Lumpur. Some are from Johor Bahru and Kedah. What are they all doing there, sleeping in the vicinity of the station?
Would you believe that sometimes one bad decision could land someone in such a bad place in life? That one wrong move ruins your entire life? And sometimes it could be due to fear or pride or anger, you allow yourself to wallow in that bad situation, then it becomes your daily reality? As each day passes by, it becomes more and more difficult for you to turn back or turn over a new leaf because you begin to lose hope and you begin to accept that this is your fate. Before too long, you have become accustomed to living in the streets and sleeping on the sidewalks.
We heard a few sad stories tonight.
Yes, it is hard to imagine how a decent human being can descend into such a state and not get out from it.
From their point of view, it is hard to imagine how to get out from their hell-hole.
We ran out of food to distribute by the time we reached Sentral Station. There were so many of them and we were ill prepared because we did not expect to see so many of them.
Luckily, our other team mates came over to give us their extras.
Justin was busy the whole night, talking to the homeless elderly men, those who were awake, that is. The rest of them were sleeping, as if they had better make full use of their moments available to rest. We placed the food by their sides so that they would see it when they wake up.
(BTW, my laptop has just erased two whole paragraphs that I have written after the above. I am telling myself to calm down but sad to say, I can’t even recall what I wrote. So, I will only re-write what I feel most strongly about and can recall.)
This is what KSK does beyond the feeding. And this is by far the hardest for them to explain and show, because it happens when no one is around.
KSK volunteers only come in the weekends, they do not see what goes on during the weekdays. And it is during the weekdays that their real job comes into action.
Justin and his team spend countless hours meeting and chatting with their homeless ‘clients’. Buying them lunch, coffee, tea, or just sitting at the sidewalk, hearing their stories, taking them to the doctors, hospitals, grooming them for job interviews, finding them jobs is the easiest part, getting them ready for the job is the challenge, some do not even have any form of identification so Justin accompanies them to the Welfare Office and National Registration Office, and etc.
I would not be exaggerating when I say that KSK holds their hands through everything, because these unfortunate folks have lost total confidence in themselves, and not just in the society at large. They do desperately need to believe that the community still cares, and we are in dire need to believe that we can help improve someone's life.
It is not just about feeding the poverty in the streets, it is about feeding the poverty in the hearts.
And I used to think that I was doing something helpful by volunteering for KSK and feeding the poor and homeless, but the truth is, they were helping me. KSK gave me the platform and opportunity to serve others. And the poor and homeless helped me to understand compassion in action, in order for the loving kindness to develop within me.
Care and kindness go a long way to changing lives and people.
As of to date, KSK has helped over 100 people get off the streets, find jobs, find their way home, re-united with families, etc.
In time, when these NEWLY RESCUED people are settled, I am very confident that they will also return to KSK or any NGO, and help those less fortunate because they have been there before, and they have benefited, so they know more than anyone else how to benefit others. Then a new cycle begins.
AND THAT IS WHAT WE CALL - MAKING A DIFFERENCE.
WE CAN ALL MAKE A CHANGE.
( My DAY FIFTY-SIX :- )
No. Of Prostrations: 60
Daily Sadhanas: Check and Done with Death Meditation and Dzambala Mantra.
Physical Exercise: no time – it is all work, work, work
The week of Sunday 16th May to 21st May 2010
A multitude of problems surfaced – both personal and work.
Found new leaks in my home, and that is going to be another hell of a mess.
My washer and dryer decided to go crazy on me - it will just keep washing but not drying.
My daughter fell ill and her asthma came back. She missed a whole week of school.
Air con starts to leak as well.
Laptop starts to crash, jump, shut down and becomes totally dysfunctional – even after many attempts to rectify the problem. And I just got it this year as well.
Work is meeting its own brew of maladies.
Oh yes, my car is also breaking down on me.
And yes, there are more bills to pay.
I cursed more than I did in this past week alone, than the whole of last year.
I can feel myself being tugged, pulled, yanked and pushed to a breaking point.
Over the last few days, I felt really weak and useless.
I am mostly angry at myself for feeling so drained and inadequate.
I feel that I am not doing enough and I am tired all the time.
In fact, I find that I pathetic because I could not endure more.
Is this what it means to be human? So vulnerable and fragile?
This is our great excuse? Because we are humans and not Buddhas or Gods, so it is ok for us to be weak and slip and fall?
This week, I feel like I am falling and it is already Day 60.
I am already more than half way through and yet I can still struggle like this.
I asked myself, why am I so weak? Why am I so drained and exhausted? Would having a maid lighten my load, and give me more time?
Honestly, the answer is NO.
I am just not used to doing everything and now I have to do everything. Every single thing.
My every DNA hates work of any sort and it repels anything that has to do with work.
Remember the Queen of Sloth? Well, she is harder to kill than I thought.
There goes to show how deep laziness breeds inside me.
My fear of work is the same as my fear of pain.
Fear governed me so strongly. It had paralysed me for so long.
And now, I find myself still at war with the ‘enemy within’.
I have not won the fight yet, but every day I am gaining ground.
I may be bruised and wounded but I get better and stronger.
(BTW, my laptop crashed again and had to be re-started. So, I lost everything that I did not save before this. And now, I have to re-start again.)
Yes, I am very tired, exhausted and depressed. There is so much to do and I find that I am constantly running out of time and energy.
To be frank, this week, I finished three tubs of ice cream and 5 individual sticks of ice cream. That is not including the five cups of frozen yogurt I bought.
When I am sad and depressed, I eat ice cream. A lot of ice cream.
I guess you could say I am disappointed in myself for feeling so weak and fragile. And I am not satisfied with using the excuse that I am only human to make myself feel better. It does not work with me, or on me because I find that no real beneficial results come from using such excuses for myself. And I want to see real results. Not half baked ones.
I do not find that I am being hard on myself. In fact, I firmly believe that I am so over and done with EASY.
EASY may be attractive and appealing for now, but it will soon tie me up in its shackles and chains, and I’d be damned with eternal suffering.
As much as I may be cursing, screaming, growling, kicking and tearing my hair out because it is all just getting to me – I am also well aware of what commitments I made. And I am not about to give any of them up.
Yes, I know that I have not won the war yet.
Yes, I know I can fall at anytime and regress, especially when I am weak.
Yes, I know I am wounded and bruised.
But I also know that I will heal and get better, and become stronger.
Yes, some days it pains me, drains me, and absolutely drives me up the wall, and it can even break me into pieces, but still – it does not kill me.
I will pick up the pieces of me and mend myself, because I can. And I will.
I may need a few days to recover and recuperate, but I will not stop altogether and just give up.
I am here already at DAY 62 and that means, 38 days more to go.
Beyond the 100 days, I am looking at my ‘total liberation’ and not ‘life imprisonment’.
Even after 100 days, things will still continue to take place and I will still be tested on a day to day basis.
It ain’t over until the last breath leaves my body.
And you know what – I rather die trying and fight all the way than to just give up because I am just too darn lazy or cowardly.
( MY DAY FIFTY-SEVEN to DAY SIXTY-TWO:- )
No. Of Prostrations: 65
Daily Sadhanas: Check and Done with Death Meditation and Dzambala Mantra.
Physical Exercise: 55 minutes daily
Reflection for the whole crazy week from "IF NOT NOW, WHEN?" – Here we go. I close my eyes and I picked out page 059.
Quote from Page 059 for Day Fifty-Six to Day Sixty-Two :
“Controlling one’s anger one step at a time leads to balance and peace.
Anger is quick and it passes but its effects are worse than EARTHQUAKES and its after-effects stay.
Why create earthquakes when there are none?”
Personal Thoughts and Feelings:
Once again the quote speaks for me. Or rather, about me.
Every destructive and negative emotion passes quickly – if we allow them to.
And the way we handle them enables ‘their damage’ to be imposed and imparted onto others, not just ourselves.
I have a great deal of anger in me and I have been asking myself, where does this stem from?
Until now, I have not found an adequate answer.
I have noticed that every single thing that goes wrong or does not go according to my expectations, I would get angry – automatically. My natural reaction or reflex to anything is anger.
If I drop something, I get annoyed with myself. If something screws up or gets delayed, I get irritated and angry.
Anything that goes off the wrong way, I react with anger.
And then, after all that GRRRRR, the fangs, claws, barks and bites – after all is quiet and calm, I am filled with remorse.
Especially, after I have surveyed the extent of the damage I have done, while I was in my ‘anger mode’.
I used to say the most hurtful things and do the most unpleasant things when in anger – to both animate or inanimate objects.
Today, for instance, I was so consumed with my anger, exhaustion and frustration that I could not even leave the house and attend a very important Puja. And this Puja is a very important puja for our guru’s Long Life. It is indeed a priviledge and honour to do this puja.
I had spent so much time stewing myself with this draining rage that I could not even do the right thing.
So, of course, I inconvenienced others in the Puja team, and also, missed out on a golden opportunity to serve our Guru. But did I think about that when I was so consumed with myself? Could I even think beyond myself for a second?
No, not today. Not this week.
I could not even see beyond my 5 fingers this week.
I could barely hold it together for my daughter as it was.
ENDURANCE and ENDURE are the two words I have to master, with joy and devotion.
This is the GREAT divide between the Enlightened Beings and us, mere human beings – Enlightened Beings will always endure the most for others’ sake and well being, they will subject themselves to the worst so that the rest do not have to suffer, whereas we humans cannot even control our own anger or mood swings, we cannot even endure a really bad day, and we are already screaming for a break.
Am I selfish? Yes, definitely.
As it is I cannot even get a grip of my own foul mood, there is no need for me to talk about enduring much more for anyone else.
I still have a lot of work ahead of me.
Like I said, it may take more than 100 days, or it may take a whole lifetime – whatever it is, I MUST NOT GIVE UP.
(As I end this post, this laptop has gone screwy about a dozen times, not including the crash and the two deletions of my paragarphs. I did not blow up this time. May be I am more aware at this time and the anger has been vented off much earlier.)
There are a lot of natural disasters around us as it is, we do not need to add 'man-made disasters' to the list now, do we?