English version after the Chinese version…
The sky was blue. The cloud was white. Other than the blue and the white, there was nothingness, except a sense of peacefulness.
I was standing in front of the windows, looking out into the sky, ignoring the contractors who were moving in and out of the living room, trying to change my house air conditioner.
It has been such a long time when I could really find peace in my heart, and not disturbed by what was happening around me. I felt peace in my heart, something that was really rare for me.
Perhaps time can really heal all wounds;
Or perhaps my recent meditations have helped me find the peace that I have always needed.
When I first started meditation, I was just trying my luck, hoping that it would help to calm my mind. And as I practise more, I began to be able to control my thoughts better. And gradually I began to hear my inner voice telling me something that I have hidden long long time ago.
In all these years, I have been living my life for others. Since the day I “graduated” from school, I’ve been following with the flow of river, working, getting married, and shouldered responsibilities alone when it could have been shared. It was out of love that I wished to make people around me to feel loved and cared for.
And I began to put on a mask everywhere I go, pretending to be the saint I wanted to be, such that I finally lost myself.
I have pampered my family with material and luxurious stuffs, and developed their sense of dependency on me, and to a certain extent, laziness. And I, myself, has inadvertently fallen into the same trap, enjoying the short term happiness that material stuffs brought to me.
Towards my parents, I have always thought that I have been filial, only to realise that we are so far apart from each other. I do not know them well, they don’t know me much either. Recently, I gradually learned that to live my life fully and happily is the best way to appreciate and thank them for bringing me into this beautiful world.
As for my friends, I have always believed in extending my hands and listening ears whenever they need. I showered them with love and sometimes made promises just to make them feel loved.
But after all these years and so much that I have done, not only did I not bring all of them happiness, I have also made myself tired and unhappy.
Recently, I’ve been reading up a lot of books on Buddhism and soul searching and I learned that happiness comes from within and not outside of our hearts. Nobody can give us happiness other than ourselves, likewise, there’s absolutely no way I can give anybody happiness. Happiness is a sense of inner peace that we feel in our heart.
We have always thought that by giving advices to others based on our own experiences, or what we have learned through books, will be the right path to happiness for the other parties;
We have always promised our loved ones that we will do what we can to make them happy;
And we have even ill treated ourselves by doing things that may be against our will subconsciously just to make others happy.
But we have been wrong.
All human kinds are of different personalities. We bear different feelings, emotions and thoughts. What we think will make us feel good and happy may not apply to another person.
Isn’t it then foolish to depend on others to provide us happiness when nobody truly knows what we want? Isn’t it then silly to try to please others to make them happy when they themselves do not know what they want? It’s even more silly to blame ourselves when we are unable to provide the happiness that our loved ones need.
Have I ever been truly happy? And was my happiness a result of all the material and luxurious stuffs that was so short lived?
As I gazed upon the clouds, they were so carefree as they glided with the wind. They did not complain though the wind may be blowing the direction that they didn’t wish to go.
As I think of the the ever changing form of the clouds, the ever changing human life, and the gains and losses in life, happiness became more short lived.
For many years, I have never truly known what I want in life, for I was afraid that what I wished for may hurt the people around me. Henceforth, all my dreams and wishes were buried deeply under the everyday lifestyle that was so robotic and monotonous. I was just trying my best to love the people around me and thought that I could bring happiness to their lives.
But that was just what I thought. Things didn’t really happen the way I wanted it to.
And I come to realise that to live for others is not being compassionate to them, let alone myself. Everyone is responsible for their own happiness, not mine.
True compassion is to live life for myself, and share my happiness with the less fortunate with an open heart.
And for once, I wish to be selfish and live for myself….
(translated on 09.12.2016)