Friday, June 16, 2023

1st Inaugural Learning Community International Life-work Conference organized by AKASHA Learning Companionship Association of Malaysia and School of Reconciliation - IofC Indonesia on 3rd to 6th June 2023 followed by 181 participants from 14 countries.  

One of the highlights was a speech from Renjou Liu and translated into English by Alex Leung.


Healing Yourself From Where You Got Hurt

Speech by Renjou Liu at Akasha’s Inaugural Learning Community International Life-Work Conference 
Transcripted by Yu-Hung Cheng

I got to know Moral Rearmament/Initiatives of Change (IofC) in my university days. I learned to listen to my Inner Voice during Quiet Time and measure my thoughts and life against the 4 absolute standards (absolute honesty, absolute purity, absolute unselfishness and absolute love) and then make bold changes to my habits, perspectives and attitudes in life.

Before that, you could hardly imagine how difficult I was as a person. I smoked, drank, skipped classes, ran away from home and clashed with all my family elders. Learning to listen to my Inner Voice through IofC’s Quiet Time greatly impacted my life.

I had a thought in 1984 when I was 31, reckoning I could let go of all my job and salary, dedicating all my time to serve life.

Since then, for almost 40 years, I feel that I do not have a plan for my life, as all my actions and deeds were led and inspired by God during Quiet Time. Establishing IofC Taiwan Association, Tainan Family EQ Association and Kaohsiung Family EQ Association; promoting the global Action for Life, initiating Chinese in Action Life Work; and encouraging more families to learn from life. All these were ideas from Quiet Time which were then worked into reality. Through such procedure and manner, I believe many people can make equally important contributions to life and society.

The theme for today is “Healing Yourself From Where You Got Hurt”.

We have to endure many pains in our journey of life. Thus, I once said, “A mature life is one that can sustain an injury.”

However, the wounds that impact us the most, the ones which make us lose our strength and direction in life, often come from childhood and family.

At a young age, the major trauma in life comes in 3 forms.

The first major trauma: you did not feel loved while growing up, and did not feel cherished, valued and cared for. Hence you do not feel that your life is important, and some even have a deep sense of pain and disgust about their existences.

The second major trauma: you were not allowed or supported to be your true self. Your parents, deep in their hearts, loved you very much when they gave birth to you. But they faced many difficulties in their lives and did not have the opportunity or the ability to deal with said difficulties. So they projected all their frustrations, countless disappointments, and longings onto your upbringing, often rebuking, criticizing and correcting you, hoping you would become the person and grow up the way they wished. In particular, when you reached the age of 10 or so, entering adolescence, there would be a natural force within you to become your true self. Instead of feeling happy for you, letting go of control and allowing you to feel your own strength, your parents felt threatened and thought you were challenging their authority, so they exerted more power to suppress you.

As a result, our lives would move towards 2 extremes, on one end surrendering ourselves, handing over my life to you, doing whatever you want me to do to satisfy you, because you are my parents.

The other extreme is to fight with you to the end, or even leave you once I gather sufficient strength, as far away as possible, and even sever ties with you.

When you choose to surrender, you will feel very sorry, sorry for yourself.

When you choose to fight with your parents bitterly and terminate your relationship with them, you will have a deep sense of guilt because after all, your parents gave birth to you and raised you. You feel that you have done something profoundly wrong.

Therefore, many people’s lives endlessly swing between the two extremes. Sometimes you cannot stand your parents and run away from them; but then you cannot endure your self-condemnation and return to your parents,  soon after not being able to tolerate and running away again, looping back and forth your whole life.

Worse still, without realizing it, you grew up, got married and became a parent yourself, trapping your child into a similar plight. Thus, such family trauma is indeed intergenerational.

The third trauma from our family that causes great difficulties in our lives is that we become a person who is incapable of communicating.

We cannot communicate and don’t know how to express ourselves, nor listen to and understand others. We don’t know how to speak or listen. When we feel stressed or discomfort, our emotions precede our language, making us easily angered, fearful, anxious, worried or backtracking. Because of our inability to communicate, we would run into many interpersonal difficulties in our lives, even not knowing how to handle husband-wife relationships nor how to interact with our children.

These three major traumas also encompass the many experiences of being abandoned, neglected, violated and abused while growing up.

Another form of trauma is if the parents were sick, had a very difficult relationship or were very poor, they would be in great pain and distress, struggling for money and everyday living. They would then become a very heavy psychological burden to their children, such that the children had to live for their parents and not themselves. This inability to be yourself sometimes is not a result of deprivation from parents but the children unwittingly sacrificing themselves to the parents and the family.

It’s very common for us to encounter the three traumas mentioned above as we grew up or followed our original family. Most of us would have one and it’s rare to have none.

Now comes the important part, how do you heal from this?

You have to learn and you have to practice. Then you need to be able to change your perspective, not always looking at others and instead turning the attention back to yourself.

Seeing yourself is the start of changing your life.
More importantly, you don’t just see your present self, you also see yourself at different ages and stages in the past.
See the childhood self that was hurting, in great need of love, protection and support.
It sounds easy to see your past wounded self. But many people don’t wish to remember the moments they felt hurt.

But seeing yourself is just that start and it alone will not heal you.
One of the most important abilities we have lost is that we don’t know how to look after ourselves and love ourselves. We know we ought to, but I can’t and don’t know how to love myself.

We see that this child is hurting, in great pain and very sad. As an adult, as a grown-up, how do you love this child?

As we have limited time, I invite everyone to close your eyes.

(Meditation): You see yourself, as a small child, aged 7, 8, 10 or so. You look at the child, follow me and say to this child in your heart,

“I am here, I have not gone far, you are very important to me; you are not alone and I am here with you; I love you and your happiness is too important to me; you are so clever and thank you for having such outstanding wisdom, your creativity amazes me; it’s okay to make mistakes, you are still lovely even if you do so; you don’t have to force yourself to perfection in everything just so that I would love you and be with you; you don’t have to explain anything, no matter what you say or if you say nothing, I will always love you. “

(Please open your eyes)
You eat three meals a day. You have to read this passage to yourself everyday, like your three meals. After a while, your inner self will become much healthier.

It’s very important to have love in our lives. What is love?
Love is patience and gentleness. Don’t just love others and not love yourself. Learn to be patient and gentle to yourself, especially when your life is not going well or smoothly, when you make mistakes or when things don’t go your way, you have to be even more patient and gentle towards yourself in those moments.

Thank you and blessings to you all.