By U’un Arifien (Kwee Ping Oen)
translated by Selfy parkit, edited by Maurice P. Smith
If I remember the time when my company went bankrupt in 1985, I thought the world seemed to collapse. My mind was chaotic and every day my body felt cold and hot.
Anyway, at that time I felt very miserable and ashamed in the presence of the Yogya people who seemed to see me with a sour face and pouting lips. I was ashamed also in the presence of my employees who numbered about 100 people, and felt sorry for my children and my wife. It did not end there. I was also embarrassed in the presence of all my friends and relatives, because the company that was proud eventually went bankrupt. Moreover, I had to face the lawsuits from my business partner in Sleman District Court. In such a distressing situation, I was determined to survive. I must not collapse.
It is easy to write and to talk about, but it was really very difficult to do. This incident changed my personality. I became a shy person with little confidence and did not like to meet people. Anyway I felt marginalized and sidelined.
But life goes on, and after about 20 years later, I realized that I am still alive and still working. The people who I thought used to monitor me, were not. It was only my mind haunting me. Basically people do not really care; they have their own problems that they must solve.
After a while, a new problem arose when my beloved wife fell ill. My wife’s illness required me draining my energy, mind as well as finances because the treatment must be carried out at the Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore. From 2002 I went to and fro Yogyakarta to Singapore for about four years, until November 11 2006 my wife passed away to the House of the Father in Heaven (death).
At that time I also feel that life was really heavy and laborious, requiring patience, courage and mental strength that feels unbearable. However, thanks to the many bitter-sweet experiences, as well as the support of many friends and relatives, along with the flow of life that brought me knowledge about meditation and learning to observe the problems that arose and disappeared, I finally concluded that this is a life PROCESS. Yes, life is a process. We proceed from babies to children then become adolescents, adults, elderly and continue on until death.
All the events we experience, good or bad, should make us realize that life is a process, rather than fate that has been outlined, or profit and loss. They are changes made by the law of life. When we finally realize this, our personalities consciously changes.
For example, when my company went bankrupt, “The end of my life” appeared in my mind then I became severely stressed. But if at the time I had realized that life is a process, I probably would have said “Oh my company went bankrupt, oh… my company is going through the process”. If we assume it is a big loss we become severely stressed. More than a few people have become mad because of stress. But if we see that in life it is a natural process of change, which is naturally reasonable, of course we do not need to stress. In fact, after following the process of this life, 25 years later who would have thought I could still feel adequate happiness, and I wrote this article in March 2013 (I thank God that today I can still celebrate 80th anniversary with adequate health).
If we lose our beloved spouse now or later because of possible death, or a husband who might not return home, if we see it as a sacrifice of life, then we become stressed. If we think about it we might recall that we might have gone on an outing abroad, or visited our parents’ house together with our spouse. Maybe had a joke with our children in the past and so on.Then we end up with feeling miserable, sad, have severe suffering, stress and consider ourselves as the victim of life or a victim of the actions of others. However, if we see that life is a process, then we can still say “Oh, it is me again, getting a turn of the process. “We just follow this process towherever it takes us.
The advice of a Master of Life is very true that “Yesterday Life was dead, has been a history, tomorrow life is a dream and forever unreachable because it is always in front of us, today’s life is the best to be enjoyed.”
The meaning is if we dwell on the past, which is already gone and no longer exist, it just develops an illusion that makes us sad, difficult and not useful at all. Likewise, if we day dream about the future, which will come tomorrow, it is also useless and a waste of energy. The fantasy will not be attainable because it is always ahead.
Realize that everything in this world is not eternal. These changes are indeed reasonable and natural. If we see the events we have experienced in life as normal both good and bad, then disappointment will not arise in our minds. We must wake up. We must not stay in despair for too long but make a realistic plan that we can live with. Remember… this is all just a process, which later determines the end result.
Ones who are always ready to accept change are the Winners.
Ones who are able to be aware of living in the moment are the happiest persons.
As the saying goes, “Good or Bad Who Knows?”