Buddhists/life

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Question
Dear Laurie,
I am feeling extremely sad and helpless as I am writing this. I am a single woman in my 30's and have many pressures direct or indirect to settle down and start a family. I believe that fate hasn't (or maybe it will never) grant me that. Sure I feel lonely and would love to have a life partner. Sure I would love to make my parents happy, lift their worry but my search and efforts have all been fruitless so far. I was badly hurt by men I've been involved with in the past, I've thought of suicide countless times. I can't see light at the end of the tunnel.

Answer
Hello there Wenny,

I am so sorry it has taken me so long to answer your question.  I have been on retreat and have had trouble getting the internet here.

Thank you for letting me answer your questions.

I have one major questions myself before I send you a full answer.

You have come to a Buddhist site and I see you are from Indonesia so you probably know that Buddhism has many different levels. So, in order to best answer your question, please let me know how familiar you are with Buddhism and what kind of Buddhism you practice, if any.

But what I can do, until I hear back from you is give you some basic answers to your questions.

As His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama says, Buddhism at its very core is learning not to cause harm to your self or others.

And Buddhism also teaches that we are all equal.  Everyone wants to be happy.  No one wants to suffer.  So, you , in your position has just as much right to be happy as your parents do.

One of the other main things Buddhism teaches is about compassion.  And again, we believe that we ourselves deserve as much compassion as everyone else on the planet.

So, perhaps you can look and see the kindness and compassion within yourself - I know it is hard sometimes to do that - I myself came close to committing suicide so I know that it can seem hopeless, but I was able to find it within myself - so I know it is also within you and once you find it, even just a little bit, it can help dispel your feeling of helplessness and help you realize that you deserve as much happiness as anyone.

Compassion - realizing you deserve to be happy perhaps can be the light at the end of the tunnel and we can work from there.

Buddhism of course also deals with meditation - So there are meditation techniques that help keep us grounded in the present moment and then you can focus on giving yourself compassion.

And also realize that other people's thoughts, words and deeds are theirs - not yours and you don't have to create any emotional attachment to them, unless you want to.

But if they are negative, why would you want to?

There s no need to create any attachment to any negative thought, word or deed from someone else or from yourself, for that matter.

By developing compassion for yourself, your mind also becomes more healthy - when things go wrong, we don't have to see everything as black.

As you know, I am sure, Buddhism is also very logical - So we can remember that harming others or thinking negatively about others or ourselves is NEVER going to bring true happiness.

Also, the we remember that the past is the past - There is no benefit of carrying negative actions around from the past. None whatsoever.

And then there is the teaching that if love is meant to find you, it will.  But in order for us to get the love we are looking for, we have to develop to create the causes to be loved.  And the way to do that, is by creating the causes to love ourselves by having kindness, compassion and joy and showing that towards ourselves and that will create the causes for others to see that in us.

And finally, remember, you are in charge of your life - Not Buddha, not your parents, not God, not fate, not your past, not your ex-boyfriends.  You are now and always will be in charge of your life - The Buddhas are always standing by to help you be the best person you can be.

I hope this helps and I look forward to hearing back from you when you can

In the mean time, you are in my prayers -

Take care - Laurie  

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Laurie McLaughlin

Expertise

I can answer questions about basic Tibetan Mahayana Buddhism and meditation especially how the Buddha's teachings can help us in day to day living.

Experience

I have been studying Mahayana Buddhism and meditation since 2001. I have lead meditation classes and retreats for over 5 years. I have lived at a Buddhist retreat center for over 4 years and am currently ordained as a novice Buddhist nun. My nun name is Gyalten Yanghchen.

Education/Credentials
I hold a BA degree in technical theatre from the University of South Florida.

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