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Years ago, I encountered one of the most difficult and devastating times in my life. I lost my father and my husband within one month of each other. At the time of my father’s passing in Taiwan, I was pregnant with my son in the United States. Because of my delicate condition and the fact that I already had to come to terms of the reality of my husband’s worsening condition, my friends here and family in Taiwan decided not to share the news of my father’s passing until after my son was born. In the meantime, I was forced to try to survive in a new country, the United States, where I was used to being taken care of by my husband.
As his condition worsened, I battled my own fears and anxieties of learning to do things on my own in a foreign country. Then, a ray of hope entered our lives on the day that my son was born. The light only lasted twelve days before my husband passed away, and I entered into a period of unimaginable darkness. Things only grew worse by the news of my father’s passing. I felt like I was living in the dark, cold, underground subway station, completely deprived of light. As I tried to navigate my way through this all-consuming darkness of loss on my own, my professor and colleagues advised me to see a psychiatrist to help me confront my fears, stress and emotions revolving around this loss, so I did.
I started to see a professional psychiatrist. I visited him in his office a few times, and before I knew it, he had changed the location of our meetings to a restaurant. I began to feel that his feelings were impure. It was as if he was transforming our meetings, meant to help provide support as I grieved substantial loss, into dates. He acted jealous if I told him of any other men in my life, immediately telling me that they were bad news. Although he never tried to turn our relationship into anything physical, he started to treat me like a girlfriend seeming to forget that I was instead his patient, there to seek his help, not his courtship. He became obsessed, bringing his wife to the flea market where I sold Chinese food so he could secretly watch me from afar. Had his wife known of his deceitful agenda, it would have caused her pain and potentially harmed their children as well.
Although he had many professional psychiatric certifications hanging on his office walls, his motivations for seeing me as a patient were impure and completely unprofessional. He was supposed to show care for me as his patient, but could not provide me with this service to which I was entitled. Instead, his selfishness came out and turned him into a predator. Any love that may have been there within his true self had been suffocated by his desire for me, causing me to lose trust in him. I stopped seeing him as a result of this misguided trust.
It was regretful that his impure motivations, conjured up by his ego, caused him to fail in carrying out his mission as a psychiatrist. In his case, true love lost in a battle against the ego, therefore preventing me from ever getting to see or know his true self. Had his intentions been pure, guided only by true love, he would have been able to fulfill his duty to me, his patient. Instead, he was blinded by lust and possession and guided by his false self, his ego.
As we can tell by the movement of a watch whether or not it is real or fake, we too can tell by the movement of people as to whether or not their love is pure. In order to do this, we simply look to see if they’re acting in the best interest of those they come in contact with, or if they are instead acting from a place directed by personal wants and desires. Knowing that this psychiatrist was being guided by lust and not true love, I knew it was time for me to move on.
I wouldn’t allow this negative experience to bring an end to my quest for help, so I decided to seek the advice and assistance of a social worker. This social worker was a 34-year-old woman. After entering her office, she invited me to explain all that had transpired in my life. There was honesty in her voice that triggered emotion in me that was completely freeing. I began to weep uncontrollably as I described to her the loss of my two loved ones. As I wiped away my tears, I thought she was going to give me words of consultation. Strangely, I did not hear any sound. When I looked up, I saw that she was silently sobbing, with a river of tears streaming down her cheeks. I couldn’t believe it – she was crying with me.
At that moment, I recognized that this woman was showing me her true self. I felt nothing but love coming from her. This love touched me and warmed me and seamlessly melted away my sorrows. She filled me with the healing energy of love. As I left her office that day, I felt lightness conquer the dark shadows that had been cast upon me ever since I found out my husband was sick. For the first time in a long time, I finally felt that the warmth of the sunshine. I felt loved, and I was comforted. What a wonderful feeling of being loved again. The love she gave to me that the day is with me still as true love is never-ending.
As I decipher between the real and the fake selves that I have encountered in recent years and in recalling the periods of darkness and light in my own life, I now know that our genuine selves are always there – they just get silenced by selfishness or other ego-driven ills at times. Having been a beneficiary of true love, given selflessly to me by this social worker, I am now aware of this power and potential each of us have within. This love, in its purest form, has provided me with immense healing in my own life and I am forever grateful to the woman who gave this gift to me. Her love bathed me in light during one of the darkest periods of my life. In turn, I have gained intimate knowledge of the greatness we can contribute to the world when we share the true love that’s in our hearts.