I’ve been postponing this for a long time. Ever since I’d started healing, I’ve been wanting to share this story with everyone. But as I started this new blog post, and as I flipped through the pictures of my past (which I will keep posting as I write this blog post), it breaks my heart to see my own face like that. If I had a million dollars, I would honor it all to my Guru (whom I call Guruji), for bringing light to my life, a light that healed me physically and emotionally.
Meeting Guruji was the beginning of my journey of self-love.
Since 2006, I have been battling acne. The red, inflamed, volcanic kind. And because since age 13 or 14 I’ve had one small one here and there, I was hopeful that it was going to get better.
I started to learn photoshop, so all of my pictures were pimple-less. And that is why I don’t have pictures from back then, the pictures I will be posting were all taken after February 2012 when I first got my iPhone.
In 2007, I started to wear make-up everyday. I actually started wearing foundation (the powder kind) since I was 15 or 16 when my skin was flawless (I even went for a Clean & Clear Facial Foam ad casting, but didn’t get the job), but ever since I discovered the liquid kind, I started to wear it everyday. That was my first year of college at Chulalongkorn University in 2007. I was studying architecture, so you can imagine the premises being quite dusty all the time with wood pieces from model-making. My face got worse. And because I was looking for the root cause of my acne problems, I blamed the school itself for being so dusty all the damned time.
Since then, I never left the house or saw anyone without my make up on, all the way up until November 2011. That’s 4 years of make-up, EVERYDAY. Thick, smooth, make-up. It was like putting on a mask every morning. Like a lie that I couldn’t stop telling to the world.
Every relationship I had, I felt grateful.. Almost blessed, that any guy love would me for the way that I looked. It was terrifying, and hard to date. To think that one day, he will have to see me without make-up. What the hell is he going to think? Oh God.
Fortunately, nobody ever ran away after seeing me without make-up. Yet, I lived with a constant doubt of their love. How could they have loved me? I remember how my cousin used to complain to me about the girls he would bring home, and how they would scare him with their make-up-less face in the morning. Were my ex-boyfriends ever complaining to their friends as well? The insecurities I had were brutal to me.
At the same time, I looked so different, so confident with my make-up on that it became an alter ego…a personality that I’d created for myself because I am unconsciously so frustrated at whatever made my face that way. You could call the ‘whatever’ God, or the universe, whoever is above us, or whoever you pray to when you’re in despair. The flip side of that gratitude was anger. My relationships were my channel of bipolar behavior. I was an angel whenever I felt the gratitude of somebody loving me for me, and when I started to doubt whether they were with me for the make-up-less-me, or the made-up-me (two very different girls), the doubt multiplied into an angry monster and I would flip from the little disappointments my ex-boyfriends would cause me, and not because it was really the guy’s fault, but because deep down inside I was just so scared that they didn’t actually love me. The anger was then derived from my fear, and made me feel in control of my emotions. Of course, back then this was not something very apparent to me. I just thought I was a normal girl with an attitude in a form of violent mood swings. This realization only surfaced after I had been studying about understand the truth with Guruji.
Although I grew up a Catholic and went to church on Christmas Day (yes, only Christmas day, and the anniversary of my grandfather’s passing), mom never gave me a bible, and I never understood religion. With the lack of understanding of any religion’s teachings, I had nobody to blame, nobody really to pray to. I didn’t even realize I had somebody to pray to, or if God even granted wishes. Once I prayed to Mother Mary for my boyfriend’s grandfather to wake up from his coma. I asked for a miracle. And he healed. But of course, I doubted it. I doubted God. My faith in God was very inconsistent. On and off. And God wasn’t something I understood.
Anyway, you can imagine the kind frustration and feeling of unfairness that I had built up in me for years. So let’s fast forward it to May 2012 when I had my first healing with Guruji Sri Sri Poonamji which involved a conversation mostly about my dad.
When I was really young, I was a daddy’s girl, and I was a daddy’s girl until I was 8 when he started being really hard on me with my studies. He became strict, tyranny, unreasonable, and started to regularly yell at me to study more and get better grades. He didn’t let me go for sleepovers at my friend’s house, and it was only because he didn’t trust their brothers (I was in elementary school for heaven’s sake). This caused me a lot of anger towards dad constantly because of how unfair he was. Not to go into details yet – but basically, I had no freedom and he was never happy with me anymore. We fought a lot, so much that at certain times I was so devastated (I was only 11-13) that I just wanted to jump off of my 11-story condo, or just slit my wrist and die. It was heartbreaking, and unreasonable. After I narrated this to Guruji, She told me that dad is just the way he is as a person, and I must accept him. I must forgive him, and let go of the anger. Guruji told me to say an affirmation to let go of that anger, and used her roller and stick to beat the parts of my body that I held on to that anger. You know how we constantly have body pain? These ‘rotten potatoes’, or areas that we hold on to emotions, are usually the areas that are always sore and in pain, like a neck or back pain. There was a lot of pain especially in my chest that I held onto this issue, and it was a painful session, but it was a good pain. I felt many things releasing. I was not sad but I crying a lot. Obviously it was something I’ve held onto my whole life and I had to let go of it.
After the healing session, I felt like I had just undergone a major surgery. Not because of the beating from Guruji, but because my entire internal everything felt like it had to let go of the anger I held onto.
The acne, however, did not go away.
I thought that the anger discussed during the session was the anger that caused my acne – anger towards dad. But it didn’t go away. It got worse. So what else was causing the damned pimples?
On the other hand, I was significantly happier, and more grateful towards my parents and my family. And the love that I felt for them was overflowing. I had gained an acceptance of my parents the way I never did before, and this brought a lot of love and gratitude to my heart.
Complexion wise, I was very confused… yet something told me I had to be patient. I couldn’t wait for my next session with Guruji, and called one Guruji’s helper to make an appointment. With Guruji, you don’t just want a session and get it – if you are not energetically ready to let go of an issue, or do not have the willingness to take a look at that issue, a healing would not be useful. So often times, you will be called to come in for a session out of the blue. Some people have waited for years, and still haven’t received one.
I went to see Guruji every day after work. Guruji always had beautiful teachings, words of wisdom, and an immense amount of love that gave me peace and understanding before I went home every night. The insomnia I have had since childhood no longer existed, as if I never had sleeping problems before. I also turned vegetarian since the first day I found Omrit Awakening Centre, the small ashram that Guruji created to allow everyone to visit and experience the energies of love and light (Guruji only came back a month after I arrived). These energies are upheld by Baba Sevanadaji (Guruji’s Guru, whom I call Babaji) and Baba Neem Karoliji (Babaji’s Guru), both of whom already passed on. Baba Neem Karoliji, or Maharaji, is the Healing Saint that Steve Jobs went to India to look for who has countless ashrams in India. Unfortunately, when Steve Jobs arrived, Baba Neem Karoliji had already left his physical body.
Being vegetarian gave me an abundance of energy. The nasty chemicals and hormones that are injected into these animals’ flesh to keep them fresh that I used to consume, and their anger, fear, and pain (imagine being raised just to get killed…yup, they have brains, they have feelings, they know it, and we are consuming them), I no longer ate. I have never felt so alive and happy before in my life. Most of all, I finally felt God. For the first time in my life, the week right after I first arrived at Omrit, I looked at the picture of Lord Jesus that mom gave me, and I could feel his immense, healing, selfless love. I never had a connection with Jesus before, and like I said, didn’t even read the bible. So to have been granted this ability to finally understand Him, feel him, and sometimes hear his answers, I am over joyed, and so grateful.
I broke down into tears every night as I prayed to him for peace of mind, and for Him to rid me of this pain I’d been carrying with me. At that time (this was November 2011), I wasn’t even aware what I was carrying so much pain with me. All I felt at that time was the numbness and heartache from my most recent break-up with my ex-boyfriend, the confusion of why I don’t seem to see any results in terms of real happiness and peace of mind when I worked so hard.
Before I tell you about my most recent session with Guruji, here are pictures of my face in the one year that I’d waited for my session:
Alright. I think you have an idea of how bad it was.
If I hadn’t found Guruji (or if Guruji hadn’t found me), I would’ve still been wearing make-up, clogging up my pores everyday with chemicals and not letting it heal. I would still be waking up every day, and refusing to accept myself just the way that I was. And I would still be living in fear of what people would think of my face.But of course, when I first decided to leave the house sans make up, everybody was like.. “WHAT HAPPENED TO YOU???” or “DUDE, GO SEE A DERM.”
Little did they know, I’d seen countless dermatologists and received crap tons of treatment, and had been consuming Roaccutane (AKA POISON) since I was 17. IPL, Blue Light, whatever treatment, you name it, I’ve had it. IPL was really painful. It helped a bit, but it didn’t heal anything.
I see a lot of YouTube Tutorials in the past two years on how to cover up acne. And in my mind, I was always like.. Pfft, I’ve been doing this since I was 17 guys. Okay, I am joking, the sentiment is true, but my point is, when I see these YouTube videos and how these girls are battling with acne, I feel so much sadness within me. Sadness that they are in complete fear of accepting themselves, or even attempting to love themselves. Their messages are “You can still model if you have acne,” or “I refuse to leave the house without make up because I don’t want to be judged, but look at how amazing I am at covering these pimples up.” In this society where self-image is God, and everything teaches you not to accept yourself for who you are, just the way you are, I am simply devastated by it. I do love Michelle Phan because she spreads messages of love and kindness, yet I feel sad when she would say things like “Change your look every day because at the end of the day, it’s just a look you can wash off!” (something like that..) and as much as I love her wonderful skills and creativity, a part of me cries because many girls have started to use it not as a beauty enhancer, but as a mask. Something to completely transform their features, not enhance them.
So after 1.5 years without make up, I had my final transformational session with Guruji.
This session was similar to my previous session. I narrated my life, the major landmarks, and everything else to Guruji with my eyes closed for the whole 5 hours. As I dived into the pool of memories from childhood – I started to remember how dad was never happy with my 92% test scores, he wanted 100%, and how dad picked up gambling and went from being obsessed about me – his baby girl – to obsessed about mahjong, completely forgotten about his baby girl. I remembered how mom told me I had ugly feet, like Thai people, because the spaces between my toes are so wide (imagine getting a pedicure and not needing that toe separating sponge thing). She said it was her karma because she used to diss their feet so much and now her daughter has their feet. How mom always told me I had big thighs, a big butt, big hips, that she didn’t understand why no one else in the family had it except me (like I was some kind of rejected, unaccepted big-butted monster child) and how mom pointed out to her friends that I had no eyebrows the first time I learned how to pluck them and have yet to learn how to color them. Why did she have to embarrass me like that in front of everybody? I was only 14.
I remembered the first few pimples forming on my forehead when I decided to pick up bulimia under my own pressure to stay slim. The throwing up and my stomach acid destroyed my throat and insides. Luckily, I forced myself to stop because I had to sing for my rock band for the Talent Show. I remembered how my first real relationship at age 18 went down the drain because I wasn’t goody two shoes enough for him. My intelligence and beauty didn’t seem enough for him.
And all that… Guruji asked me… “So, for what reasons have you created this dis-ease for yourself in a form of pimples?” Disease, or dis-ease, is all a formation of the mind.
I thought about it quietly as the session went on, and answered:
“I created these pimples for myself to remind me every day that I am not good enough.”
“Good.” Guruji said.
I didn’t expect the “Good” coming from Her… I didn’t expect any break throughs at all. But really, Tida? And my mind went back into the days these red explosive things started appearing on my face. It’s true. It started becoming really bad the summer I went on a camp in Taiwan, and the guy I’d had a crush on ended up liking a slimmer, prettier, girl. It was one of ultimate I’m-not-good-enough situations in my life. My face broke out badly, and I started to look like a pepperoni pizza.
The session continued as Guruji assisted me to break all the ‘belief systems’ that I’ve adopted growing up. She said that this condition that I had has been ongoing for many past life times now, and the self-anger/self-hatred was a deep pattern. Guruji also said that the transformation would take Her 6 -12 months to complete.
In less than two months, it will be one year from that life-changing session. Every day, I can feel a transformation within me that allows me to become aware of all of the hindrances in my life that are created out of the fear of not being good enough. This fear, as I realized, has been the one reason I find it hard to do a task that is unknown to me, like starting a new project at work. Deep down inside, I have already been programmed to receive traumatic yelling, scolding, and an explosion of anger, like the kind I got from Dad when I didn’t perform, whether I have done the task or not. When I was 8, I’d forgotten my homework at school for the first time, and the first thing dad did to me was grab a stick and hit me really hard twice. So hard, the pain felt like I just got burnt by burning rods, and so hard that it left a scar on my tiny 8 year old bum. Whether I was right or wrong, my subconscious had already adopted that fear. I realized, this memory is so ingrained inside my system, that I developed a tendency to lie out of the immense fear as well. Even when it was an honest mistake, I lied, because I was scared, and it has been the key factor of all of my relationship’s destruction and my less-than-average performance at work. My father’s lack of display of love towards me, and his way of teaching me, made me the person that I am today. My mom’s constant reminder of what she thought was ugly and imperfect about me, made me feel inadequate, and always ugly and prevented me from ever accepting my body just the way it was. Throughout my life, if anyone ever treated me less nicely than I wanted them to, I immediately assumed it was because I am ugly. Sometimes, I still do.
To live with that mentality, and to cover it up with a front, a front like the below picture, is absolutely miserable. Miserable is an understatement. Because the insecurities attracted the same kind of guys that needed just as much validation as I did and regularly suffered from insecurities just as I did as well. My relationships became a game of who had more love, who showed more affections, and why should I trust you’s. I felt like my heart was a tennis ball being hit by the doubt-racket, bouncing off the hard ground, and being hit again countless times in an endless match called life. I questioned myself every day because I had no idea what to believe, and who to believe.
The fear became a bitchy, angry, aggressive alter ego, because when I was upholding that image, at least it felt like I had my whole life together. My kindness was replaced by the ego’s fake confidence (you can kind of tell by the bitchy look), and I started to question others kindness because I didn’t believe in my own.
All of these realizations from my transformational session with Guruji became a blessing – a blessing in a form of awareness, love, compassion, and forgiveness, for myself, and everyone around me. For me, my lessons of loving myself just the way I am continues. It was actually only today that I realized curvy is good. There is a reason why Beyonce, Rihanna, Scarlett Johansson, and Iggy Azalea are famous. But not to compare myself to them. I am good, however I am, whatever I am. I am fine just the way I am. I have to reprogram myself daily to find acceptance within me.
The truth is, if the level of love I had for myself was -100% before, now, it feels like, 20%. That’s a massive improvement.
My anger towards myself, and my parents for the way they are, have turned into compassion – that they’re human and were raised in their own ways, and will go through lessons in life like all human beings do. At the end of the day, I want them to be as happy and as peaceful as they can be. I don’t even know what they went through in their life to become the way they are, let alone judge them. I love them very very much.
My compassion for everyone, on the other hand, continues to grow – because you never know what ANYBODY has been through, including that angry guy from Subway who made you an angry sandwich this morning. My previous boss probably thought I was an inefficient little lazy bugger because I was so reluctant to start and finish any project, but it’s okay. That was the reality that happened. The truth is I have discovered what is stopping me from becoming my real self, my creative, artistic, intelligent, efficient self that God created me to be, and I will continue to overcome my obstacles with my love for myself. My anger will explode, and evaporate into thin air – issue by issue. It has to be released somehow right?
I will lovingly wallow in my fear as well. I will swim in it, embrace it, and let it go once I understand it. The process of growth will continue no matter what, and the speed depends on the level of love and acceptance I have for myself. Although I can’t say that I am now a kind person towards myself and others, I can say that getting to know myself this much more has increased the love in my heart tremendously. This was only made possible through the grace of my Guru, Sri Sri Poonamji.
Oh and my face today?
So love all. Especially yourself.
Thank you, Guruji, for everything, for showing me ‘me’ and a different way of life, a way that honors the truth, and brings love to me. A way of life that will allow me to share it with the people around me.
Thank you to all of my friends from Omrit for the love and support, and thank you to all of my friends and colleagues that stood by all of my struggles, even if you weren’t at all aware of them. Om.