My Battle with Acne and Self-Worth

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.

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February 2012 – With make-up on

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 wasn’t going to be such a big deal.. That it was going to go away in no time.

It didn’t.

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 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 campus 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 damn 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 would love 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 I felt from the things my ex-boyfriends did, 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, that if they only loved me for my appearance, it would be just as easy for them to love another that’s fairer than 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 when I became my Guru, Guruji Sri Sri Poonamji’s student. She taught me to understand the deepest depth of myself.

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), my parents never gave me the 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 did actually wake up! Wow, right? But of course, I doubted it. I doubted God. It was probably not even my prayers right? My faith in God was very inconsistent. On and off. And God wasn’t something I understood.

You can imagine the kind of 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 Transformational Session with Guruji Sri Sri Poonamji which involved going back into my past to see how my ‘operating system’ is built up, how my mom and dad raised me.

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. I spent my summers at home, reading uninteresting English language books forced upon me by my dad. He didn’t let me go for sleepovers at my friend’s house for a long time, and it was because he didn’t trust their brothers (man, I was in elementary school!!). This caused me a lot of anger towards dad constantly because of how unreasonable I thought he was. Not to go into details yet – but basically, I felt so sheltered, so confined, and he never seemed 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 how much we fought and yelled at each other. Both our tempers were explosive.

After I narrated this to Guruji, She told me to accept my father for being him,  just the way that he is as a person. That it’s just him because that’s the only way he knows how to ‘be’. What use is it that I hold this anger against him. Guruji told me to say an prayer, an affirmation to forgive my father, to just accept him for the way that he is, and took out her wooden roller and stick to roll and beat the parts of my body that I held on to that anger. You know how we constantly have body pain? Muscle aches? Well I had a lot of it even as a kid. These ‘rotten potatoes’ we hold on to are emotions that we carry around with us, unsolved, are usually the areas that are always sore and in pain, like a neck or back pain. “There’re no diseases in the body, there are only dis-ease of the mind. In time these pains will manifest into diseases if you don’t let go of them.” – Guruji constantly reminds all of us.

There was a lot of pain in my chest. When Guruji assisted me with Her celestial abilities, the wooden roller felt like a gigantic hammer on my chest. How many sacks of ‘rotten potatoes’ was I carrying with me? I felt many things releasing, like plucking weed from a flower garden. I was not sad but I was crying a lot. I understood that it was something I’ve held onto my whole life and I had to let go of it. How Guruji manages to unknot, unlock, and release these things with Her abilities was a miracle.

After the healing session, I felt like I had just undergone a major surgery. Guruji didn’t use her roller so much, yet She removed so much from my energies, my aura, all the stubborn weeds in my body. My entire internal felt different. How much anger was I holding onto?

The acne….however, did not go away.

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Sometime in May 2012

I thought that the anger discussed during the session was the anger that caused my acne – anger towards dad. And yet my acne remained. It got worse. So what else was causing the damned pimples?? I was confused. Very confused.

On the other hand, I was significantly happier, always in a good mood, and more grateful than ever for both my father and mother for everything that they have given to me. 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 joy and gratitude to my heart.

Complexion wise, not as progressive… And yet, I knew deep down that I had to be patient.

I couldn’t wait for my next session with Guruji! Not longer after, I called one of Guruji’s helper to make another appointment with Her grace.  With Guruji, you don’t just want a session and get it – you have to be ready. Your conscious mind might say “I’m ready!” but sometimes, you’re just not aware of what benefits or righteousness you see in holding onto an anger for so long. If having to see the truth of a situation or issue in your life would make it even more difficult for you to let it go, a session with Her Holiness would not be useful. Often times, you will be called to come in for a session out of the blue, right at that moment when you’re truly ready. Sometimes, you won’t ever get a call. Some people have waited for years, and still haven’t had the blessing of speaking with Guruji one on one.

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July 2012 – getting worse.

I went to see Guruji every day after work. Guruji always had the most divine teachings, words of wisdom, and an immense amount of love and compassion that gave me understanding and a sense of peace before I went home every night. She was the epitome of Joy. To be in Her presence every single day was my biggest blessing. The intense restlessness and insomnia I have had since childhood no longer existed, as if I never had sleeping problems before…just by being in Her lightful, healing presence. I also turned vegetarian since the first day I found Omrit Awakening Centre, the name of the divinely beautiful ashram that Guruji founded in Singapore to allow everyone to visit and experience the energies of love and light.  These energies are upheld by Guruji, Babaji (Guruji’s Guru, Baba Sevanandaji Maharaj) and Baba Neem Karoliji (Babaji’s Guru). Both Babaji’s have already passed on. Baba Neem Karoliji, or Maharaji, is the Healing Saint of Northern India that Steve Jobs went in search for who has countless ashrams in India. Unfortunately, when Steve Jobs arrived, Baba Neem Karoliji had already left his physical body. Both Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg spent time at His ashrams in Kainchi, India.

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August 2012

Being vegetarian gave me an abundance of energy. I was so energetic, positive, and hyperactive every day, like a coffee high that I never have to come down from. The nasty chemicals and hormones that are injected into these animals’ flesh to keep healthy in their congested, filthy farms, and to keep them fresh after being slaughtered. All these I used to consume, and their anger, fear, and pain (imagine being raised just to get killed…being in fear all the time, being angry to see their family members and relatives being slaughtered every day. They have intelligence just like us. They know it when they’re about to get killed, and yet we are consuming these emotions endlessly as a meat eater every day). I have never felt so alive and happy before in my life. My body became happy, light, and healthy. The toxins were being released as I completely eliminated all meat from my diet. Guruji said for the amount of meat you have eaten your whole life – it actually takes twenty years to detox it all out. Being vegetarian made me feel alive and free, but most of all, I finally felt the immense amount of compassion of God, of Mother Nature, of the entire universe in this one small act. When you are no longer unnecessarily dealing with other being’s emotions, you get to finally feel yours. You finally get to feel the cosmic… And 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 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 see Him, feel Him, and sometimes hear His answers, I was amazed, overjoyed, and 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 at every thing in life.

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:

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August 2012

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August 2012

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September 2012

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After my Coconut Therapy with Guruji (I’ll share in a different post) – Taiwan November 2012

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February 2013 – With make-up on

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March 2013

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Getting worse.. March 2013

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April 2013 – Some time before my transformational session with Guruji

Alright. I think you have an idea of how bad it was.

If I hadn’t blessed with Guruji in my life, 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. You know, when I first decided to leave the house sans make up, everybody did react with a “WHAT HAPPENED TO YOUR FACE???” or “DUDE, GO SEE A DERM.”

Little did they know, I’d seen countless dermatologists and received crap tons of treatments, 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, my reaction was always like.. Pfft, I’ve been doing this since I was 17 guys. Haha! But jokes aside, my point is, every time 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 creativity and positivity, a part of me cries because many girls have started to use it not as a beauty enhancer, but as an entirely different mask, personality, & alter-ego. Something to completely transform their features in fear of judgement, in desire for acceptance, and in anger of themselves, of life, of…God.

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 the entire time. It lasted for a whole five hours of healing. 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 the fun of 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 LOL). 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, 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 (it was the early 2000’s anyway, so skinny eyebrows were still a thing). 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. It manifested into acne – a distressed stomach that had to release its stress somehow. Luckily, I forced myself to stop throwing up, but only because I had to sing for my rock band for the Talent Show and we had to win it. 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, and answered:

“I created it to remind myself every day that I am NOT GOOD ENOUGH.

“Good.” Guruji said.

I didn’t expect the “Good” at all from Guruji. Do you know how rare it is for Guruji to say that? My mind automatically travelled back 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 my face started looking 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 deep pattern. Guruji also said that the transformation would take Her 6 -12 months to complete and remove all these hurdles and thought patterns in my ethereal records.

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. He had programmed me to always want to be perfect. So when I can’t be perfect and cannot be validated, why would I bother doing anything at all? 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 stung by burning rods, and so hard that it left a scar on my tiny 8 year old bum. He immediately assumed that I did it on purpose because he thought I was trying to be lazy and despicable. 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 had 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 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 was ugly and strange. 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. The insecurities attracted the same kind of guys that needed just as much validation as I did (like attracts like) 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. You can only give what you have – Guruji would say. And love and trust were the two things I didn’t have for myself at all. It felt like my heart was a tennis ball constantly being hit by the doubt-racket, bouncing off the hard ground, and being hit again and again in an endless match called life. I questioned myself every day because I had no idea what to believe, and who to believe. I wasn’t raised to trust myself. I wasn’t raised to ever think I could be honest and right.. that I could be ever be good enough.

The fear I carried with me surfaced as a bitchy, angry, aggressive alter ego, because when I was upholding that image, at least it felt like I had my whole life together and that life’s ball was in my court. My kindness was replaced by the ego’s fake confidence (you can kind of tell by the bitchy look). This way of living life always made me question others kindness because I didn’t believe in my own.

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2010 – My image, front, and crap-tons of make-up. It attracted a lot of boys, yes, but it did not attract much happiness at all…

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 minus 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. They can only teach me the way they know life… Communicate love to me only in ways that they know… And I love and accept them completely for who they are.

And at the end of the day, I want them to be as happy and as peaceful as they can be. In all honesty don’t even know what they went through in their life to become the way they are, let alone judge them. Why should I have anything else for them but love and compassion?

My compassion for my parents and everyone in my life 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 at times because I was so reluctant to start and finish any project, but it’s okay. That was the reality that happened, and I accept it. Again, Guruji would say that you can only Accept. Only then will you be able to move on. In non-acceptance to preserve what you THINK of yourself and your ego-image, you can only stay stuck, stagnant in what YOU think instead of embracing who you are and changing accordingly.

Through Guruji’s grace, I have discovered what is stopping me from becoming my real self, my creative, artistic, intelligent, efficient self that God, the cosmic, the universe has created me to be, and I will continue to overcome my obstacles with my love for myself every day. My anger will now be looked at with understanding, logic, intelligence, and compassion, and I will release them issue by issue as I continue to find out what’s hindering me from the bountiful peace and joy in my heart.

I have doubted… and thought…”If I am still so angry sometimes, have I really learnt anything from Guruji?”…and I will always remember Guruji saying: “But anger has to come out right? If you’re going to let it go it has to be released somehow.” The important thing is to have discernment and patience with yourself when it happens… up until that day you that you cease to have anymore anger and you are free forever.

I will keep in mind that the process of my growth and everyone’s growth will continue no matter what, so why not do everything in humbleness, gratitude, and devotion to your most loving self? The speed only depends on the level of love and acceptance you and I have for ourselves, right? Why do it in anger when you can do it in love?

If I hadn’t found  my Guru, Sri Sri Poonamji,  I would have never learned how to love and be kind. I would only speak of it, try to mimic it as I see it in the movies, and believe in illusions of luck, of situations that dawn upon me without my consent, and stay angry at myself and God about it. I would’ve never learned that “You either control life, or life controls you.” – as Guruji would say. You can’t change the past, but you don’t HAVE TO be your past. You can be YOU now. “The love you put in the NOW will take care of your future.” – another beloved quote by Guruji.

Oh and my face today?

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A few days ago actually. Make-up-less. (This is a good day. On a day that I start hating and blaming myself, it is much much duller.)

So remember to always be humble and grateful for everything that you are and have.

Thank you, Guruji, Your Grace has blessed me with so much understanding, showed me ‘me’ the way I never thought I would comprehend, a way that celebrates the truth, the present, and brings love and joy to 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. ❤

12 comments

  1. Thank you for sharing your experience with us all.
    You’ve got my full support :))

  2. makeupandfreckles · March 30, 2014

    Such a brave and meaningful post! Thank you for writing this!

  3. Michele Curtin · March 30, 2014

    OM, Tida! Thank you for sharing your story.

  4. Jeany · March 30, 2014

    This is wonderful, Tida. Thank you for sharing your story. I’ve struggled with acne since age 8 (!) and without a makeup mask. It’s not easy to face the world with pimples. I’m so proud of you for your accomplishments and self-awareness.

    • Tida Wei · March 31, 2014

      Lots of love to you Jean! What doesn’t destroy us makes us stronger – only if we overcome it with love 🙂

  5. Fancy Pig 101 · March 31, 2014

    This was such an insipiring read Tida. I’m so proud of you!

  6. Mu C. · March 31, 2014

    Very brave of you to post all these amazing photos! Take care Tida 🙂

  7. Jenny wu · March 31, 2014

    Tida, this is a great article about loving yourself, something I’m not even close to doing yet. Keep it up! Gotta come back to Taiwan again!

  8. Pingback: My Journey Part 1 – Hair, Living in Hell, and Where It All Started |

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