Wisdom of life through throwing away (20)

Subtraction Changes Me

A Patient with Obsessive-

Compulsive Disorder,

is Now Completely Recovered


I never talked when I walked on the sidewalk by the main street. I never sat down on a subway train. I never grabbed the strap hanger on the bus. I always wrapped my hand before I touched the door knob of a restroom. I never drank soda. I ate neither cookies nor ham. Every day I made sure that I ate more than a plate of vegetables and took multi-vitamins, minerals, and other supplements.  

I had been making up these rules since elementary school. No one taught me to do this and I do not remember exactly how it started. I think somehow, since childhood I believed that the whole world was contaminated and people lacked the cleanliness. I was so nervous that I must have decided to do things to protect myself. Despite all the inconveniences, I religiously observed the rules I made.

Such as, when I came home I put my coat and gloves on the balcony because I wanted to keep my room clean and free of germs.

Even at school, I observed the same rules. I said to myself "All humans are basically selfish. In order to survive in this rough world, taking care of my body should be the primary concern." But I did not care what happened to other people.

Only when I was with my friends, I pretended to be ‘normal’ out of fear of being alienated. Sometimes, I had to force myself to eat hamburgers, when I came home I ate vegetables twice as much as hamburgers. Back then, I was very unhappy and stressed out about everything, but I thought what I believed was all correct.

When I turned 20, my sister recommended that I try to do Maum meditation.

So I went to Nonsan Center, Maum meditation’s headquarter in South Korea, thinking that I would have one week of vacation there. That one week became a turning point in my life.

During meditation, I could clearly see the 20 selfish years of my life. I was always on guard to protect myself, and I tried very hard to become successful in my career. But nothing went as I hoped. My life was a great struggle, so I blamed the world and other people.

It seemed so ludicrous thinking that I was the most precious person in the world, I constantly judged and criticized the world and people with my distorted standards. I realized I was trapped in my false-mind world all this time, and I tried to clear my mind as much as possible.

In one session, I (false self) who always struggled to become more successful than others suddenly disappeared. Then, I realized that the infinite universe was myself. At that moment, I felt totally free, and I was determined to see my false mind completely discarded.

My perspective of the world has changed a lot since I started this meditation and my relationship with people, eating and clothing habits, etc. has improved as well. Now, I feel so relaxed and comfortable. I can decide whether or not to eat hamburger or drink soda, depending on the situation. I can talk on a subway train or walk on the sidewalk freely and I maintain the basic cleanliness.

Having been an obsessive-compulsive person, I now feel grateful that I’m free from all of those self-imposed restrictions. I would sincerely like to apologize to anyone to whom I might have caused inconveniences in the past. I’m really really sorry.   

Minsup Kim, University Student

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