Something else comes with this territory: Work! Self-discovery, taking action, staying on your path until your reach your goal, takes work. There’s no way around it. Work takes effort! I can tell you honestly I haven’t yet met anyone seeking true self-discovery who didn’t have obstacles to overcome. But obstacles and mistakes are your friends and teachers. They come to you in exactly the strength you need to build equal strength for overcoming them.
I had to learn this lesson of the butterfly the hard way when I was a young girl studying with my Master in Korea. For many weeks I had been watching a cocoon, waiting for the butterfly to emerge. It was hard to believe that there was any kind of life in there, and I even wondered if maybe the cocoon was dead. My master assured me much was happening that I couldn’t see. “Learn to be patient…watch,” he said.
One day I thought I saw the tiniest of movements. Putting my ear up to the cocoon, I was startled and thrilled to hear the small scratching sounds of the butterfly within. After so much waiting, it was happening! Finally I was going to see a butterfly emerge. But it seemed to be taking forever. Although I waited for many hours, it still didn’t seem able to break out of its cocoon. I decided that it must be having trouble and that I’d better help it. Very carefully I peeled away the outer layer of the cocoon to set the butterfly free. The butterfly did step out, but, it couldn’t fly! It was just able to walk and flutter. When I called to my master for help, he saw at once what I had done without me telling him. I had interfered with the butterfly’s process. Theeffort–the work–to break out of the cocoon was a necessary part of the butterfly’s transformation. In my ignorance, I took away the work necessary to prepare for a life of flying.
In self-discovery, work is a joyful process! Yes, it involves effort, and it involves changing yourself. It may involve doing “scary” things for the first time, and it involves some sacrifice. But the word sacrifice comes from a root that means “to make holy.” Sacrifice is not real loss. In discovering your true self, you will never lose anything you need, and you will gain only what makes you more pure and more free!
Your work is uniquely yours. No one can do your work or your living for you–no one can know your truth. Even the blade of grass must move the earth by itself. But the single little blade does move the earth! The truth is, all your struggles, all your obstacles, all your mistakes, are destined to end in victory, not defeat. The powerful presence within you–your Silent Master–is the force of Love. And this Love desires above all to bring you to your highest potential. Love brings you every situation, every obstacle, and every lesson that you need to create your greatest growth.
My own life certainly has not been free of obstacles. To reach my goal of becoming a Grandmaster, I had to overcome the hardships of war and many centuries of limiting prejudice towards women living in the Orient.
Today, and every day, I still have many problems to overcome in continuing my work to train others in the art of Jung SuWon. One purpose of this book is to share with you the action steps that have helped me win my goals. I have never regarded defeat as an acceptable alternative. If defeat has any purpose, it is only to act as a guidepost, as feedback, while you keep moving toward your goal.
If you have tried before–and failed–try again! In this book I will be asking you to try it my way. I can only tell you that my principles have worked for me and worked for my students. If you are willing to take action, they will work for you too. I have included many action steps in this book to help you create your own path. Keep a pencil handy as you read, and give some of these exercises a chance. You can always go back to your way.
Remember that you are not alone. Like the single blade of grass, you are one with the Life Force of the universe, and you have the power and ability to fulfill your dreams. My greatest wish is to help you discover the true Love within you, and show you how to use It in creating a life of fulfillment, peace, and joy.