At that time, there were two preoccupations that troubled me most. The first was related to the realization of my personal goals. I felt very strongly that I wanted to develop my abilities fully and live the kind of life I felt I deserved. I had a very powerful desire to live my ideals, but things did not always turn out as I would have liked them to. As a result, I suffered a lot of disappointment, and felt as if an irrational force was placing blocks in the road ahead of me.
The other problem was to do with love. It is only natural for human beings to want to be loved by others. In this, everybody is the same and we very often suffer, particularly in adolescence, because we are unable to receive love. If I were to analyze my feelings at this time, I would have to admit that, contrary to what I teach at IRH now, I paid very little regard to everything people had done for me. On the other hand, when I was unable to attain the goals I desired or get people to do things my way, I became frustrated, disappointed, and unhappy. What is more, I felt that this way of living was quite normal.
I like poetry, and from about the age of ten I started to write a large number of poems. I think this indicates that I was one of those people who tend to be very sensitive and prone to negativity, who is easily hurt and vents their feelings of hurt by writing poems. While I was incapable of feeling immediate joy when I received praise, the slightest insult would pierce me like a thorn and rankle me for years.
People say all kinds of things in different circumstances, and in many cases they do not intend to hurt others. If this applies to you, then it applies to others. It is that simple. Unfortunately, however, some people are incapable of thinking in this way, and I was one of them. When somebody made a careless remark to me, without any particular intention to hurt, just voicing a thought that had popped into their head, they probably did not think any more of it. However, this kind of carelessness would stab me, like a dagger in the heart, and sometimes the hurt remained for years. This resulted in my suffering an immense sense of frustration; I thought I was the most pitiful of all human beings. I felt I was worthless and could not understand why I had been born at all.
When faced with the ideas contained in the phrase, “Love, Nurture, and Forgive,” I came to the realization that perhaps the happiness I had been pursuing all these years was not real happi- ness after all. Up until that time, I had thought that happiness was something to be bestowed by others. I was happy if I received the praise and admiration from others I felt I deserved. However, there was absolutely no hint of “receiving” in the key phrase.