Taking Responsibility for My Own Life!
I can't claim that I was brave; I thought it was a realistic choice (to have the baby), and I felt a sense of peace once I made the choice.
Ten years ago, I did something wrong. Being confused, I got pregnant without being married. I knew then if I gave birth to the baby, I could only be a single mother.
In the endless cycle of death and rebirth, a human body is very difficult to obtain. Therefore, I thought if I were to terminate a life, I would be depriving someone of an opportunity to be born as a human being. This would be a very cruel act. Accordingly, I insisted on having the baby, no matter how much difficulty and hardship I might have to undergo. I would not have an abortion under any circumstances. After all, I must be responsible for my own life!
Being single and pregnant, I caused an upheaval in my family. My family was of two minds; one faction, concerned about my future, thought I should give up the baby for adoption, while the other faction thought the baby was one of us now, and thus, we should keep the baby and raise him or her.
I gave birth to a baby girl, and being mother and daughter, I knew that there was a special affinity between the two of us. Therefore, I raised and educated her myself. I helped my daughter to study the Buddhadharma and guided her to develop a proper view of life, so that she could shape her own destiny and even be able to realize her “Dharma body and wisdom life.” I also started anew myself by observing the five precepts – no killing, no stealing, no sexual misconduct, no lying, and no taking of intoxicants. By letting the precepts be my guide through life, I no longer will head toward the wrong directions.
Now my daughter is almost ten years old. As a single mother, I also had to fulfill the role of a father. Although it has been a hard journey as I encountered many obstacles on the way, I was doing what I was supposed to do. Regardless of my capability, I did what I could. Even if something was difficult to handle, I still handled it. In short, I tried my best. Now, watching my daughter growing up healthy and happy, everything was worth it, no matter how hard!
In addition, I am very fortunate (probably with help from the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas) that I have met people who I have wholesome affinities with, and they have encouraged me to keep moving forward. I also deeply believe that by upholding the Buddha’s teachings, I definitely can overcome various difficulties, and thus I remain confident about the future.
More than ten years ago, I didn’t use another mistake (having an abortion) to cover up my previous mistake (getting pregnant without being married). On the contrary, I faced my own mistake, and accepted responsibility for my actions. I can’t claim that I was brave; I thought it was a realistic choice, and I felt a sense of peace once I made the choice.
In addition, because I was a single mother, my parents were worried that I probably wouldn’t have too much of a future. Therefore, they wanted me to give up the baby for adoption. However my experience has been that by bravely facing one’s mistakes and calmly accepting one’s responsibility is growth and maturity. Because by doing so, you will develop a sense of unwavering determination that can serve you well for the rest of your life.
Finally, I would like to offer my advice to anyone who is single -- please maintain your purity and integrity, and don’t make the same mistake as I did ten years ago. Engaging in premarital sex is improper under any circumstances, for such an action is the cause of future suffering. Therefore, don’t be confused; rather, control your desires, act with propriety and decorum, and follow the rules. That is the only way that you can lead a wholesome life!