Posted by Meditation USA on August 6, 2020
Youngho Choi / Self-employed
I used to run a pump dealership. At the time, I often argued with my staff and I started drinking to relieve my stress. At one point, I lost my self-control. Once I started drinking, I kept on drinking. I would go home intoxicated and wake up my wife and children. I was looking for some kind of emotional release and I wanted to talk to my family about my problems, but they were only irritated with me. They started to shut me out…
My Children Would Run to Their Rooms When I Came Home
In 2004 I sold my store and opened a new office. My new office suffered serious damage because of Typhoon Maemi that year; it was heavily damaged and I became desperate. There was no way to hide my troubled mind. I contacted my friends and we drank. I had tried several times to drink in moderation, but I always ended up drinking heavily because of my stress.
Whenever I came home, my children would go into their rooms even if they were watching TV in the living room. I began to see that I was an uncomfortable presence in my own house. One day, my wife left, saying she was going somewhere for three weeks. I was upset that my wife had left without telling me any details. I started to feel regret. I’ve spent my life only harming my wife and children. Money isn’t everything; I shouldn’t live like this.
Three weeks later, my wife returned, but she had become a completely different person. Before, she hadn’t been interested in whether I had eaten or not, but now my wife cooked for me and asked how I was. It turned out that my wife had been meditating. She recommended that I try meditating and I was so desperate, I obliged. While throwing away the pictures of my memories, I was able to find the root cause of my drinking.
I Was Hiding My Inferiority Because I Was Obsessed With Money
People think that I’m confident, but I have never really been able to open up to others about the difficulties that I have. Because of this, it became my habit to open my mind to people when I drank. At the root of my mind was money and pride. When I was growing up, if my family was poor and I had to give up my studies, I felt resentful towards my parents. I thought that everything in my life revolved around money. Even though I worked hard and was a self-made man, I still had a lot of attachment to money.
I worked hard to earn money, and I felt resentment toward my family, staff, and friends. I thought they were trying to get everything without putting in any effort. On the other hand, there was a desire to show off by paying the bill every time I went out drinking with friends. I looked back on the years I had been drinking. I had spent a lot of money and my body was ruined. There was nothing left.
As I meditated, I could see that I had always lived comparing the past and the present. As a result, I always felt insignificant and miserable. When I threw away those minds, I realized that I had lived with a lot of greed. I was so sorry to my family, especially sorry when my children were going through adolescence. I had tried to solve every problem with money and I couldn’t say a kind word. I paid for tutoring when they asked for it and I gave them an allowance, but there was no love.
When I Let Go of My Attachments, I Gained Self-Control
It was so bad that my wife had to ask me to take some interest in my children. Until then, my only advice to my children had been: don’t live like me. Don’t run your own business. Study hard and get a job in a good company.
I held my children’s hands and asked for forgiveness. I said to them, “I won’t continue to live like this from now on. I’m so sorry.” Whenever my desire to drink alcohol rose from moment to moment, I abandoned it. Whenever I got a call from my friends, I was able to self-regulate and I drank in moderation. I don’t think about drinking anymore. I am also in more of a hurry to return home now at the end of my work day. As I overcame the difficulty of my mind, I gradually became more confident.
I had no motivation before, so the time that I would open the store in the morning was never consistent. Now, whenever I start my morning, I feel refreshed and joyful. I have no worries as to whether or not business will go well today. Rather than just recommending things to customers to make a profit, I listen to what they really want and then make a recommendation. As a result, business is better now.
I had very little conversation with my children in the past. Now, when they come home, I ask gently, “It’s hard to go to school, isn’t it?” These days, I often exchange texts with my children. If I text, ‘I love you. Thank you,’ my son replies, ‘I love you too.’
How do I feel at that moment? … Like I could cry. When my son, who is a college student in Seoul, comes home to visit, we go to a sushi restaurant and talk. Whenever we talk he says, “I’m really happy! You’ve changed a lot. From now on I will work hard.” It seems like I am finally playing the role of a father.