The Words of the Turconi Family
Before the church, my family life was quite strained. My mother, being an alcoholic and a dominant woman, used to beat us children. As in many families, my parents got a divorce, after which my father studied to become a Presbyterian minister, and my mother received custody of the children.
My mother continued the beatings, so at age 11 I ran away. I kept running away, over and over, repeatedly being caught, put in juvenile jail, and returned to my mother. Afterwards, my father received custody of me. He was very strict, demanding that we continually "face" ourselves and take responsibility, if we wanted to stay in the house. When I asked my father if he loved me or not, he told me he did not know. I got an apartment and paid my own way through college. My father refused to help me financially with even one cent. Being an honor student, I could receive a little bit of money from scholarships, but nothing else.
After leaving my mother, I never talked with her again for eight years. I never even informed her where I was. During that time I tried deeply to forgive her for all she had done to me. I also harbored resentments against my father. I asked Jesus how he could ever forgive people who did so much to harm him. I asked him why I couldn't forgive my mother, if he could forgive even his enemies. Then after eight years, God told me to call my mother. I did. She was shocked and thought at first that it was my sister. She cried.
Right after that, I met the Unification Church. With a brother, I went to visit her in her apartment one evening. She became fairly neutral about our church, and I haven't seen her since. It has now been 16 years since I spent more than half a day with my mother. We talk to each other over the telephone, but she is always drunk.
All of my life I have hated myself and hated others. I felt uneasy unless everyone said how great I was in some way or another. I've been trying to dissolve resentment ever since the time I knew what it was.
In the church, I would frequently change my missions because I could never feel satisfied or happy. I couldn't enjoy people. Then I reached the bottom line. I decided I couldn't be happy with anything until I experienced m.-re real suffering. I felt that I needed to experience what Father felt during his course of suffering, that I needed to grow through real life experience of those who suffered most. So I thought, I'll become a missionary.
I explained 101 reasons why I wanted to be a foreign missionary, and my central figure just looked at me and said, "That's Father's desire." He arranged everything, and Rev. Kwak said I should first attend 120 day training. I raised the $500.00 fee and joined the 120 day workshop. My goal for the workshop was to overcome resentment.
I had never been able to unite with any woman central figure, because of my resentment toward my mother. I knew that I had to find a parent/child relationship with a sister who could be my Abel figure, because I had never experienced being a child before. Of all the potential sisters with whom to work out such a relationship, I could only think of one. I talked with her, and three times she told me, "Jayne, I'll take care of you. I'll help you. Please come to our center."
I wrote a letter to Rev. Kwak, explaining that until I could overcome this deep resentment, I couldn't help others who were so much in need of help. I asked for a year and a half, after which I would return to the 120-day workshop and join my husband to go overseas.
During the 120-day workshop, Mr. Sudo guided me and suggested that I write letters to my father and mother, explaining all of the resentments that I had harbored towards them and why -- but at the same time to support their good points and say things nicely. So I did. "Father can unconditionally forgive," Mr. Sudo explained, "but fallen man needs a condition before he can forgive. That condition is for the other person to say, 'I'm sorry,' or to acknowledge what they did wrong."
My father responded with a five-page letter, agreeing to the points which I had held against him and asking whether I had guarded resentment towards him all of those years. He apologized and expressed hope that we could begin a new relationship.
My mother sent a note, "Live and forgive." In her own way, she was saying she was sorry.
I moved into the center with the sister who had invited me. She was parental, but the type of relationship I needed was a daily relationship, and she had too many responsibilities. One day, seated in a coffee shop, I heard God say to me, "Where do you find beauty?"
I looked outside the window and saw two birds flying by. The creation is beautiful. Then I thought about people, all of the people with whom I had had a bad relationship. Rarely could I find beauty in people.
Then God continued, "When you think of the people you do not like, you are seeing the results of Satan in their lives, not My beauty. You have a choice: you can relate either to the beauty inside each person or to the results of Satan. I created each person, not Satan."
Then he said, "You Americans always want to be entertained. You always like to go to movies and watch videotapes, but you are not using your brain! You are not looking for Me. I am not going to relate with you in the same way as before -- by giving you spiritual experiences. You have to look behind the results of Satan, dig deeper -- look for Me in each moment, in every situation and through each relationship. Find the beauty in everything and everywhere."
After that, I was became an assistant to the lecturer of a two-day workshop. Listening to a lecture, something clicked inside my whole being: "Satan is the cause of all resentment."
I reflected deeply about this point. I realized that after a long search for love, after six and a half years in the family, that Satan was the one who stained my blood -- not me. Satan was the one who had worked through my mother to try to destroy me. Satan was the one who made me think it was my own desire to be "liberal" and start smoking again and go dancing once in a while. Satan was the one who had made me hate myself and others -- because he hates me and everyone else.
I'm God's child, not a satanic follower. I finally claimed my true lineage to God and True Parents.
When I came to this realization, it felt like a ten-thousand pound weight being lifted off my spirit. God took that weight away. I don't know what He did with it, but I no longer have:
- a constant craving for love
- a feeling of being unloved
- a hatred for myself or others
- constant struggles
- a feeling of loneliness
Finally it happened. Resentment was dissolved. It came unexpectedly, after many years of searching for the key to overcoming resentment and being able to love.
I had never believed in the theory that when something bad happens, it is always because of Satan's influence. When I joined the church, I was often sick and suffered from migraine headaches. The sisters would tell me, "Satan is trying to influence you to stay away from lectures." I thought they were all fanatics. So all these years, I have been fighting myself and others, instead of fighting Satan.
Then I realized that any new realization needs to be acted on right away. As a result of Satan's prodding, I have a lot of bad habits, such as anger. If someone doesn't realize his or her value, he or she becomes can become angry with everything. Now when I begin to respond in anger, I ask myself whether what I am feeling is righteous anger for God, or Satan's anger. With patience, I try to fix whatever the problem may be. It is not easy to change so many bad habits, but now I am on the road to finding beauty in all things.
Many brothers and sisters are struggling with their identity. They may feel they are going through these struggles because they are so bad, but what happens is that they listen to what Satan wants them to feel. We may desire more freedom, we may long to be more liberal; but if our freedom is not involved with the Principle, it becomes a noose around our necks, and Satan can pull on it until he kills us or drags us out of the church.
As long as we can discern what is God, what is Satan, and what is our own point of view, then we can be the master of our destiny.