The Words of Hyung Jin Moon
After receiving the blessing on July 6, those who had come from overseas -- mainly Europeans -- spent some days in Korea. On June 8, Hyung-jin nim and Yeon-ah nim invited them to the Headquarters Church. Same twenty couples filled the church coffee shop, sitting in an approximate circle with their hosts, who welcomed them with great warmth. After the meeting, Hyung-jin nim took at least two pictures with each couple, treasured souvenirs of their blessing experience. These excerpts from what Hyung-jin nim and Yeon-ah nim said on that occasion.
Marriage is a very challenging practice, I have to say. It draws out all our potential. For me, when I reflect on our blessing. we are also international. My wife, as you may know, was born in South Korea and only after we were blessed did she come to the United States. I am a native New Yorker, so there are different cultures, different backgrounds, and I am sure many of you are experiencing that.
Are there any words of wisdom I have accumulated after about ten years of marriage? I am very happily married by the way! [Laughter] When we look back at the ten years we've had, they really have been our best ten years; I think we are confident to say that. And we are confident to say that every year is going to get better. That is our attitude. We always try to have the attitude that this is a process for us, in the sense that every year there are areas we can develop. We can become stronger in our relationship, in our practice; we can be stronger in our understanding of each other. It is really an ongoing practice. That is why I love to call it a "practice."
The marriage tradition in our church is where we get to actualize all the things we heard when we were young and all the things we listened to in workshops. It's the real place for us to actualize and refine those very important skills, such as understanding the power of the relationship, living for the sake of the other person, understanding the other person and practicing true love in the same way we always explain it. When we have differences of opinion, we recognize them; we come to deep understandings through them by natural subjugation, not by force.
For us, our marriage is one of the defining times as an Unificationist, one of the most important landmarks in the life cycle of Unificationist practice. All of you are now going to be fully engaged on a very close level. Some of you may be used to living alone, but now you have to deal with someone being in your space -- very practical things like that. There are very practical dynamics, daily dynamics. I think one thing beneficial is looking at the blessing as the "practice" of living a blessed life, of actualizing a blessed life, really allowing ourselves to become great blessings to the world. One of the benefits of looking at the blessing and our life in that way is that we can constantly improve. There is no real limit to how great, how powerful, the relationship can become or to the goodness in that relationship.
It's not necessarily goal-oriented, where you will set up a certain goal and try to reach that. Of course goals are very important to make -- it is important for you to set goals in your practical lives -- but to see it as a process is equally important, to understand that when you first start out, nobody's perfect, and that's fine. You will have times when you don't understand each other and that's okay, very normal. There are times when you may mistakenly, unknowingly, insult the other person -- for example by joking in a way that you might have been used to doing with your brothers and sisters. There are certain things after one is blessed that we really must try to practice in Unificationist life and within our blessing. We must, in my view see it as an ongoing blossoming of a great potential.
I believe all of you have that potential. You are starting new lives together -- many of you look happy, which is a great start. Very good! Remember that in life there are always fluctuations. There will be some not-so-great days. That's okay. But you want to keep your spiral moving upward, so you may be up sometimes, some days you may be down, but your spiral is moving in an upward trajectory; there's an upward trend. Some people go up and down in life as they are slowly going in a downward direction. You want to avoid that and keep the energy moving up in your life together. It doesn't mean you're going to be flawless every day. Give yourselves permission to be human. Sometimes it's okay to get emotional; I sometimes, when words are exchanged, you can be hurt, and it is important to share those things together. Share those things, but remember that life together is a process. If we can remember that, we can see it as something we can build on. Maybe at this moment we are not having such a great day, but if we work at it, we can continue in a new and dynamic way.
I think one of the great things about being blessed is that we are constantly reminded that our most precious relationship is dynamic, not static. In order for it to be truly alive, it does require investment. It does require us to put in effort and to work at it. I feel some things have helped me personally -- such as trying to understand my wife more. Sometimes, early on, I just didn't get it. (laughter] That's okay; if you work through that, you learn. It is a process of learning, a process of growth, a process of continual improvement. I feel that the blessing is not only a milestone; it is one of our most central practices. You may have a family soon -- children -- in a couple of years. Then you can also start this practice with your kids, raising them.
It's very exciting, very dynamic. One of the things I think is essential for blessed couples, blessed families, is to understand the concept that in giving us the blessing, True Parents have extended the blessed life to us. That is something we can be proud of, and the blessed life is something at which we can excel. And it does not have to stop with us. The blessed life really is having the success and the victory God wants you to have in your lives, in relationships and so on. Then you take the next step and be that blessing to those around you, be that blessing to that person who needs a little help, your guidance, your mentoring. When we do that, we can start coming full cycle with living the blessed life. Our view is that it can continually get better, which is very hopeful. I don't think it has a limit in the sense that you reach some stage and just stay there. True Parents continually try to improve and grow-with the grandchildren, together, and so on.
One suggestion we like to offer blessed families when we visit them is a practice-making days for each other. For the future, make a note in your mind about this. Most parents believe that times spent together as a whole family are the most memorable times for children. But research has shown that the most memorable times for children is when they have individual time with their mom and dad. So, when you have children, one thing we suggest is that you invest in one of your children each week. Each week you have one child's day. For example, in our family, Shin-pal's day comes in the first week; Shin-man's day comes in the next week; Shin-go nim comes in the following week... It will be that child's day; he or she is totally the center. We do not compare that child with any of our other children. That's irrelevant. We just focus on how precious that child is The reason I am sharing this with you is that after all that is done -- after we have gone through the children one by one -- we have daddy and mummy's day! [Laughter] It's important for you to take time for yourselves, to get to know each other more deeply. Invest in your relationship.
You can see that it is a practice; it is more than just spending time together. It is one of the defining spiritual practices in our tradition. It sets us apart from other traditions that may focus on traditions such as the power of prayer (which, of course, we have) or the power of meditation (which, of course, we employ). We use those different spiritual practices, but our central practice, I would say, is building strong relationships. You see this throughout the Principle, for example, with the four-position foundation. The Principle is actually about relationships; succeeding in relationships is one of our most important tasks as Unificationists.
The relationship you are now entering into as husband and wife can be the most profound relationship in your life, more profound even than your relationship with your parents or your children. I can say with all certainty that my wife is my absolute closest friend. I can tell her everything, and she can tell me everything. I can't count too many people in the world that I can do that with, totally and completely.
There is a real profoundness in the power, in the potential, of your relationship. Of course, you are just starting out. That's why it's exciting. Like anything else, you learn how to walk together and then how to run together. Just like anyone, sometimes you will stumble, or wobble a little bit. That's normal. The key thing to remember is not to condemn or attack yourselves. "Why am I so shaky? Why am I rethinking why I married this person?" When we have these thoughts, it is important not to condemn yourself. As a human being, you have emotions, so it is sometimes natural to feel such things. When you have siblings you sometimes say, "I don't know why he was born!" or "I wish he hadn't been." You don't literally want that to come true. At that moment, you are emotional; maybe you've had some disagreement.
Sometimes you feel that way. It is important to acknowledge that this is how you feel, but also acknowledge that feelings change. You might feel down one day, but then your little nephew or cousin, who's always smiling and happy, comes in, and you feel better all of a sudden. You will see your emotions change all the time. It is important not to confuse our emotions with the level of our love. When you are investing in your relationship, please see it as a practice. You are investing in each other, in this union.
It's just like a bank account. You have to deposit into your account, and sometimes you have to make withdrawals. It is the same in your relationship. When you ask your wife or husband, "Honey, can you run over and do this for me?" When you are making a request of someone, you are withdrawing from your account with them. So make sure you are also putting back in, that you are always investing.
I don't want to say too much; if I do, I don't know if you will remember anything! [Laughter] If you can take away one thing with you today, I hope it is the idea that marriage is one of the central practices for us as Unificationists; marriage is not a ceremony, a one-time event. Just as other traditions may have meditation or prayer as their central spiritual practice, in our tradition, I feel that in our life of faith, succeeding in the most profound relationships -- including the one between husband and wife, and with our children -- succeeding in key relationships - -is our central practice.
I encourage you all to keep in mind that your futures can be tremendous together. We want you to be very happy together. We want you to succeed. We want you to be abundantly fruitful in whatever you do and to find happiness in your relationship together. We believe the more Unificationists do that, the more we also allow our movement to shine and allow True Parents' work to shine. Within society, we can do many things, which of course can lead to people being able to admire our tradition. At the same time, the success of our families is very important. Please take this practice seriously.
It is not hard to keep learning about relationships. You don't have to read only church authors. If you are in a bookstore, pick up a couple of books on marriage or relationships. With more information, you can make better decisions... You don't have to practice, as if it were the Bible, all that the relationship experts say; you can decide what you feel is appropriate in your relationship.
It is very important to accumulate a lot of knowledge of these matters. I would certainly encourage you all to keep learning about the nature of relationships, how you can continue to be fruitful and to succeed in your relationships. Don't limit yourselves to church authors. Father has always been pushing us out to study every field. In this field of relationships, it is so important for us to learn as much as we can. It will really help you; it will be a great resource for you to make good decisions in your relationship.
Hyung-jin nim invites Yeon-ah to speak to the couples.
I am happy to know that my husband has had a happy ten years (of marriage). (Applause, cheers). One thing that really helped me in my marriage was when Father said, "In marriage we have to experience all kinds of relationships. Even though we are husband and wife, your husband sometimes becomes your father or grandfather, or sometimes your son. For a woman, it is the same: a wife will sometimes become like his mother, sometimes his sister or his daughter." When my husband feels depressed, I have to be in the position of a mother and console him one hundred percent, just as if he were my son. And if I am in a difficult situation, he will do the same for me. I think it is very important to know which state your husband or wife is in, and then try to match that emotional state appropriately. I think that is very important. That helped me to have happy years of marriage and a happy family.
We are so happy to see happy blessed couples, and we really wish that ten years from now you can say, "You know, we have also had a happy ten years of marriage." That's what we really wish for you! Always remember that Heavenly Father and True Parents are always with you, and whenever you have difficulty; please pray to God and True Parents about whatever problem you have; get help from your parents or someone else you really trust. That's really important.
Hyung-jin nim resumes speaking
I want to say it is very inspiring for us to see you with your courageous hearts, moving forward and really taking on the blessing. We see confidence in your hearts. The victory is there. We want to encourage you to do as you are doing, continue to be the wonderful people that you are. Whenever I go anywhere and have the chance to meet our young blessed families, young Unificationists around the world, we are always moved to be a part of the same realm of heart. That's very important.
One thing we always try to remind brothers and sisters about is this: sometimes we may feel alone. No one ever wants to be lonely, though we may want to be alone at times. I want to remind brothers and sisters that we are not walking alone in our life of faith, our spiritual life; we are walking together as a community of brothers and sisters. You have someone to reach out to if you need help. You can still be a man and ask for help. [Laughter] You have to be man enough to ask for help. It's important, when you need help, when you feel down and need some understanding, to be able to ask for that.
When the Christian ministers came to Korea, Father said there are three things we have to watch -- our mind (our thoughts), our words and our actions. It's very important to maintain a habit of keeping the right thoughts in our mind -- about our spouse and about ourselves (not beating ourselves up when we are not perfect) -- and keeping the right words coming out of our mouths. Sometimes we want to say something that we may regret later, so it's important to choose the right words with each other. In some couples, you are from different countries, so please be understanding of that if one is learning the other's language. And of course actions -- these will honor and glorify your relationship with each other.
We are so thankful to see all of you and very much inspired. It gives us strength to see the wonderful new couples that have so much awesome potential to bring joy and happiness into the world. What a great blessing for this world! We are so grateful to have you here. I'm very inspired personally. Whenever you are in Korea, come to the service; we're always over here holding services. Whatever church we are in -- we may not be in this location forever -- wherever we are, please know that you are part of our home, part of our family. If you have time, we would love to see you.
One thing we like to do when we gather is to say a prayer.
Let's all gather and say a brief prayer.
Hyung-jin nim prays