The Words of Sun Jin Moon (daughter of Sun Myung Moon and Hak Ja Han)
What was it like growing up in such a large family?
Well, you can see the wide age range in our family. My closest sister is a lot older than I am, and my next younger sister is almost five years younger than me. I grew up with three brothers just above me, and Young-jin and Hyung-jin below me. I basically grew up with my brothers. I played in the mud and played many kinds of not-so-girly games. I often think I come off as not very feminine -- I kind of grew up a tomboy! I didn't see so much of my sisters growing up, as we were so different in age. Basically all my memories are of my brothers -- from Heung-jin oppa who would take the younger ones to 7 Eleven for iced Slurpees, beef jerky, and sweets to Hyun-jin oppa who would play Risk and other board games, to Kook-jin oppa and Dungeons and Dragons with Young-jin and all. My early years were spent mostly playing with Kwon-jin oppa, who was a year ahead of me. In all the years, I remember spending the most time with hyung. We have always been close. He was the light in my life then, and forever will be. But we all had a lot of fun together; growing up, they are my fondest memories.
Do you remember the kinds of things you liked to do when you were little?
Oh, we just played all over East Garden, in the woods, outside, in nature, like Tarzan in the wild. I watched and played with my brothers doing martial arts, sports, skateboarding, swimming, playing computer and board games, learning about cars and playing fort with the couch cushions. In many ways, it was not a very girlish upbringing. But I didn't really notice because we had a lot of fun!
Could I ask you something about school?
I think that is good, because many people don't understand how we grew up, and sum up a perception from only a few selected snapshots or moments in public. I think it is important for people to know that we grew up like everyone else. We've all had struggles, persecution and growing periods that define our lives today, with the slight difference of living it constantly in the public eye.
Were you singled out by your classmates?
Actually, more than my own experience, I saw all my elder brothers and sisters go through not only racism at that time, but classmates in our school in the 1970s and 80s really persecuted and bullied us for being Father's children, saying things like "Your dad's a cult leader." Especially when Father went to Danbury, it was "Your dad's in jail!" I saw the struggle and persecution my brothers and sisters all got. And in high school it only got tougher, dealing with the unreceptive peers and one's own adolescence. We all struggled together with that as a family and to this day there is that eternal familial bond and willingness to be there for each other in need. But now it is even more treasured as we share and celebrate the joy, unconditional love and compassion each family member bestows. Everything gets better with time and maturity. The understanding and a sense of family support is even greater as we have all been able to realize the gift of having each other to share this precious journey of life. We've survived because we had each other as family; that is the greatest blessing.
In-sup Park nim: Just to give some context, from my observations coming into the family: You start to realize the heaviness for a child growing up in that environment. You know, we all had the luxury of privacy, to be able to make mistakes, to learn from our mistakes and to grow through our mistakes -- and without other people judging those mistakes. But the True Family was wide open. You're living with an audience, and there is so much expectation. So even as a young child, you inherit that real and tangible spiritual burden and then you have to move forward. When I think about the overall situation, it's much more difficult for an individual.
Sun-jin nim: Yes, and comparing who does more or less, or went through more or less, is not the main focus. Everybody is doing the best that they can, and we all grow at different paces and through different experiences. It is not about who has it better or worse; there is no judgment. When you think about it, we are all brothers and sisters in this church and the worldwide foundation is so huge now -- I don't know everything about you, and you don't know everything about our family; it takes a process of communicating and of trying to figure things out. Everybody struggles, but I believe that no matter what everyone can also succeed. I like the quote, "What is personal is general." -- (I think that one was by Carl Rogers) -- or what the Dalai Lama remarked, "There are many cultural differences but more similarities. Look into what is universal -- across cultures."
We can also look at what is universal among our blessed families with True Father and True Mother as all our real or adopted parents and feel the ultimate inspiration of Father's words, "We must be all one united blessed family under God." Father always sees the world through God's eyes, not just the personal, individual, race or cultural differences or similarities -- he sees no limits to love, or the potential we can all have in creating and living as one family under God. All families have their struggles and victories, but as long as we carry the heart to wish the best for all and to remember our blessings, we can have harmony and the strength to persevere and become better.
Members were around your home a lot; that must have not been easy. Looking back now in your thirties, what are your feelings about those who joined and followed your parents?
You only know your experience, what you learned and were taught, and the lens through which you view the world is limited by that conception. When the first-generation members joined the movement, they followed Father because they found the truth that inspired their lives. Those early members were truly pioneers to join the church and have faith like that, and to carry that conviction in their lives no matter what. For them to join they also had to receive persecution -- "You're joining a cult?" and "We have to deprogram these Moonie people!"
So you all had tremendous obstacles to overcome as the first generation in order to substantiate your faith. And I am sure none would say that came overnight. There were many developmental levels you had to master to get to this stage -- workshops, church community building, MFT, witnessing, working in the nonprofit global outreach organizations. I am always grateful to the members because you pioneered wholeheartedly and thus built this amazing foundation. [Sun-jin nim is on the verge of tears]
With your love, faith, and dedication, from Father's first congregation in Busan, which toiled to build a house for God out of discarded cardboard boxes, to the worldwide foundation that we are moved by today, this movement is a testament to what is possible when people come together as one family under God, living for the sake of others, by sheer conviction and personal dedication to create a better world. The church and all the generations, the first and second and the continued lineage, must cherish that remarkable start and work to cultivate a better future. We must honor, cherish and commit our hearts to do justice to that astounding altruistic investment. We must always strive to be better, to do more, to be more and to honor and accomplish more of that vision that our parents and elders have given their lives for.
In doing so, you are able to then honor your life and your children's and eventually you "pay it forward" to the world. That is the gift and power of each blessed individual and family -- that we are of one lineage.
But I also feel for our second generation too... Their course has been no easy path either. I know many blessed children because I grew up with them. So many have struggled with their faith and lives; but when I see them today they are all truly special hearts and souls that have overcome so many difficult obstacles and carry not only filial love but a global conscience of love. There is so much talent, aptitude and gifts each second gen is blessed with that also needs to be treasured. Being of the second generation ourselves, in our family, we've seen the amazing work True Parents have done. When the first-generation members joined, they were going out to do God's work. Father said to have faith in God -- God will take care of your children. Everyone pioneered; all over the world people were going on missions. No one was going to say they weren't going to do it, because Father and Mother had done it themselves. In a way, I think many of the second-generation members, like us, also have that "missing hole" from not having had their parents around enough.
When I see this -- and also how we were raised as second generation, and more specifically as True children (which added another layer of complexity) who received peer persecution and pressure from outside as not only members of a "cult" but as direct descendants of the founder -- I can say it was tough, because kids can be very cruel. It was also a chaotic juggling act, because we were strictly taught the Principle at home and at the same time given the mission to excel and thrive to be "the best" in the liberal school system or prospective field of study or sport. It was tough to deal with all these issues as a child.
At that time, the Principle was taught in a very black and white way: good and evil, Adam and Eve, Satan, the Fall! For a child born into the church, it is scary stuff to digest. There was an outside world of satanic evils and the inside world of unattainable godly expectations. It seemed that this teaching catered to the first generation members who had to condition themselves in order to cut off from the world of sin. But to the kids growing up without all the sin and suffering in their past, it was a lot of information to process and balance.
When you choose to join the movement, you understand the principle of true love, true life and true lineage. Because you had been out there in the world, you'd had your hearts broken; you'd seen a lot of negative things. There were many people from broken homes who went through a lot of struggles before they found the Principle and True Parents, and were able to change their lives. But growing up as second gen and not having those traumatic fallen experiences as a reference, we could not fully understand the significance of Father's teaching. I'll be the first to admit I could not grasp all the concepts fully, but as I am older and, I hope, a bit wiser, I can say with confidence and from my own experience that it is the one main message to get through to kids; because true love is the most precious gift we have in life. I'm just so happy to see the younger BCs getting blessed and grasping the significance of it all.
I can only share and speak of my own experience of what worked and what didn't. Likewise, every person has their own unique memories of what was best. You can look at the church in those days and say this was not right and that was not right, but you can also look at the same imperfect situation and see it from the viewpoint that we were all so blessed to have so many members of our first generation stay married; the children were not traumatized by their parents' divorce or fallen nature. We saw parents live for something higher than their own lives, or their own livelihood, or material gain. As children, we saw them live for the service of the world and for that vision. Of course when I was young, and a normal, angst-ridden teen, I felt I could not take it, and the stress was horrible. I was not able to see past my own pain.
But when I look back at my life after all the milestones, I only have tremendous gratitude toward everyone that believed in something other than just themselves and actually created this whole worldwide family, which is doing such incredible ground-breaking work! It is truly amazing. I cannot say I have lost anything; I can only say that I have received so much and must apologize for my immaturity. You have all given me so much hope, faith and goodness, and because of that, I am blessed with true love and true life. And I hope one day I can do whatever I can to offer them back.
What led you to major in psychology? (Is that a good question to ask you?)
Yes. That covers a lot, from my childhood to my college years!
Well, I didn't intend to study psychology from the beginning. I wanted to do English or Art as a major when I first entered school. But as I was graduating from high school, I was engaged to be blessed, at seventeen and a half. I asked myself, Can I do this? I am sure many people in blessings -- from the first generation too -- when they first met their spouse, thought, I don't know if we can ever get along; he (or she) doesn't even speak English!
But you had the foundation of faith and the teaching, and the context from your life before that allowed you to understand the meaning of the blessing. And with that experience and knowledge, and conviction to follow the truth, you got through those early hurdles.
And we were a bit older than you were.
Yes, many of the first generation were older by then; they weren't seventeen! But in our family all the older ones were also blessed very young, all around seventeen or eighteen. I was very young and that was a major factor, but at that adolescent age I was also headstrong and searching, because my faith was not fully substantiated. I wanted to state my own independence and seek out what I truly believed in. At that time I couldn't accept the blessing. I just went through the first semester at New York University, and from then on, as people may already know, we had a time of separation until 2000.
This is all building up to why I studied psychology in the end! I don't know how to explain in two sentences how I came to study psychology, or how I got to Harvard University.
Though I could not initially say yes to the blessing, Father was absolute. So at the age of seventeen and a half, I went out to try to find a job and survive in the real world.
That was a growing period for me, because in East Garden we lived very sheltered lives. We had a lot of members taking care of everything for us because our parents were doing their mission. There were a kitchen staff, security, driving, and laundry -- everything like that. Because we grew up in a public church, nowhere was ever our home, we were basically all communally dorming together. Even at seventeen, I didn't know about doing laundry -- simple things. It was like being fish in a fish bowl; we were physically cared for and watched over. Even the holidays or our birthdays were public, with people there we had never met. Life at East Garden was far from the real world crash course I got at seventeen, when I was without a clue.
But I realized through that growing experience -- without family, without love, without community -- not only how alone you are, but you begin to wonder, Why am I here? What I am I doing this for? You know, two jobs waitressing -- because I didn't have qualifications for anything else; and with no college education -- kind of being a squatter on peoples' couches until I was able to get roommates -- I was basically trying to survive in a very brutal, scary, predatory world where believing in trust, love, truth, goodness, and living for the sake of others meant being thought of as an easy target to use, abuse or disillusion.
But I think that experience was very good in many ways, because I got to see and begin to understand what the first generation members left in the outside world when they came into the church. It was a real growing experience for me in heart and soul -- and in humility.
Father had said, "If you want to do what you want to do, then go do it. But if you don't follow the truth... I cannot support that; I can only pray for you." For nine to ten months, I tried to live out there in the "real" world, which I thought had the truth, but all I found was a sea of falsehoods.
Then I developed Hodgkin's Lymphoma, though I didn't know it at the time. I had big lump on my neck, and everyone at work was saying, "You'd better check that out. That looks really weird." I had to get it x-rayed. I was saving money just to pay the rent and that was it. With waitressing, you don't get health insurance -- it's all tips. There was no cash for medical expenses. When the results came back, I got the diagnosis. That's when I had to come home.
You were just eighteen years old? I was eighteen and a half or nineteen. I had to go through chemotherapy and radiation. Cancer isn't a pleasant thing, especially at a young age. It was traumatic. In-sup and I still weren't together at time. But Mrs. Kim and a sister from East Garden, Young-sook, were truly angels in helping me through those years.
When I had no faith, Father never made it easy. He couldn't. He had to keep the standard of what was right. No matter what, he was the teacher. Even if he wanted to console us, if we went off in our own direction, at that point he had to do his mission.
I am very grateful for his doing that, because I see Father has always done God's absolute mission. I look at this and say he was absolutely correct, because if I had had the wisdom, if I could have had more faith -- that ability to follow True Parents -- then many of those difficulties would not have arisen. But I am also grateful for this life course because going through this truly solidified my belief and my faith. God works in mysterious ways [she smiles] -- but I am forever thankful to True Parents for never giving up on me and having so much patience, faith and unconditional love in all those difficult years.
Now that I am more mature, I see how my parents were always right; and they stayed strong because they wished the best for me and wanted me to not have to walk such a suffering life course. They had the wisdom, knowledge and truth and strictly observed it because they loved me. The decision to "heed the wisdom of elders" is the most mature one, because it is achieved with humility, trust, faith and love. With these attributes, the suffering life course recedes and the path to true life, true love, unfolds and can be received.
Since I took the long road, I encountered more roadblocks before getting here. After the cancer I went into major depression, which they say is normal for people who have suffered such traumatic situations so young in their lives. It can really throw you off your course. So, I received counseling.
So much of what Father is teaching is based on faith, yet so much of my real experience was based on "I don't understand this world of faith" and "I don't understand what I'm supposed to do in life." So, I thought I had to work through those questions in counseling.
It is interesting that members become somehow traumatized outside and come into the church and get a kind of spiritual counseling. But many in the second generation are raised up in this environment and need to go out for a while to find themselves individually, to then reconnect. For the second gen who connect sincerely and fully so young, as my husband did, I have so much respect. I always tell him, "I wish I were more like you." He always says the same back. He's being sweet.
But people think, Why psychology? That's not religious; it's so communistic, from Satan's side... And in many ways it is. A lot of it was blaming and finger pointing (very individualistic, as Father teaches) all about your wants and needs not being met. They said I hadn't been loved, that I was neglected, traumatized; I didn't have this or that. It was all me, me, me -- then the doctors would reinforce that with, This is why you have this problem, and that is why you have that problem, because your parents weren't there, and so forth. I think that whole experience of getting counseling, being inundated with that kind of thinking and not seeing a result in my personal development or even in my heart caused the depression to deepen.
They gave me medication. Having been schooled in the field, I know that a substantial number of patients are helped by such treatments, but for me it just led to a downward spiral of slowly dying. The medication did not solve anything for me. It made me worse actually. It did not let me take control over my mind and my body. What they saw as a remedy just took me out of my mind; it made me numb. It was an experience of searching for a lifeline. Everyone out there was saying, You need this -- you've had cancer, that was traumatic. But there was no lifeline. It was as if I were in limbo.
The counseling wasn't helpful for your post-cancer recovery?
As for the counseling, I cannot say that it was of no help, because it was the first time I was able to open up my thoughts and feelings to someone without their having the expectation that I was "Sun-jin nim." It was unhealthy to have held all those things inside and unrecognized. It was a very long course in a mini-hour talks to try share my heart, but that too had its limits. It was tough to try to share your soul and have a clock ticking and a big bill at the end to pay. Eventually it became just an indulgent hour-long complaint session of all the wrongs in my life and negative people and experiences.
It became very depressing, and I found no end to the cycle of hopelessness.
Father would say, at that time, You don't need medication and counseling. The truth is already there in your heart and conscience, you just need to make up your mind, and you can overcome it." He told me to have faith in God's love and pray. But I was still so immature.
So I stuck with the counseling, and it really threw me into a place where I saw the worst of what could happen to people when they don't have true love, true life or true community. Actually, that experience was a major eye-opener for me.
It wasn't until my brother Young-jin passed away that I actually stopped all the medications and refused to see counselors any more. I thought, I have a choice: to live or to die. If I am scared of death and scared of cancer killing me, and this is preventing me from really living my life, or I am stuck in the past with all the resentment over where I think my life was lost, or where I missed out, then I am dying -- and I am wasting my time here. Why am I sitting here with these counselors trying to figure out what went wrong? I'm living in death.
How do I want to live? Young-jin taught me that, through his passing. He was like the most perfect child, and I was the black-sheep older sister. He lived his life absolutely for True Parents. Ever since he was young he had a strict lifestyle, not only getting good grades in school but also really observing, and teaching younger kids about, Principle. He had this kind of wisdom and faith.
When Young-jin passed, I made a decision to make right my inability to live and to restore and indemnify my negative karma. When I looked at In-sup, he had the same kind of loving soul as my brother Young. I had caused this person pain and suffering because I hadn't had faith; I had just been thinking of myself, but he had stood by me in the family regardless. I couldn't live with the guilt of there being someone I had hurt and of not having made amends for that. Young-jin's passing made me realize how important life is and how love is a gift that should never be taken for granted.
That's when we reunited and got back together -- after Young-jin's passing. And that was the source of healing me; the blessing. [Sun-jin nim is close to tears] Receiving In-sup's love, his maturity and his forgiveness, really helped me to grow and see the value of what True Parents are teaching -- because In-sup really loved his parents and loved True Parents and he was grateful to them for showing him the way.
He taught me faith, by giving it to me wholeheartedly. And he taught me the real Principle of true love by embodying and living it. I saw the difference between how you help yourself mentally (or, for example, through out-dated psychology) and what we gain in our church through really having a community -- the hearts of people that can truly love, forgive and live for the sake of others, and really be such amazing human beings.
With all the experiences I had out in the world, I can't deny it. It really moved me. Together as a couple, as a family and community, I was able to heal, overcome and truly live this blessed life.
Of course it was and is a struggle every day. We struggled a lot in those years, because you don't just have an epiphany and change overnight. It's a process, but it is a process toward greater progress. Knowing all the bumps along the way, when we really feel joy is when we know for certain that we will never give up because experience and maturity proved that we can only become better, with more joy, laughter, love and fulfillment. And we couldn't have made it without all the support from True Parents, my family, and family members. This is a blessed life!
When was it that you decided to begin studying again?
Well, it wasn't until we got together that Father began, and has kept, saying, "Now that you are blessed, you should go back to school. Get educated so you can help with my mission in the future." At that time, I had no desire to study; I didn't feel anything in the world was worth it. I didn't want to be a businessperson. I thought that people just went to school for their own advancement. I thought, If I am going to any school, I just want to do cooking. If the cancer comes back -- it is "in remission" -- they never say it is cured... That was always a fear in my mind, I could die at any time. I was not going to spend five years studying something at school that I might not be on earth to utilize. I still was overcoming the cancer shock.
So, I went to the French Culinary Institute instead of college. I wanted to learn something that made me happy -- so that I could do something that made others happy. I went there and I finished that, and Father said, "Keep studying." No matter what, Father's going to push studying and growing.
What is so amazing about Father is that he forgives us and blesses us even further with his love. Despite all my difficult times and the years of heartache for True Parents, they only had hope and saw the best possible future for us all. He only sees life and its great potential.
In-sup Park nim: She is a great cook and homemaker. I'm blessed for that!
Sun-jin nim: At that point I didn't know what to study. In-sup had finished at Cornell and had gotten his MBA (while we were separated). We were living in the New Yorker Hotel at that time, and I was studying culinary arts. There was perfect synergy, with the food, beverages and hospitality combined with hotels, so that was the theme we ran with. We thought, why don't we get certified in hotel operation, go to hotel school? So we did that -- together, as a couple. It was good to have that experience, not only overcoming all those personal issues but also being students together. As I didn't understand all the business side, we worked to learn together.
How long ago was that?
In-sup Park nim: We got back together in 2000.
Sun-jin nim: Then In-sup started working at the New Yorker, from the bottom position, which meant working at the front desk and doing night auditing, which is entry-level work a high school graduate might do. He had an MBA from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) and a degree in economics / chemistry from Cornell University. Even if people didn't want him to be in a position of leadership at that time, we felt we could learn and grow.
While he was doing that, he also got a masters degree from NYU in hospitality and real estate investment, and that's when I went back to NYU to finish my undergraduate degree, which was long overdue. No matter what I did, Father always told me to keep studying and keep developing.
While I was doing that, Hyung-jin transferred into Harvard, and he was saying, "You have to come here. They have the best professors. You can learn so much!" As I was getting straight A's, I thought, Well, maybe I can get in.
So I applied and because of Hyung-jin's support, I did get in. I lost a year or so because I had to take Harvard core credits. Other people said, Why not just graduate quickly where you are? But Hyung-jin nim said, "You've got to come here. You know, we can be here together." He gave me the will to do that, and I was so grateful because the whole family got behind that. Kook-jin oppa encouraged me too. Hyung-jin and Kook-jin oppa were also so affected by Young-jin's passing, as was my entire family, but Kook-jin oppa was my rock. He invested so much love and time in our couple. Since we were little, we always had our birthdays together; I was really shy back then, but having him always there was my greatest comfort and strength. He is a pillar of our family. Kook-jin oppa was also the closest to Young, growing up. He really loved us younger ones a lot.
So In-sup and I were going back and forth between Boston and New York. In order to move forward with our lives that was the test at that time, but by the next semester my husband was working in Korea.
Kook-jin oppa offered In-sup a position at Seil Tour, because he had been given the mission to work for the Foundation in Korea by Father. He picked In-sup for his MBA and masters degree in hospitality and real estate management, which was a good background for the tourism business, and it connected with his experience in hotel asset management. It fit what we had studied and worked on. But that meant I would have to finish at Harvard by myself, and he would have to work in Korea. So for about eight months we were separated, half a world away but always one in our hearts. Not having him physically there was real tough for me, but Hyung-jin was at Harvard and he was my lifeline there. Then In-sup had the mission to go to Japan too, because after Seil Tour [in Korea] he was also given a position at Seichi Travel!
In-sup Park nim: Sun-jin really studied so hard. There is a passion for perfection in all she does. She graduated at the top of her class at Harvard. I'm so proud of her for overcoming all the obstacles in her life and succeeding in school.
Are you now living in Korea or Japan?
Sun-jin nim: Well, both.
In-sup Park nim: We divide it up -- one month in Japan, one month in Korea. Practically, it's good. I spend a month with Seichi and then a month with Seil, and we try to create synergy between the two companies. The companies have a long history, with True Parents building them from the ground up.
Sun-jin nim: We lived on the internet and Skype -- that was how we conducted our relationship. [In-sup nim said something here that the microphone didn't catch, and he and Sun-jin nim laughed together.] You know, he always supports me. He would call me at lunchtime in Korea and I would stay up past midnight in Boston so we could talk and share about school and work. I know it's not easy talking to your wife, who needs a lot of consoling, on the phone at work during your lunch hour, especially in Asia. But he was so great at juggling all these things; there is nothing he cannot do. He is my great survivor and pillar of strength too.
In-sup Park nim: And she is my pillar. She juggles the most with public church work, all the marketing and being the visionary for our company, as well as loving and caring for her family and all the grandchildren. She is so giving, caring for me at home, bringing gifts wherever she goes; she wants to see everyone happy and joyous. It takes a lot of energy and heart to do that!
Sun-jin nim: Who would have thought that we would be living and working in Korea and Japan? The companies and employees are amazing. They too have had a long history of struggle, but with the resolve to forge onward, upholding Father's vision, they have been able to bring success. To be working with such great blessed family members is an honor. It is our hope to offer to the best of our ability and education in hospitality and tourism to see the successful fruition of Father's dream of a global hospitality and tourism company.
This is a great blessing, because not only do I get to have the joy of such an important mission but being surrounded by our family members -- True Parents, my brothers' families and all the grandchildren -- they all give us the precious joys and love of having a family. We all live together in Korea, Hyo-jin oppa's family, Heung-jin oppa's, Kook-jin oppa's, mine and hyung's. It is an inspiration to see them all go out to work every day for the larger worldwide movement and mission. It is a real honor to be working alongside them and offering whatever we can. I'm so glad to be here and to have finished school and to finally be with everybody.
On holidays, the whole family gets together. We all have now found so much love, gratitude, unity and commitment to realize True Parents' dream. I'm so proud of each of them; In-jin onni, and Hyun-jin oppa are doing such tremendous work in America. And all my other siblings are working and studying, cultivating their amazing gifts. But the greatest gift is that we all can stand together hand in hand with our True Parents and offer our eternal gratitude and love to our parents and God.
Actually, what you learn in school is very far from the Principle in many respects. Critical thinking makes you criticize every idea that comes into your life, especially in matters of faith. In the field of psychology, they call religious faith "delusional." It was a growing period for me, to grapple with being educated, and to have the heart to try to understand True Parents. Having the support of my family and my husband, even from abroad at that time, made me realize how much psychology as taught at Harvard has its limits when it comes to what really saves lives.
So, finally, why did I study psychology? I wanted to understand this new way that was supposedly helping Americans come out of whatever negative things had taken hold of their lives, though I had not found complete happiness through it. I wanted to study it more to understand it more, because it does have some great insight too. In the context of experiencing my family and the course we went through, and learning from my family, from my husband and from my parents, I was drawn to look at what psychology is missing. That became a focus of my studies -- looking both at where people are linked with the positive psychology that agrees with a lot of what True Parents are teaching and at where people are lost in ineffective treatments that also show the truth of what True Parents are teaching -- that if you live for yourself as an individual, you will spiritually die.
How you can tap into psychology, creating synergy with what Father is teaching became my focus at that time. That's why I tried so hard in my studies; I spent so much time trying to find the holes in psychology and trying to link the gems of it with what Father taught. It was great to learn and to challenge the professors and myself. It was all a blessing, but it was very stressful. Sometimes I would be studying and cry alone; being a nerd is a tough life, but receiving so much love and faith from everyone kept me going.
I am always most grateful to Father.
He was never satisfied -- "Anything you do, you must keep going forward." So many times I thought, Why can't Father just say, 'You did a good job; you got your degree'? Why can't he be happy? Instead, Father always says, You can be better; get a PhD.
He always believed in me and that we could make True Parents proud. That's the strong lifeline that helped me get to where I am at present. But I see it's not just True Parents, it's the whole church, and it's all the brothers and sisters, and the people who took care of us when we were little; it's In-sup's parents, who gave him the foundation of faith to inherit the Principle and to love me at that time in our marriage when we were both immature; it's Mr. and Mrs. Peter Kim, who took care of us as children.
Mrs. Kim was my savior in the cancer year, driving me each week to get treatment and emotionally giving me love and spiritual strength. She also really loved and supported In-sup too through many turbulent times during all the years I was apart from him. There is no blessing we have now that is not a direct result of someone's true love and goodness.
Going on Mother's speech tour, I was awakened to how global and international Father's work is. In many ways, that solidified the clearing up of what I had misunderstood as a kid growing up, when I thought, Oh, I never have my parents here; I don't know where they are going; I don't know what they are doing.
Going with them, standing by them, and seeing brothers and sisters in every country was beyond amazing. We met all these families all around the world that were loved or moved by True Parents and in return were giving us so much love... Love is really eternal, unchanging and absolute.
When I look back at everything, all I have is absolute gratitude to True Parents, to my family, and to all our brothers and sisters around the world. I also have eternal gratitude for the forgiveness, the love, hope and faith that all of you that held the fort have had. We have to honor the truth and mission that all the first-generation members have been giving their lives for. We have to honor that with our lives. We need to carry that torch and illuminate it brighter than ever.
I can't say any trial I've overcome is my own accomplishment, since I live because of all of you, and because to True Parents I was the most burdensome and worrisome child. I always say, "I am very sorry" to True Parents.
Father showered me with praise, "Ah, you got straight A's at Harvard." And all I could say was, "I'm sorry. I can't imagine how much heartache I must have caused you and mother for all those years."
I am so grateful for Father and Mother. Thank God! He doesn't give up. You can go away but there is always forgiveness, because the heart of a parent never abandons a child; a parent can't sleep until everyone is home. That's what I have learned in my life. A parent's heart is God's heart.
I see each of the brothers and sisters at this point, a little older, all maturing, middle-aging, and they have children and families too. I think that once you become a parent you understand everything your parents wished for you. You understand the parents' heart. Although because of my illness I am not able to have children, I have grown with my family. We all live together, with all my nieces and nephews, so I have adopted my own huge family. I am grateful to Father and Mother; they are saying, "You can be the auntie for all these children -- you actually have the biggest family." When I hear that, I don't see myself as lacking something but actually gaining everything.
I realize I can only be grateful in front of True Parents. I only have gratitude. I haven't done anything myself, it is because of the whole worldwide family of love you built, this is heaven on earth. It is all because True Parents, our brothers and sisters and Heavenly Father have really given me life: I have no other way to explain it... [Sun-jin nim weeps] We only wish to carry forward that great lineage of true love and life.
Now Hyung-jin is caring for the members and trying to build a global community, to take care of all the different generations -- as now we have a first, second, third and even a fourth generation in Father's lifetime..
I know many blessed children have gone through difficult courses, but in the end they have tremendous love for their parents. With that respect and gratitude toward the first generation, and the first generation receiving guidance from Father, and all brothers and sisters inheriting from True Parents, I look at it as one world under God. It's not impossible... Never lose faith, never give up hope, know that God and True Parents will never abandon you, and that you are precious and loved.
I think every family member, every person (as Hyung-jin says), has a unique gift. We're so grateful to see the sacrifice that every person in this movement has made, to really care for, and build the foundation in the world.
In-sup Park nim: There's a spectrum of personality types among the True Children; people can relate to different True Family members. The world is diverse and they have a broad spectrum of views and ideas. So, I think this might be the relevance of having twelve tribes, because there are many diverse paths that can lead back to True Parents. With True Parents, we can connect with God's universal and unchanging love.
Sun-jin nim: In one service, Hyung-jin said that when we were growing up, we were taught perfection -- we have to be perfect, or we have failed. Members sometimes come up to us and say, We're sorry, we failed you; we are not perfect.
But in the sermon, Hyung-jin clarified that what Father actually said in Korean, when translated into English, is closer to the word "maturity."
So all the years you heard that you have to be "perfect," Father was actually saying you need to be mature. That is the goal of the growth process -- formation, growth and maturity. That is when you can live for the sake of others, go beyond the self, family, community and world to reach God.
When I studied psychology, I learned that when you see things in terms of success and failure, it stops you from really growing. The best thing is to keep growing, to keep trying, and to persevere no matter what. That is the lesson I have learned in my life. Father always says, Never give up, keep going, keep developing, persevere, don't stop. He never says, You're not worthy; he says, You can grow; I have faith in you.
He has had faith beyond what I could see for my own life. He sees the ultimate mature potential in a person, he sees you growing and being one with God. That is the ultimate teacher; Father will never stop teaching and believing in us until we reach that potential.
When I see all my brothers and sisters going through their own struggles and coming on board through these tragic experiences, it is God waking us up to the fact that we need to work together, we have to work as one united family within that one vision that True Parents have. That was the most important message, as Father said. In his hospital bed, the only thing he was stressing was unity: "It's not any one person. You all need to be one with each other under God and True Parents." When we live for each other, the teacher can be at peace and feel contentment. That is the ultimate degree, ultimate maturity and ultimate joy that we are all committed to achieve, one worldwide family under God eternal.
Aju! When we are one unified world family under God, God as the greatest parent can be at peace and in love, knowing all His children have come home safe and sound.