This is my love story, my Personal Growth in my capacity to love..

by Anastasia Retno Pujiastuti (Nana)

What non-love has destroyed can only be rebuilt by love.

(Andre Rochais)

For a long time, I didn’t really know how to love. Luckily, as a child I was shown the value of humanity and how to live compassion for people. What I learned was “to love is to pay attention to others with service and kindness”. It blended with the norms and many “must” from my human environment. I did good things with persistence and perseverance because I feel a deep sense of humanity in me.

Therefore, through my childhood and teenage years, I was always a good girl. People liked me because I did a good job to get love. At the same time, I hungered for true love, even though I always kept it for myself. I always cried in my bedroom without knowing why. I think that time I felt a sense of missing something, but I could not analyse it. I did not have good relationship with authority figures, and I did not love myself because I always felt “ugly”. I felt bad about myself. I had a negative self-image. At this stage, my capacity to love was purely driven by my value of humanity.

The next stage of my capacity to love was when I was in college. I had more freedom to go out from home. I joined youth organisations. I met many friends. In this stage, my capacity to educate was shown combining with my humanity through many social activities. And I found love through my activities. I have the capacity to sincerely love children with disabilities in a community, street children, and friends from the youth organizations. Because I always practised pure kindness driven from my sense of humanity, they loved me, and I loved them. Friendships were important for me at this stage, because through friendships, I found love. BUT I did not love myself. I ignored myself. I believed I was no good.

After that, I had a great career, and from time to time I attended PRH workshops. I learned for the first time that I have the capacity to love and to be loved. I met a man with a simple personality. I admired him at the level of his being. We fell in love. I loved him totally. He was alone in Jakarta and had to send his money to his family. That was why he lived in poor condition. Then he got very sick with tuberculosis. Despite my tight schedule, I took care of him until he got well and finally, he decided to go back to his village. It was beyond my logic that I loved him. But I did, and he loved me too. Alas, the person did not have courage to ask me to marry him, even though his family supported him to do so. He did not have the courage to ask me to live in his village. He had to choose another woman from his village because he had to get married right away. It was the rule of his people, who needed him to be the leader in the village.

Through this very sad time, PRH helped me. It kept me going and growing. I wrote what was inside my inner world. I used the PRH tool of analysing the sensation and elaborating what is inside my deep heart until it revealed my deeper truth. PRH analyses helped me accept what had happened by understanding the reality of him and the human environment. More than that, I found that even though anything can change outside me, what is inside me cannot be taken by anyone or any situation. I discovered my unwavering treasures – Love, Care, and Humanity, that strengthen me through my life.

After that, I joined PRH more intensely, which prepared me for the next stage of my growth. Unexpectedly, two children came into my life – 3 year-old twins who needed a home. It was amazing. I decided to embrace them. It felt like a miracle that one day they said, “Can I call you ‘mother’?” I accepted their request sincerely. That was the time I realized that I have the capacity to love in a great way.  By being their mother, I learned to love people to my very best. I experienced unconditional love during a difficult period in my economic situation. My love for the twins is a blessing for me. I learn to love in the right way. I give all my attention to them for them to grow. I make every effort to make them to go to good school. I talk to them in a life-giving way. I am freeing them to become themselves, even though what they like is not what I like. I can express my anger in a good way if I need to. I can hug them and tell them the reason why I am angry. I can direct them to see what is good and true. I can educate them to be themselves and at the same time to show them an adaptive way to be authentic. I don’t want to lose them, but at the same time I know that someday they will choose their own way to be or not to be with me. PRH has helped me experience my growth journey. I have learned to accept myself, which then helps me in expressing my love to others.

My capacity to love grew through the long journey to find my true color. Now I can see that my value of humanity, my quality to be a true friend, my capacity to accompany persons, and my capability to accept others sincerely in all of my condition and others’ conditions clearly come from my pure love. Through those experiences, I become a person who can love and be loved unconditionally. My love life has been rebuilt by my own love because of PRH.

Anastasia Retono Pujiastuti (Nana) is a PRH facilitator/accompanist on the way to become a PRH Educator. She will be facilitating PRH “Who Am I” this year.

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