In October, I’d written a post entitled The Thing That Nobody Talks About. It was a sensitive subject, for it can be uncomfortable for some people to discuss and also because of certain memories associated with my journey.

However, the feedback from all of you was so positive, and thanks so much to Lina ji who suggested I put it forward, it has been selected for an upcoming anthology Shades of a Woman — a collection of writings by female authors about striving to become better. The works of a few other authors whose names you might recognise from have also been selected! Congratulations! I’m proud of us sisters 🙂 I’ll share more details once it’s published.

Swami ji has given us, this incredible platform, to share. I try my best – sometimes to make someone smile, sometimes to share some learnings from my experiences, hopefully, to be helpful. I’m learning so much, and sometimes I find my own healing takes place as I read your insightful posts and when I open up my heart to you and write with truth and vulnerability.

Since being initiated into monastic robes, everyone I meet who hears snippets of my life and how I ended up on this path tells me I should write my life story. I always dismissed this idea for I’d never really written before, and I saw it as a me-me-me project – not exactly my favourite topic.

However, after the feedback I’ve received and especially after reading your posts, I understand better than ever the power of experience, how hearing about others’ experiences can have a positive effect on people. And because of so much encouragement, and the voice and confidence that Swami ji has given me, I thought perhaps I could write my story.

And even if nobody reads it, perhaps it’s something I’m ready to do now anyway. I feel it will be an incredibly liberating experience for me to face my past with the detachment and objectivity I am learning under Swami ji’s tutelage – something I would not have been able to do before – to write about the things that I have been holding on to for a lifetime. Time to let it all out, as they say.

I have some hope that the themes and issues raised and how I dealt with them (or, probably more aptly, how I made certain choices and a lot of mistakes and learned from them), might be helpful to others who can relate.

I am aware that I’m opening up a can of worms and it will be uncomfortable. I am no saint. I was not born a saint. There was nothing saintly about my birth or my life. I’ll be open to judgment and criticism and I’m okay with that; that’s just how this world is. It’s full of gift-givers, and it’s up to me which gifts I accept. If anyone, even if just one person, is positively inspired in some way, it will be worth it.

What’s most important to me is that my revered guru, Om Swami ji, knows me and doesn’t think I’m a lost cause, not completely anyway!… I hope 🙂 Nothing that I write will be news to Him, for He knew my soul before I had even met Him in person in this life. Plus, He’s heard it all directly from me before. He quietly listened to me yapping away, and hey, I’m still here! He has never made me feel any less of a person.

Thank You, Swami ji, for Yours is the biggest heart that contains zero judgement and gives us all space to heal and grow. Thank You for very, very, very… patiently motivating me to strive to improve.

I also thank my family for their permission and blessing to write my story. When I approached my parents with the idea that I might be ready to write about my life, we discussed together what might and might not be appropriate to talk about. I want them to feel comfortable with everything I write – this is very important to me.

My parents very graciously said I should write whatever I want, as what I have to say might help and inspire others in some way.

In my father’s words,

“Every family has problems and struggles, we don’t have to pretend like we don’t. And if you can help someone by writing your story, do it.”

And I’d also like to mention in advance, that I am closer to my parents than ever before, especially my father. With Swami ji’s Grace we have worked on our relationship and we understand each other now. My father has become as soft and loving as a smooshy puppy! Even my parents seem more in love with each other than ever. Just the mention of Swami ji’s name brings a softness and light to my father’s face and all he has to say when he thinks of Swami ji is, “Thank You, I love You.”

I refer here to a couple of paragraphs from my post The Thing That Nobody Talks About:

“At the age of 15, I was hospitalised after the first of a number of attempts to take my own life. I had suffered some childhood traumas and the emotions I felt every month were so extreme that I couldn’t handle them. I didn’t want to live like that anymore.”

“In my 20s and 30s, I was diagnosed with different mental illnesses including borderline personality disorder, bipolar disorder, PTSD and different types of depression.”

The childhood traumas mentioned might not be something that I shall go into detail about. Although my parents have given me their blessing to write, to this day, the whole family are living with a constant reminder, the after-effects, of that darkness that destroyed something in each of us. The last thing I want to do is re-open that painful door for them. And it is not my right to make their most unpleasant afflictions public, only my own if I wish to. 

Besides, I feel that the details of the traumas are unimportant. What’s important is that every child and every person who has been broken in some way can feel a glimmer of hope. That no matter what challenges you face, no matter how un-saintly you think you are, no matter what anyone has done to you, or put you through:

You CAN choose to live differently 

You CAN heal

You CAN live a beautiful, fulfilling, and meaningful life

I offer this and the chapters that will follow at the feet of The Mother of The Universe. May my life be of use to You and to others, Swami ji, my Mother and Father Most Divine. I love You. I feel safe and protected by You. Thank You for changing my life. Thank you for everything.


The series will begin soon. In the meantime, I’ve been racking my brain for a title for it and I’m stumped. If you have any suggestions, do leave them in the comments below. It will be really helpful! (EDIT: Thank you for your help and suggestions. As you see by the updated title and picture, we’ve decided on ‘Confessions of a Merry Monk’. I hope you enjoy the series!) 

Please take care of yourselves and each other.

With His Grace, 

Sushree Diya ❤️

Please click here to continue to Part 2