I receive so many wonderful messages, comments, and thank-yous for my "Bullying" blog that I feel a follow-up is due. I've been in therapy for the past few years and as I go over my life story and some of the events that happened to me, my therapist Kristina Lund always remarks that I should either be in jail, or a raging alcoholic. She points out that somebody went out of their way in my life to actually care about me and help me. She always points to my Tai-Chi teacher Master T.T. Liang. She showed me how his attention and time and teachings helped me discover the moral and social fabrics of martial arts. He truly emphasized good health, well-being, and peace of mind. Liang's kindness,concern, and subtle, and not-so-subtle, guidance were the major turning point in my developing adult life.
There is another person who truly helped me in my formative years, transitioning from a teenager to young adult. That teacher, friend, and brother, is Paul Gallagher. 16 years my senior, he befriended me and nurtured me and open my eyes and heart on many levels. He introduced me to many things in nature and art and culture, as well as Tai-Chi and meditation. Paul gave me many books that changed my life and continues to be an inspirational example of a cultured and realized human being.
These two helped me go past the punch/kick aspect of martial arts and explore the spiritual and healing treasures that are the true hallmark of the internal martial arts, especially Tai-Chi. It's to these two men, who mothered me, and saw past my many flaws to reach out and help me realize other options in life, that I am indebted to and grateful for.