Thursday, May 17, 2012

Lessons from my Mission-Concerning 정

"정 (jung) is this point-or status you reach in a relationship with someone where both parties would be willing to do anything for the other person. You would give anything to them; clothes, food, or your life if it came to it. And there's no translation for it in English."

When I first hear one of my MTC teachers describe what 정 was, something inside of me clicked. In an instant I knew one of the reasons I'd been called to Korea. It was like a missing puzzle piece had been snapped into place, and the picture was starting to come together.

Relationships have always meant a lot to me. There's been many relationships I've had where I've always felt like I was putting more into it than the other person. I just remember being so excited to go to a country where people would finally give me back what I was putting in.

When I arrived to Korea, I wasn't disappointed. From the sister who saw me my first Sunday and embraced me in a huge hug, to the the ward mission leader that brought me dukboki as my last meal, I knew that I would love Korea and it's people for the rest of my life. My job was to serve them, to give them everything I have. And they gave me everything in return. It was the essence of 정.

Since I've been home, my mind has been wrapped up in relationships. I've been a bit focused on myself I'll ashamedly admit. I've pushed the "ignore" button on my phone too many times for people I should want to talk to, wondered why people I thought I had 정 with don't answer my text messages, and struggled to find the motivation to make new friends when all I really want to do is be back in Korea or Provo.

But somehow, in the midst of all this self-pitying, I've realized that since I've been home, I've missed the point of what 정 is. That its really all about not focusing on yourself.

To the people I haven't been giving much 정 to, I'm sorry. To the people I thought I had 정 with but haven't talked to lately, I'll still always be there for you. To the people I'll be building 정 with shortly, just be patient with me. It's not always easy to start anew in an old place.

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