This blog was first posted on mycity4kids.com
The other day I was cleaning my house. It was not the routine of mopping and dusting but it was a conscious and planned effort to separate the essentials from the clutter. We often make spontaneous purchases but we don’t always use them. Some things just lie in the cupboard for no use. There are some other things which are now worn out or unusable but we don’t want to throw them because there are memories attached to it. All this eventually results in heaps and piles of unwanted things at home. Hence, I had planned to throw away at least 50% of the unwanted things that day so that I am able to make space for the things that I really need.
At the end of this cleaning session, I was surprised to see how much space was freed up in my wardrobe, how the kitchen looked clutter free and how the contents in other cupboards were neatly arranged. It brought in a fresh feeling! After all, who doesn’t like an organised house?
Then a thought crossed my mind. Why can’t we follow the same action for all the clutter that we have in our mind?
Lot of times, our mind is full of negative emotions like anger, frustration, envy, loneliness, guilt. We do not acknowledge these emotions because we sympathize with self thinking it is natural and just to be angry, frustrated in so and so situation. Meaning, I will obviously get angry if someone insults me. I will think that the person is very rude. I will hate that person. I will not talk nicely with that person. What am I doing here? I am dwelling on negative emotions which is wrong. It is natural to feel negative emotions but what is important is we let go.
Unless I let go these negative emotions how am I going to be able to make space for positive emotions? Same like cleaning my house! I suddenly felt like I found a key to happiness.
If I let negative emotions dwell on my mind, it will set me in an infinite loop of negativity and then it will be very difficult to break through this loop.
I remember a story that my dad used to tell me when I was small. It said, Happiness is deaf and Sorrow is blind. The more crib and cry regarding why you are made to suffer or the more you talk bad about others, sorrow will come searching for you taking help of the noise (cribbing) that you make. Where as since happiness is deaf it will not be able to hear how unhappy your are. However, if you distance yourself from crying and cribbing happiness will see some space and will come and occupy that space. It will spread happiness in that space in such a way that sorrow will not be able to make any damage to you.
As a child I could not understand the depth of this story, but when I grew up I realized how meaningful and important it is.
The best way is to practice One In One Out Rule. It is nothing but what I explained above. Take out one and make place for another! For example, if you are short tempered, make conscious efforts to get angry less often. It will not happen overnight but if you continue with your efforts it will certainly happen over a period of time. Once you are able to control your anger see how it makes way for calmness. As and how your anger (magnitude + frequency) will go on reducing, you will have more serenity and patience. Thus, one negative emotion goes out and one positive emotion comes in.
You are the best judge of yourself. Because only you will know how do you react and why do you react in that fashion. Find of things in you that need to go out. It could be anything like anger, laziness, fear/phobia, hatred etc. Be on a look out for good things that you want to gain like containment, happiness, patience, modesty etc. Work on yourself to throw out bad things and bring in good things.
Friends, most of the things in life are simple but we complicate them because of our reflexes and negative thoughts in our minds. And in order to have a calm and positive mind, it is very important to detox your mind periodically, like you detox your body.
This will help you to gain control over your emotions, rather right kind of emotions and it will certainly transform you into a better individual.
Dr T. P Chia says:
“To balance and control your emotions is one of the most important things in life. Positive emotions enhance your life. Negative emotions sabotage your life. We all live at the mercy of our emotions. Our motions influence and shape our desires, thoughts and behaviors and above all our destiny. Positive emotions, such as the feelings of love, kindness, self-worth, confidence and optimism, produce a better person and a good destiny.”
Master the art of One In One Out and take charge of yourself, be a better individual!
Do share your experiences in comments section below.
In fact, I am reminded of a very simple yet beautiful story.
Once a disciple asked Lord Buddha, “I want happiness! How do I find it?” And he replied, “Son! The answer lies in your statement – I want happiness.
“I” stands for ego. Eliminate the ego. “Want” stands for need or expectations. Eliminate the need or expectations.
And what are you left with, when you eliminate these? Happiness, of course!”
When I look back upon all the things in my life, which caused me unhappiness or negativity, stress or pain, I realized the problem lay either in the “I” i.e. Ego or “want” i.e. Need. The problem was internal, not external. Realizing that brought about the biggest peace of mind that I could achieve.
We hold on when we should have let go. We let go when we should have held on. And the difference again lies in these two words – I and want – ego and expectations.
When we look at things and events calmly and dispassionately, and let go of the “I” and the “want”, there will be very few things that will make us unhappy.
On a lighter note – I guess that’s why minions are always happy… No ego… no expectations…
Well said Pranav
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