Sleep over it

Sleep over it

HARI VENKATESAN takes the approach of self-compassion towards self-improvement and managing emotions. Here he shares some tips from his own experience.

The pace of life has greatly increased with the advent of smartphones and wireless high-speed internet. Along with the convenience that these means bring, they also bring heightened expectations in terms of efficiency. We are expected to respond to messages and mails within hours, and sometimes even minutes. As human beings get used to this fast pace of life, it is all too easy to make mistakes.

There is an ancient Chinese saying that says, “Hold on just a little and the winds and waves die down; take one step back and you are no longer in a corner.” In this age of 3-in-1 coffee, fast food, and instant messaging, one virtue that we are fast losing is patience: patience in the face of trials and tribulations, and patience in the face of our own emotions.

Let us take the latter first. For example, you receive an unreasonable email about work, or someone makes a snide remark about you. You are compelled from inside to hit back instantly, and the matter quickly escalates. It is precisely at the moment when you are in the grip of emotions such as anger, rage, disappointment, frustration, and really feel justified to react sharply. Let a night pass and see how you feel about the whole thing the next morning. Very often, you will thank yourself for not having been too quick to react, and might actually see things differently. This might not seem possible at times, but even then, it would be well to make it a rule to never speak or act until the heart is calm. Heartfulness Meditation makes this possible naturally by making us aware even before we are about to act on impulse and presenting us with a choice to alter course.

Just like an arrow speeds forth, words spoken cannot be recalled. As for those sent out in retort and reaction, chances are that they will do no more than challenge the ego of the receiver. The result cannot be anything other than two egos clashing and trying to prove the other wrong. When this happens, even if we see some point in the arguments the other makes, our egos will simply not permit us to admit it, making the conversation wholly useless. Especially when it comes to close relationships, awkward as it may be, it is much better to cut such a conversation short politely and let a night pass, with the promise to revisit it again. Once the grip of emotions is loosened, we will be in a much better state to forgive and understand. Heartfulness Cleaning helps enormously in pressing that inner reset button that makes this possible.

When we feel depressed, frustrated, or disappointed about things, it is equally necessary to remember that if there is anything permanent in the universe it is change. This also means that whatever we face is equally destined to change. It is important not to give into the feeling of despondency, and focus our energies instead on what we can do. A lot of the time, problems are enormously magnified because of the amount of attention we give them.

Is it not be better to focus energies on what we can do rather than wasting time on thinking about possible outcomes or mentally struggling with resentment and frustration? It is precisely these that tire us and enhance the struggle.

In place of this tiring struggle of the mind, a much more positive vibratory input would be prayer. This does not refer to a formalized religious ritual, but to an appeal to the wisdom of the higher Self within to bring forth a wider vision of things. Since we have done our best, all we need to do is await the result. If there is more to be done, we can go ahead, but just remember to remove the struggle from the heart. It is this struggle that attenuates focus, weakens efforts, and tires us. The state where we simply focus on doing our best, and let things fall where they do, comes naturally as a result of prayer-meditation.

As for how to be sure you did your best, accept that all you did yesterday was the best you could do yesterday. If there are a few hours remaining today, see what you can do to address the problems you face. But once the day is over, consider that you did your best today.

Whenever you really feel like hitting back, reacting, or you feel like the world around you is going dark with little hope or relief in sight, sleep over it. You will not feel the same tomorrow.




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