Today’s Podcast recommends that when we don’t know what to do in Life, we must keep the Faith and be Patient. We must trust the process of Life that if we have been created we will be cared for. And while we wait to be looked after by Life, we must be Patient. I draw on the two principal tenets of Shirdi Sai Baba’s teaching – Faith (Shraddha) and Patience (Saburi).
Listen time: 4:50 minutes
Learning to be non-frustrated holds the key to intelligent living!
My friend from Nagpur commented on my blogpost of a few days ago saying he disagreed with my view that “our wishing alone cannot change our reality, our Life”. I have said this in so many blogposts, but let me elaborate, one more time, here. By championing acceptance, I am not suggesting that we resign to the situation. Acceptance does not mean inaction, it does not mean resignation. Acceptance is awareness of any current reality. It is the opposite of denial. Once you are accepting of a situation, you can decide what to do in it. But if you are running away from it, denying it, how can you ever expect to turn it around?
Important, acceptance teaches you to be non-frustrated with the outcomes of your efforts. Acceptance cannot solve your problems. It can only help you work in a focused and calm manner on your problem. But sometimes a problem may endure. Like in our case, for Vaani and me, it has been around for a decade now already. (Read more here: Fall Like A Rose Petal) When a problem refuses to go away, despite your best efforts, acceptance helps you cope with it, without getting frustrated or depressed that you are not being rewarded for your intent, talent, integrity and hard work.
When I say, no matter what you do – or don’t do – whatever has to happen alone will happen, I am championing non-frustrated living. I am not saying sit back and resign to your fate. Living in the world, and yet being above it, as the Bhagavad Gita teaches, as the Bible teaches, does not mean inaction. It is a lot of action – when you learn to trust the process of Life by doing what you can do in a situation and leaving the outcomes, the results, to Life. To be sure, trusting the process of Life requires a lot faith and patience, it calls for integrity of Purpose and detached determination. It means ploughing on along the path unmindful of the terrain and the time it will take to get to where you must arrive. It means that you understand and celebrate Life’s biggest truth that, always, the journey is more important than the reward.
Living untouched by Life – by people, by events, by circumstances – around us is the key to intelligent living!
My post yesterday on learning to deal with everyday frustrations and anger elicited quite a response. One of the readers says that despite practicing ‘mouna’ – daily silence periods – worry arrives to destroy inner peace.
I know what he means. I have once lived a horrible Life – worrying incessantly. To be able to handle worry, we must first understand Life and understand the world around us. Please don’t expect worry not to arise. Don’t wait for absence of worry to feel inner peace. Learn not to worry instead. Learn to be non-worrying – that’s true happiness! The ultimate goal and measure of success of intelligent living is not to change your external environment and make it incapable of causing you worry or making you feel fearful or angry. It is impossible to control Life or the actions of the world. But you can control your thoughts and your responses to how you are thinking. So, intelligent living is about nurturing your inner space and insulating yourself from the vagaries of the world. This is what the Bible says ‘living in the world but not of it’ and what the Bhagavad Gita says ‘of living in this world but being above it’.
To be sure, there are enough and more temptations and distractions out there. And we are not talking about materialistic objects of desire alone. Or of ruinous addictions like alcohol, tobacco or drugs either. While these are deterrents to intelligent living, most certainly, what we need to be wary of are the myriad ways in which we get dragged into banal situations on a daily basis. Think deeply about this. How often in a day do you worry about a future event __ someone’s terminal illness and impending passing, a child’s graduation, someone’s wedding or about loans to be repaid? How often in a day do you grieve over the past __ having experienced someone wrongly, an irreconcilable loss, a mistake you made or a hurt you caused someone? How often do you lose your patience or temper or both daily __ on a child or spouse or subordinate, with just someone on the street or even with yourself? Each of these episodes takes us away from living. Every time we worry about the future or fret over the past or get dragged into anger spells, every single time, we die a death. Ask yourself if worry or fear or anger has ever helped you solve any of your problems? If they have, please worry, please continue to cower in fear and please be angry. But the truth is these three emotions are a complete waste of your living time. They hold you hostage. And what’s worse is that you are allowing them to hold you hostage!
So, break free! Please don’t try to fix what’s happening around you, outside of you. Focus on how you are feeling. And go to work on making yourself remain calm and peaceful. Remember: a moment lost to worry or fear or anger is a moment that’s not lived!