Living with worry, fear, guilt, anger and more…

Many of us hope, through techniques and methods, to get rid of debilitating emotions like fear, worry, guilt or anger. But the truth is you can’t ever rid yourself of worry or fear or guilt or anger. You can only__and have to__learn to live with them. By learning to not give them any attention, you make them powerless. When they don’t rule your thinking, your mind adapts to your native state of peace, love, abundance and joy!

There are two states in which we naturally operate. Sub-conscious Doing and Conscious Doing. Intelligent living lies in making the important shift to Conscious Doing.

Let’s take the example of driving a car on a highway. There are so many things you are doing. And most of them are being done sub-consciously. You are driving, of course. But you are also having a conversation with someone riding with you. As you are doing this you are changing gears, switching your feet between the pedals on the footboard and keeping a sharp watch on the road ahead. This kind of doing is Sub-conscious Doing. It also comes from practice – when you are habituated to doing something.

Take another example of driving the same car through a very bad traffic jam. You are doing the same things with the highest level of focus and intense vigilance. This is Conscious Doing.

When we worry or fear an outcome or  grieve over something we are often actually doing it sub-consciously. Think about it carefully and you will agree with me. Which is, we don’t even know we are worrying, but because we are worrying we are not present in the moment. Long periods of time in a day are spent by many of us being absent from the present. You are, for instance, in a meeting at work. It is closer to 3 PM. And you are actually worrying if your kids got home and ate their meal because you have not got an SMS yet from your older one. You are worried how your younger one, who went to school with an upset tummy, is now feeling. A colleague shoots a question at you and you snap out of your worry-filled reverie and quickly struggle to get back into the meeting. Worrying cannot be eradicated entirely. But you can choose to shift from such sub-conscious worrying to, let us say, conscious worrying. Which is, by shifting from not knowing you are worrying to knowing exactly why you are worrying and knowing how to not feed your worry any attention anymore! You make this shift by increasing your level of awareness. And that comes from practicing, diligently, daily, not to give certain, especially those debilitating foursome, emotions too much attention. The secret lies in choosing what you want your mind to attend to.

So, if you choose being calm consciously, you avoid sub-conscious worrying. And even if you must worry__let us say over the health of a loved one__you do that from a positive, productive perspective. Your worry then leads to constructive action and not to debilitating grief or sorrow. Through repeated practice, and through consciously, consistently, choosing to be calm, you become your state of being __ you are then aglow with the Universal Energy.

The Buddha was asked this question: Why do the noble beings who have developed their minds appear so calm and radiant? The Buddha replied:

‘They sorrow not for what is past,
They yearn not after that which is not come,
The present is sufficient for them:
Hence it is they appear so radiant.
By having longing for the future,
By sorrowing over what is past,
By this fools are withered up
As a cut-down tender reed.’

Indeed. It is not as if the calmer folks you see around you have nothing to worry about or fear or get angry over. Anyone will get angry if there is a provocation. Anyone will fear a consequence which one has not experienced. Anyone will carry the guilt of a mistake. And anyone will have to face worries that surface in the mind. Because all of these emotions are led by thoughts. And thoughts are like waves. They keep ceaselessly, untiringly, lashing on the mind’s shore. By training the mind to only do things consciously__including thinking__we have an opportunity to live freely, fully, without fear, anger, guilt, worry and more bothering us. Without any of them taking us away from living in the moment!