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Saturday, May 24, 2014

When s#$t happens, forgive yourself, and move on…

Don’t be too harsh on yourself. It completely ruins your inner peace. If something goes wrong, get up, dust yourself, and move on!

The other day, I left the keys to my home in an auto-rickshaw. I was holding the keys in my hand as we were nearing my home when, I reckon, it must have fallen off unknown to me. It was only when I reached the door of my apartment that I realized I had lost the keys. Luckily, the driver is known to us, so I could summon him back to hand over the keys to me. But a wave of anger and guilt rose within me. I was angry with myself. I consider myself to be very organized and responsible. Already in so many areas of my Life, things are totally, bizarrely, insanely out of control. Each day is a tightrope walk. And now, in these challenging and difficult times, I have become disorganized and irresponsible? Just this thought made me very, very, very angry with myself. For several hours after the incident I remained disturbed. I had got my keys back, but I could not accept that “I” had “become” so careless.

Then, during my mouna (when I remain silent for some time each day) session, I thought through the whole event and experience. My response of anger and guilt was but natural. I could not have and I need be suppressing that natural reaction. But to continue to dwell on that sense of rage and grief, I realized, was futile. I reasoned that no one is or can ever be perfect. The act of missing the keys was but a metaphor. It reminded me that you do drop a few catches in the game of Life. This doesn’t mean that you don’t know how to play the game. It’s just that, momentarily, your concentration may have wavered or maybe the situation you are placed in got the better of you. I decided to forgive myself. And, instantaneously, I felt my inner peace was restored.

When we cause things to go wrong, or when things don’t go our way, in either case, let’s remember that the initial wave of anger and depression that sets in is normal. Don’t fight it, don’t resist it. Depression is like any other emotion. It will rise and subside on its own. In such times, as I did over my keys episode, and as I do often, quiet reflection helps. This period of solitude is important because, otherwise, the human mind will drag you into reasoning that everything is wrong with your Life. It will quickly connect several dots backward and justify to you that you are increasingly becoming inefficient and worthless. This is when the second wave of depression will drown you – in self-pity and remorse. This is what you must be very wary of. If unchecked, this wave can push you into a long depressive spiral, recovering from which can take a long, long time.

Remember: being human you will make a few mistakes. Treat each episode in isolation. When s#$t happens, forgive yourself and move on. Don’t see patterns where none exist. Watch your anger, with yourself or with the situation or with the one who caused it, melt away with reflection. It is only through these reflections that you realize the value of the inner peace that you have and are capable of having.  

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