For everything you have missed, you have gained something else. Ralph Waldo Emerson
Many of us keeping ruing missed opportunities and wallow in self pity. Instead if we managed to look at the situation dispassionately we would immediately be able to connect some benefit however small in the situation. There is a classic statement, that mirrors this attitude, which we often resort too when a person dies young, which reads as ‘Those whom the Gods love die young’. The statement accepts the reality of death of a young one and yet reasons that it happened for a more special reason.
In the relatively more mundane business of life, there are heart breaks galore and a few glimpses of ecstasy. Boredom, repetitiveness of the work done, indifference of people around, failures that occasional we face are all undesirable happenings that sap our energy and kill our spirit. Worse still are the unexpected shocks, the sudden calamities that befall us and / or the trauma one faces when one goes through a life changing experience. While most of us manage to weather these storms of life there are few fragile souls who succumb to the pain and end up losing their balance or committing suicide. How one copes with the unexpected pain is critical to appreciate how one begins to value what pleasure one is blessed with.
The fundamental technique to confront our fears, worries and tensions is to step back and accept the reality without exaggeration. Once we accept the reality we need to somehow reconcile to it. As long as we cannot accept and reconcile to the reality we will never be able to see and appreciate the blessings left behind by the aftermath. Imagine losing all of one’s possession to a fire or a major earthquake. Our initial reaction is a lament that we should have perished too. This lament is one of deep aguish and searing pain but when rationality takes over we curse fate and luck in order to rationalize the reality and reconcile to it. It is much later that one looks around and seeks to thank providence for the miracle of life and for a chance to build a new life all over again.
If one has to appreciate the fine things in life we would necessarily have to contrast it with the unpleasant realities for only then does the value gleam in our eyes. The Chinese have a theory of Yin and yang which roughly translated could mean negative and positive or dark and bright which when taken together make a whole. If one were to look at every event in our life minutely, we would soon realize that for every life there is death, heat is contrasted by cold and for every night there is a morning that follows. What we really need to focus on is how we appreciate the reality; do we see two long dark nights sandwiching a small day or two wonderful days squeezing a small dark night?
Remember: The real voyage of discovery consists of not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes. Marcel Proust
- Can you think of something good about these situations?
- You lose you wallet
- You miss your flight
- You meet with an accident while driving
- Think of 3 very irritating people whom you know/ interact with, preferably one from your work place, one from amongst your family members and someone whom you know. Can you find 3 good qualities in each of them?
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