Wednesday July 25, 2012
Worrying too much is bad for health and leads to nowhere in life
By POOJYA SWAMI SUKHABODHANANDA
THE common cause of worry for both for men and women is what they do not have rather than what they have.
The mind is focused on what is missing and hence many are miserable. The art of wise living is rejoicing and optimising what you have and working on what you do not have.
Life becomes effortless and functional, if you operate from this space.
A man carrying on his head a load of feathers thinks that what he is carrying is iron and, therefore, suffers from this illusion. So often, worry is like this.
As you think, you become. A day of worrying is more tiring than a day of work.
Once, I was travelling with my student and, on the way, both of us were robbed.
My student started worrying and whipping herself with the self-talk that she was always unlucky, and unpleasant things happen to her all the time. To make her understand life better, I narrated to her the following incident.
A young couple was driving in a hilly forest area. The curves of the road were uncomfortable but at the same time thrilling.
When the car turned a dark corner, suddenly four armed men appeared in front of the car and stopped it. The robbers dragged them out blindfolded them, took them a few metres inside the forest, and robbed them.
Then, they forced the couple to march forward with their hands tied. Finally, the walk ended.
The tired and worried victims were told by the robbers, “Hold tightly to one end of the rope and hang on to it. If you leave the rope, you will fall, and the impact will crush you both to pieces as you are standing on a cliff.”
Then, the robbers left.
The worried couple started thinking what they should do.
The wife started crying. The man said, “I have read somewhere that worry is like a rocking chair, it keeps us busy but leads us nowhere. So let us now focus on what to do and how to go about it.”
Seeing no other option, they decided to leave the rope, in a relaxed way.
“Let us feel that we are going to God’s abode and with joy let us leave the rope,” said the women.
“Let us end our suffering with surrender to God,” said the man.
Thus, they left the rope together and fell down.
When they landed on the ground and untied the blindfold, they found they had fallen from a height of about five feet and not from a cliff.
The robbers, to gain time and to escape, had bluffed them.
They both were overjoyed to “let go” and did not worry about what they might have lost.
“What a fantastic experience. Even if, we had gone to Disneyland, we would not have gotten this experience. But, we got this wonderful experience, unasked,” said the wife.
“Now I see the value of life. I see how unpredictable life is. We should rejoice in each moment with fullness,” said the husband.
“We are caught up with what we want rather than what is.
“We are attached to our wants, rather than experiencing the magic of life.
“Each experience is wonderful. As we are too addicted to what we want, we are not able to look at the experience with awe,” said the man with a smile.
Then the couple walked their way back, and it was a wonderful walk for them.
I told my dear student to understand that so often, it is wise not to cling on but let go.
The couple by adopting the “let go” principle did not fall to their death, but fell to safety.
Sometimes, to fight is meaningless and to surrender is superb.
One should wield the magical wand of “let go”.
Let us not have fixed ideas of how life should run. The beauty of life is unpredictable, and many treat it as a curse rather than a blessing.
Fear gives its own thrill. Being empty without money has its own challenge.
The couple in the story appears to have realised it is not what you have that makes a difference, but how you use what you have which makes the difference.
My student after hearing this, hugged me and thanked me and said, “Nothing in life is to be worried about and feared, but it has to be deeply understood. Clarity is power.”
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