Don’t be oblivious to your weaknesses, but don’t be obsessed with them either
We all have strengths and weaknesses. To be oblivious to our weaknesses is dangerous.
Suppose our driving skills are not up to the mark, and we get unnerved while driving in stormy weather. If we stay oblivious to that weakness and drive nonchalantly in bad weather, we may court disaster.
Simultaneously however, to be obsessed with our weaknesses is demoralizing. If we live in fear of bad weather, that paranoia would impede our driving ability even in normal weather.
By being oblivious to our weaknesses, we may rush into things that we can’t do. But by being obsessed with our weaknesses, we may incapacitate ourselves when doing the things that we can do. Between these two extremes is the middle ground: a balance of vigilance and confidence. We seek to be vigilant about our weaknesses, while being confident about our strengths.
We can compare our shortcomings to the smoke around fire. By stoking fire expertly, we can minimize the smoke and utilize the fire. Similarly, by managing ourselves expertly, we can minimize our weaknesses and use our strengths.
The same principle applies to our spiritual journey too, wherein inner materialistic impressions are our weaknesses. Pertinently, the Bhagavad-gita recommends that we stay away from tempting sense objects (02.58). Yet if we stay obsessed with those objects, that obsession will make us feel deprived, thereby triggering relapse (02.59). Therefore, the Gita (02.61) recommends that we focus not on renouncing sense objects but on connecting with Krishna, our all-attractive, all-powerful, all-loving Lord. Focusing on him empowers us to restrain our unavoidable weaknesses and purifies us of our eliminable weaknesses. Gita wisdom assures that our connection with Krishna is our greatest strength.
Thus, we can integrate both vigilance towards our weaknesses and confidence in our strengths by focusing on the supreme transcendence.
Think it over:
- What are the extreme and balanced attitudes towards our weaknesses?
- How does focusing on Krishna help us to deal with our weaknesses?
- How does bhakti wisdom incorporate both vigilance and confidence?
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