Even if we are feeling miserable, that doesn’t give us the right to make others miserable Gita 17.16

When something goes wrong in our lives, we naturally feel hurt, irritated, dejected. If we give in to bouts of self-pity and start repeating our sorry story to everyone around us, we become remain radiators of misery. Even if we don’t keep repeating our sorry story, if we just remain in a foul mood, those around us become tense and have to walk on tiptoe. Thus, we become unwitting demonstrators of the old saying: misery loves company. 

That’s why we all have a responsibility to be happy. This doesn’t mean we suppress or deny our problems and just put on a facade of happiness for others. It just means that we deal with our distress maturely. We need loved ones with whom we can unburden ourselves by sharing our fears, sorrows or irritations. But once we have done such unburdening, we need to move on. If we have a physical wound, we need to get it treated by a doctor and then take whatever steps are needed for us to recover, including informing those whose help we may need during the recovery. But beyond that, we don’t need to make that wound the dominant topic of all our discussions. We need to be similarly pragmatic in dealing with our emotional wounds. 

Pertinently, the Bhagavad-gita (17.16) states that cultivating satisfaction is an austerity of the mind. To cultivate satisfaction, we need to focus on the things that are right in our lives, not on the things that are wrong. Gita wisdom expands our understanding of all that is right in our lives: we are at our core souls who are indestructible; we are parts of an all-benevolent Whole, Krishna, whose love for us is inexhaustible; if we harmonize with him, we can evolve spiritually toward lasting fulfillment even if things are going downhill materially

When we thus cultivate satisfaction as a voluntarily chosen responsibility, we learn to treat our emotional wounds without letting them infect everyone around us. 

Think it over:

  • How may we become unwitting demonstrators of the saying: misery loves company?
  • How can we deal with our emotional wounds pragmatically?
  • Is there any negativity in your life that you tend to wallow in? How can you change that?

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Life becomes meaningless not when we tire of life's problems, but when we tire of life's pleasures Gita 03.16
Even if we fare well in life, we still have to say farewell to life
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