Problems are like burdens whose weight increases with the attention we give them

Suppose we have to carry a huge bag. We may struggle to carry it, but if that bag became bigger and bigger, the struggle would worsen. 

Such is often our predicament when we face problems. Every problem is like a burden that weighs us down internally; thinking about problems drains our energy. 

Of course, we need to think adequately about problems so that we have a basic working understanding of how to deal with them. But beyond such necessary attention, if we keep thinking about a problem – as our mind is inclined to do – the problem seems to grow bigger. It gains a stronger hold on our thoughts and leaves us weaker. 

How can we prevent problems from gaining a choke-hold on us? By holding on to a purpose bigger than the problem. If we focus on a purpose that is deeply meaningful and valuable for us, then progressing toward that purpose makes bearable the burden of whatever problems come along the way. 

The best such purpose is the purpose of spiritual evolution: the growth of our consciousness from matter to spirit, ultimately to the supreme spiritual reality, the all-attractive supreme, Krishna. Gita wisdom explains that absorbing our consciousness in Krishna is the source of life’s supreme satisfaction. Striving to serve him is the ultimate standard of success for all our endeavors, irrespective of whether they are externally successful or not. Just the intention of serving him furthers our connection with him, giving us inner steadiness and strength. Being thus nourished, we can persevere through the problems without being pressured into paranoia by them. Pertinently, the Bhagavad-gita (18.58) assures that if we become conscious of Krishna, his grace empowers us to face all problems.  

 

Think it over:

  • What happens when we think excessively about our problems?
  • How can we shift our thoughts away from our problems?
  • How does thinking about Krishna nourish us even amid problems? 

 

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18.58 If you become conscious of Me, you will pass over all the obstacles of conditioned life by My grace. If, however, you do not work in such consciousness but act through false ego, not hearing Me, you will be lost.

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