Stop resenting your struggles, start habituating yourselves to them – and they will start hurting less
Suppose we have to do something difficult, be it physical such as push-ups or intellectual such as complicated assignments or spiritual such as mantra meditation. While doing such things, we often resent the struggle involved.
However, resentment wastes our emotional energy and makes that difficult thing more difficult. Highlighting that worthwhile joys require prior payment, the Bhagavad-gita (18.37) states that such joys taste like poison initially and like nectar eventually. Using our intelligence, if we just consciously accept that worthwhile things come at a price, such acceptance decreases the inner struggle.
How? First, through the power of habit. Whatever we do repeatedly, we become habituated to it – and once something becomes a habit, the mental impressions within us that comprise the habit start prompting us to do that thing again, thereby lessening the inner struggle. Second, once we penetrate through the initial poison to the eventual nectar, the memory of that nectar inspires us to keep persevering.
Additionally, if we take up struggles to practice bhakti-yoga, that practice purifies us too. Purification essentially means that our material consciousness with its associated attraction for worldly pleasures decreases, and our spiritual consciousness with its associated attraction for Krishna increases, thereby decreasing the initial poison and increasing our access to the eventual nectar. Why does the initial poison decrease? Because we feel that poison primarily due to our mind and senses clamoring for sensual pleasure, and their clamor decreases as our material attachments decrease. And why does the eventual nectar become more accessible? Because we feel that nectar when our consciousness connects with Krishna, and that connection becomes easier as we become more attached to him.
By thus habituating ourselves to inner struggle, we can go through the poison to the nectar with less drama and trauma.
Think it over:
- How does acceptance of inner struggle decrease that struggle?
- How does bhakti decrease our inner struggle?
- Which struggle troubles you the most? How can you habituate yourself to that struggle?
18.37 That which in the beginning may be just like poison but at the end is just like nectar and which awakens one to self-realization is said to be happiness in the mode of goodness.
To know more about this verse, please click on the image
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