The mind demands that others leave us alone and then complains they don’t care for us
Suppose someone who we care for is going through difficulties. When we try to help them, they demand from us, “Leave me alone”, but then complain that we don’t care for them. If they did the same thing repeatedly, we would gradually learn to just do our responsibility without taking their initial demands or their later complaints seriously.
We need to take our mind non-seriously when it behaves similarly. When we face challenges and others step in to help us, the mind makes us feel that they are leaving us with no personal space. If we listen to our mind, we will push them away. When they move away, the same mind can make us feel lonely, unloved, hapless. And our ambivalent attitude toward others confuses and alienates them. By sabotaging our relationships through its inconsistent and irrational demands and complaints, the mind acts as our enemy, as the Bhagavad-gita (06.06) cautions.
How can we act responsibly amid our mind’s ambivalent feelings? Rather than acting according to its feelings, we can use intelligence, experience and transcendence.
- Intelligence: By calm discernment, we can decide which issues can be best dealt with by discussing with others and which by figuring things out ourselves.
- Experience: By looking at our past handling of challenging situations, we can learn which kinds of situations we can best process by association and which by solitude.
- Transcendence: We can raise our consciousness to transcendence by connecting with the supreme transcendental reality, Krishna. By that connection, we can get the inner stability to think clearly and act constructively.
Thus differentiating between our mind’s demands and complaints on one side and our genuine needs and concerns on the other side, we can use both association and solitude appropriately.
Think it over:
- How does our mind impede us in our relationships?
- What three factors can help us choose between association and solitude wisely?
- Have you ever pushed away the people you needed? How can you avoid doing that mistake again?
06.06. For him who has conquered the mind, the mind is the best of friends; but for one who has failed to do so, his mind will remain the greatest enemy.
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