The mind overpowers us by making us believe that we are powerless

Suppose a person about to confront an opponent is told that their opponent was so powerful that fighting is fruitless. If the fighter believes that assessment, they will become so disheartened as to accept defeat even before the fight begins. Or they will fight so halfheartedly as to make defeat nearly inevitable. Whoever misleads them thus is an enemy they need to defeat before they can meaningfully confront their opponent.

Our mind is such an insidious inner enemy. When we have to confront difficult situations, our mind often makes us obsess over all the things that are not in our control. This obsession can become so overwhelming that we soon start believing that nothing is in our control and that we are utterly powerless.

How can we protect ourselves from being thus misled? By shifting our vision to the power that we still have, or even better to the power that we never lose. That is the power of our spirituality. We can access this power by remembering two essential spiritual truths: we are at core souls who are indestructible; and we are parts of a Whole, Krishna, whose love for us is inexhaustible. Pertinently, the Bhagavad-gita (15.07) cautions that if we don’t act as parts of the Whole, we are pulled apart by our mind into struggle and suffering.

How can we act as parts of the Whole? By service attitude. By asking ourselves, “How can I serve Krishna in this situation? How can I improve my thoughts, attitudes and behaviors? What can I do, however small, to make things better?”

When we thus focus on changing our consciousness, we discover that our difficulties aren’t as overpowering as they seemed. Being thus reassured, we find ways to make things bearable or even better.

Think it over:

  • Amid difficulties, how does our mind mislead us?
  • How can we access the power of our spirituality?
  • Do you feel powerless about any situation? How can you shift your vision to empower yourself? 

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