We are not products of our situations; we are products of our decisions
When difficult situations come in our life, we often feel negative emotions such as anger, resentment or self-pity. Though such feelings may be natural, even inevitable, they don’t have the right to determine our consciousness.
Situations and their associated emotions will undoubtedly affect our consciousness, still, we can choose what we focus our thoughts on. Unfortunately, we unwittingly let our thoughts obsess over negative situations and end up feeling worse that what the situation necessitates.
What if our emotions habitually go towards negativities? Still, we can check how much we dwell on those emotions. Negative emotions are like psychological wounds. Just as physical wounds, if scratched or rubbed, get aggravated, similarly, psychological wounds, when obsessed over, get aggravated.
Physical wounds heal in due course if they are not aggravated but are allowed to heal. Similarly, emotional wounds heal, provided we don’t aggravate them, but allow them to heal. To facilitate such healing, we need to decide consciously to redirect our thoughts towards something beyond those situations.
Helping such decision-making, Gita wisdom helps us understand that we are bigger than our situations – bigger not in an egoistic sense, but in a constitutive sense. Constitutionally, we are eternal spiritual beings, parts of the supreme eternal being, Krishna; whereas our situations, no matter how distressing, are temporary.
Complementing this spiritual knowledge, the Gita offers us the time-honored process of bhakti-yoga for redirecting our thoughts towards Krishna. When we decide consciously to focus on him, we gain inner strength to calmly face difficulties and intelligently find the best way forward. The Bhagavad-gita (18.58) assures that when we become conscious of him, we will, his grace, cross over all obstacles.
Thus, we – that is, our consciousness, our attitude and ultimately our destiny – are determined not by our situations, but by our decisions.
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