We may be scarred, but we don’t have to be scared
Suppose someone has had an accident while taking a sharp turn on a hilly road. Though they survive that accident, they get scarred — not so much physically as psychologically. Whenever they drive past that curve, or even drive past any sharp curve or any hilly road, they may start feeling chills going up and down their spine.
Such fear is often a natural and involuntary reaction to danger. But the mind often misdiagnoses danger, by equating dangerous-seeming stimuli with actually dangerous stimuli. When we sometimes feel fearful amid situations where there is no clear danger, the fear is often due to some scars we have sustained in the past. We need to use our intelligence to both understand our mind and understand the real situation. The real situation is that we at our core are indestructible souls who have scarred minds.
Pointing to the scars that make us scared, the Bhagavad-gita (18.35) states that fearfulness is a characteristic of a mind severely infected by the mode of ignorance. Such ignorance makes us misdiagnose danger and fills us with fear even in the absence of actual danger.
Understanding why we feel the way we do, we can shift our focus to the reality that our core lies beyond our scars. And we acknowledge the fears that come from our scars but don’t let them control our lives. By focusing on our essential spirituality and connecting with our Lord, Krishna, through the practice of bhakti-yoga, we can face the fearful situation calmly. And as we practice bhakti-yoga regularly, we become not just internally strengthened but also emotionally healed, thereby outgrowing our scars.
By understanding that our scarred mind is prone to fear but we as souls sheltered in Krishna are safe, we can calmly face tense situations.
Think it over:
- How do our scars trigger our fears?
- How can spiritual knowledge help us understand our fears?
- What are your fears? What scars may have caused those fears? How can you heal yourself spiritually?
18.35: And that determination which cannot go beyond dreaming, fearfulness, lamentation, moroseness and illusion – such unintelligent determination, O son of Prutha, is in the mode of darkness.
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