When life hurts, don’t let the mind increase the hurt

Suppose we fall on our arm and hurt it. If someone starts hitting the hurt arm, that would be malicious.

Our mind often attacks us similarly. When things go wrong, we feel hurt. And our mind aggravates our pain by internally replaying the hurtful events in an endless loop. The more we watch those replays, the more we feel distressed, demoralized and disempowered. Pertinently, the Bhagavad-gita (18.35) deems as ignorant negative thought-patterns that make us morose and mournful. The mind’s endless replaying of reversals is such a thought-pattern.

Can we do anything to stop the mind’s replays? Certainly. What powers those replays is our uncritical tendency to keep watching them. If we refuse to watch them, the mind will eventually stop replaying them.

What if they continue to replay? We can still choose to not watch them. How? By focusing elsewhere.

The best object to focus on is our all-loving, all-powerful, all-attractive Lord, Krishna. The Gita (18.58) assures that if we become conscious of him, he empowers us to overcome all obstacles. We can remember him by practicing bhakti-yoga and especially by focusing on some specific spiritual stimulus that makes us feel connected with him – a mentor, a pastime, a holy name, a deity picture, a scriptural verse, a philosophical point. That connection fills us with a sublime calm. We realize that he is still in control, and he will bring good out of whatever has happened, if we just keep serving him. When we thus feel spiritually secure, we can acknowledge our present distress, learn whatever can be learnt from the past, and let go of it, thereby letting ourselves heal emotionally.

When we thus shift our focus from the reversal to Krishna, our choked emotional energy becomes free, empowering us to move on and create a better future.

Think it over:

  1. How does our mind increase life’s hurts?
  2. How can we deal with the mind’s endless replaying of negative events?
  3. How does focusing on Krishna help us heal emotionally?

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