When the mind cries wolf, know that the mind is the worst wolf
We know the story of the boy who cried wolf, misinforming villagers about a marauding wolf when actually there was no threat.
The mind does something similar to us when it goes into a blaming, complaining, moping mode. By magnifying small inconveniences till they appear like colossal catastrophes, the mind cries wolf.
Actually, the mind does much worse than crying wolf – it also acts as the wolf. When faced with a problem, it runs off into the past to the crises we underwent and imagines that history is about to repeat itself. Or it runs off into the future, painting grim pictures of the many things that may go wrong. Either way, it sabotages our capacity to function effectively in the present. And the present is the only time that we have – or will ever have – to do anything right, be it correcting a past error, preparing for a future complication or choosing a fresh action plan. By thus depleting our presence in the present, the mind acts like a predatory wolf.
Because the mind is like the misleading boy and the marauding wolf rolled into one, it is the worst wolf. No wonder the Bhagavad-gita (06.06) warns that it can be our worst enemy.
How do we control this wolfish mind?
By distancing ourselves from it.
Whenever we start feeling overwhelmed by a problem, it’s critical that we regain perspective. To regain perspective means to:
- Separate ourselves from the maniac mind and
- Separate the real situation from the mind’s dystopian depiction.
Some ways to do this are: deep breathing, meditating, journal-writing, praying, chanting and consulting spiritual guides.
By thus distancing ourselves from the problem and the mind, we can use our calmly and intelligently determine the best way to rectify the situation.
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