A moment lost to worry or fear or anger is a moment that’s not lived!

Living untouched by Life — by people, by events, by circumstances — around us is the key to intelligent living!

My post yesterday on learning to deal with everyday frustrations and anger elicited quite a response. One of the readers says that despite practicing ‘mouna’ — daily silence periods — worry arrives to destroy inner peace.

I know what he means. I have once lived a horribly Life — worrying incessantly. To be able to handle worry, we must first understand Life and understand the world around us. Please don’t expect worry not to arise. Don’t wait for absence of worry to feel inner peace. Learn not to worry instead. Learn to be non-worrying — that’s true happiness! The ultimate goal and measure of success of intelligent living is not to change your external environment and make it incapable of causing you worry or making you feel fearful or angry. It is impossible to control Life or the actions of the world. But you can control your thoughts and your responses to how you are thinking. So, intelligent living is about nurturing your inner space and insulating yourself from the vagaries of the world. This is what the Bible says ‘living in the world but not of it’ and what the Bhagavad Gita says ‘of living in this world but being above it’.

To be sure, there are enough and more temptations and distractions out there. And we are not talking about materialistic objects of desire alone. Or of ruinous addictions like alcohol, tobacco or drugs either. While these are deterrents to intelligent living, most certainly, what we need to be wary of are the myriad ways in which we get dragged into banal situations on a daily basis. Think deeply about this. How often in a day do you worry about a future event __ someone’s terminal illness and impending passing, a child’s graduation, someone’s wedding or about loans to be repaid? How often in a day do you grieve over the past __ having experienced someone wrongly, an irreconcilable loss, a mistake you made or a hurt you caused someone? How often do you lose your patience or temper or both daily __ on a child or spouse or subordinate, with just someone on the street or even with yourself? Each of these episodes takes us away from living. Every time we worry about the future or fret over the past or get dragged into anger spells, every single time, we die a death. Ask yourself if worry or fear or anger has ever helped you solve any of your problems? If they have, please worry, please continue to cower in fear and please be angry. But the truth is these three emotions are a complete waste of your living time. They hold you hostage. And what’s worse is that you are allowing them to hold you hostage!

So, break free! Please don’t try to fix what’s happening around you, outside of you. Focus on how you are feeling. And go to work on making yourself remain calm and peaceful. Remember: a moment lost to worry or fear or anger is a moment that’s not lived!

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Originally published at avisviswanathan.wordpress.com on April 8, 2016.