Have you ever gotten your feelings hurt? Or you’ve even tried to act like you didn’t when you did! I’m sure we can all relate to something someone said or did that pushed a certain reactive “ouch” button in our consciousness.
Maybe you’ve experienced it on a physical level if you’ve ever had an injury. What happens if someone touches an injured area of your body. Don’t you instinctively recoil?
We have similar sore spots in our consciousness that need to be worked out in order for us to achieve Self-realization. I remember one time Swami Kriyananda said of a certain person, “Well, he has his pain.” It was the way he said the word “his” that caught my attention. I think Swamiji was subtly trying to teach us the lesson of not taking things personally.
On the deepest level as Paramhansa Yogananda said, “Circumstances are neutral.” So easy to say, but what happens when someone spills coffee on our new tie? Or cuts us off in traffic? Or so rudely interrupts our sentence? If we are not centered in our true Self, we can get bent out of shape so easily.
Speaking of not being centered, it reminds me of when I played soccer in high school. Our team advanced all the way to the State Championship game. At the end of regulation (90 minutes) the game was still tied. For those of you that know soccer, penalty kicks were ruled out of play that season so we played a thirty-minute overtime. The score was still tied at the end of 120 minutes. Again because of the regulations, we could play no more that evening and had to come back the next day for more sudden-death overtime. After 166 minutes, my team scored and we won the championship. Fans from the stadium rushed onto the field. It was pandemonium. I remember screaming in triumph at the top of my lungs as one my friends tackled me.
All of that emotional outburst because we had kicked a ball across a goal line! What did it really matter? We had built up all of this tension over nothing. And yet somehow it seemed like such a big deal at the time. Such is the power of delusion.
The devotee needs to ever keep in mind the true long term goal of the spiritual path: the dissolving of the ego. When we react emotionally to what “he said or she said” or anything outside our Self, we only emphasize the likes and dislikes that make up our ego.
What’s the answer?
Offer all of your emotions, heartthrobs, thoughts, and self definitions into God’s hands. He will transmute them through what Yogananda called “His all‐desire‐quenching, liquid peace.”
And you might like to try Swami’s Kriyananda’s affirmation for savasana, or the corpse pose in yoga:
Bones, muscles, movement I surrender now;
anxiety, elation and depression, churning
thoughts—all these I give into the hands of peace.
Peace & Blessings to you,