In 2018, I used to have parties, everyday. With my best friend. Except that this bestie of mine was just… my mind! Or maybe I should say it was my enemy at the time. We used to have ‘mindy’ parties in all its vibrant colours. Even a New Year’s Eve party would pale miserably in comparison to the fireworks that would go off in my head. And nothing could change that, or so I thought.
I would enjoy dwelling upon my misery with a hot cup of tea: “The world has wronged me so much! I did nothing wrong. I am such a victim. I try my best but it just doesn’t seem to work, ever. The world is against me. Those people just don’t see how amazing I am and how much I have to offer. “
That’s the funny thing about the mind. It has a strange affinity towards misery and there is great comfort in our conviction that we are suffering. We feel slightly superior even (Okay, maybe hugely superior).
“Look at me! Am so nice, yet am suffering. The world is wrong, I am right…”
These mindy parties went on for a good one and a half year. However, after a while, dwelling on misery becomes boring because no one gives us any attention anymore. So, during those months, I tried to become someone else, someone that wasn’t me, to fit into the world’s definition of an ‘acceptable’ individual.
But in this whole process, where we look outside for change, where we seek approval from external factors — friends, new acquaintances, relationships and what not… All our efforts remain futile. We end up distancing ourselves from the source more and more. During these months of painful change, I learnt a few things. Just like there are hurdles in life, we encounter massive inner hurdles when it comes to self-transformation.
Hurdles in self-transformation
1. Refusing to come out of misery
The hidden comfort of misery
Why did it take so long to take a stand and decide to let go of past hurts, misery and bruised ego? Because although I would refuse to admit it at the time, I was almost enjoying my own misery. Perhaps it’s the same for many of us.
There is great comfort in misery because we are in a state of knowing and we almost believe that we are already in the ‘worst’ possible situation. And we can then blame the circumstances for our misery.
If we choose to step out of our misery, who and what can we blame then? But I also figured out something beautiful. There is a leap of faith between stepping out of misery and starting the process of transformation.
That leap is propelled by the intense desire to transform The caterpillar and the pupa must go through change so it could become a free butterfly. The stage of human transformation from the pupa to butterfly is slightly painful because we refuse to listen to the ego and break free from our old self. And when ego is bruised, it’s always a bit ‘painful’.
Asking God to fix our problems and the habit of seeking external approval
In this whole process of transforming from victim to victor, all too often, we fall prey to ‘outsourcing’. In life, we make plenty of choices. And no doubt, prior to my ‘mindy’ parties, I also made those poor choices. When we make choices, we must also be ready to face the consequences. We have free will and we exercise it happily to fulfil our desires. But when it comes to facing the consequences of our choices, we begin to outsource.
‘Oh lord, please fix this for me. Just this once’ (I, too, plead guilty).
In the self-pity party, we also blindly enjoy seeking outside approval. I and many others, we’d rant to our friends or relatives, so that they can see how much pain and misery we went through. At least they ought to feel sorry for us, can’t they see how miserable we are? And when they say what we want to hear, our ears start to dance. Our ego inflates, albeit temporarily.
This hurdle of seeking outside approval, blaming the world or seeking a solution outside, impedes our progress. It needs to change. Instead, I figured that being self-reliant and determined to transform, is the biggest tool. How? Read on… or not
3. Listening to the mind
Excuses and questions of the mind
This hurdle is as hard to overcome as the other two. You see, the source of most, if not all, of our misery is the mind. The mind’s duty is to move. And move it does. It will reminisce, it will question, it will ponder, it will worry. And it will eat you inside out. You’ll try to run away, but how will you? It’s right here with you.
Well, there’s hope. From a place of ‘mindy’ misery, I gradually came to the realisation that I don’t have to listen to the mind — and that changed things for me.
All questions are unnecessary. All thoughts are empty. Every time we become aware of a thought, we have the choice to either drop it or pursue it. And the beauty of self-transformation is that you choose to consistently stop pursuing thoughts, questions. ‘How’s’, ‘What if’s’, ‘Why’s’ — are all dropped.
Whenever any question or thought arises, drop it (break your train of thought).Why should we drop all questions and thoughts (I know you just asked that!)?
Because anything you can think to ask, will receive an answer from the mind. And the mind only ever has conditioned answers. All that you know has been passed on to you some way or another. Unless you are the Mighty Master Om Swami. He knows from knowing. Full stop:)
And these, my friend, were some of the hurdles I identified in this process of transformation.
We must gradually find the willpower and desire to get out of our own misery. When we start to help ourselves, only then can God work with us. And, my Guru Om Swami was absolutely essential to this transformation. Without Him, pity parties would be ongoing. He propels us to change, we just need to take the steps, and His hand is right there, guiding us through life, lovingly.
A life of contentment awaits us. Then no thought bothers us for long and questions fade in the background.
I hope it was worth a read. If it wasn’t… well, drop the thought:)
Photo credits: Self – Nature just is.. no questions, no thoughts, just being.