Be the sky and master your emotions!
It was a day those of us staying in Chennai were thirsting for! The rains had deigned to shower on our city which had been reeling under the heat.
After two days of non-stop rain, the third day dawned with a face just as dark and threatening.
The sky was overcast with looming waves of thick dark clouds. It looked as though we were in for yet another stormy day! But just half an hour after taking the picture of the threatening clouds on my phone, I came back to see a pretty sight. Gone were the dark clouds and what revealed itself to me was the vast sky, a beautiful azure blue!
Which made me ponder. All along the sky had been there behind the clouds, untouched by the dark clouds and now unmoved by the white fluffy ones!
Soon after that, I had cause to interact with my neighbour’s child who came storming into my house angry with her mother who had stopped her from going out to play. Indeed she did look like a bit of the dark thundercloud as she refused to go back to her mother.
Ten minutes later, having been allowed to vent her emotion she was as serene as a fluffy white cloud. Then, as she happily skipped off with her mother the emotion well behind her, she seemed as untouched as the vast sky. The emotion of anger had come and played itself out and disappeared as quickly as it had appeared. And because the child had not suppressed it and had just allowed herself to feel the emotion, it had passed leaving her untouched.
Which is why the masters exhort us to be as vast as the sky. As adults, we are taught to suppress our emotions. Feeling angry? It’s not appropriate to express it, we are told. But then suppression too is a big no-no as we are now told that suppressed emotions are the root cause of many diseases. So who do we hurt- ourselves by suppression or others by expression?
What if there is a middle path? What if we remain as calm as the sky which allows a cloud to appear and disappear without being affected?What if we think of our emotions as clouds which come and go while we remain the sky, unaffected but a witness to it all?
So the next time you are angry just let the feeling be there. Be a witness, neither expressing it or suppressing it. Just watch it play out in your body and as you watch your heartbeat and face contort itself and your fist tighten, hey presto! the emotion will leave you just as quickly as the dark clouds disappear from the sky leaving behind a feeling of serenity and peace.
Try it. It really works!