Self-realisation through Emotional Restraint
by Elizabeth Menon

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Self-realisation by restraining ones own emotions can be achieved in many ways. One has to come to terms with the three faculties of man: emotion, speech - words, and deeds. The combination of all three, or the implementation any of these will help us in obtaining our goal. The three faculties working in harmony can only result in the desired effect; once this is attained, accepting the others or their viewpoints become easy, lack of which could explain the escalating troubles all over the world.

To achieve a goal in life is what most people aspire. Therefore, it is paramount that one has something to look forward to in life, without which life has no real meaning. It is very easy to drift through life, quite laid back in situations saying, 'I am comfortable'; one should stop and reassess the situation, asking, 'shouldn't I have more commitment?' It's not enough just to say 'I am minding my own business without troubling anyone and therefore no hindrance to society'. One could argue that it is a selfish act if it does not involve lending a helping hand where needed.

Emotionally charged situations can make even the most rational human being behave in an irrational manner or similarly, illness of self or the dear ones can lead to totally unexpected behaviour. All these only prove that complete harmony of our faculties is essential in self-realisation and to stay in the right path in achieving our goal in life. Having a goal in life, be it a person, God or an institution, will provide us with the right motivation. There are many ways of measuring up to that goal; trying to please, emulate, or avoiding things that may not fit in with the ideals of our focus may be a few of them.

Our elders have told us, 'Think before you say anything'. How many of us put this into practice, knowing that it is true? One has to be aware of the difference in the impact of each, the thought process leading to the words and the deeds that follow. We should have control over our emotions and thoughts, or learn to control them before they enslave us. One should always remember that the 'said words', the written words and the 'done deeds' couldn't be taken back and therefore, it is important to think before doing any of these; each has different impact in any given situation. It is easy to blame drinks, illness or unfortunate incidents to justify ones behaviour, even though the recipients may be even kind enough to justify the other's actions blaming it on something or the other!

A bit of commonsense and understanding of fellow beings, or self-realisation may be all that we need, to solve the problems that we face in the world today. We have seen mass killings in Palestine, Israel and the United States, where innocent people are suffering due to this. Disharmony of our three faculties, the inability to communicate with others and the fear of those whose views are different from our own, hold key to the devastation that we see before us. Let's hope and pray for harmony, peace, and better understanding of one another. Self-realisation of what one can achieve and what one should do to achieve it, should take each one of us to the culmination of that dream.

© E Menon

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