You can’t sharpen your swords while you are in the midst of a war.
Well, technically you can, but that won’t be the wisest of strategies or very effective either.
We take inventories all the time – of our finances, our resources, our groceries, our wardrobes (which never seem to be up to satisfaction for some strange reason). There are some things we throw out that are no longer necessary. Some are even rotting, ruining everything around. Could we do cleaning without knowing what all we have?
Same goes for emotions, feelings (and on the next level, thoughts). Let’s just talk about emotions here. Do you know your emotional inventory? What’s piling up the whole space and what is lacking? What is rotting and what is serving you?
It may be surprising to some that it’s just not the food that we eat builds our body. Every emotion we take in shapes us, even in a physical way. I was taking stock and cleansing in my own way before I came across “A Course in Weight Loss” by Marianne Williamson. I owe as much to the book as I owe to my health and lifestyle coach for losing around 18 kg almost in a finger snap 4 years ago. (I am maintaining my ideal weight effortlessly till date, you curious types!)
The book talks about taking stock of all the emotions that are weighing you down. It does need spending some time on yourself but I can assure you it’s more than worth it. It is that sharpening of swords I talked about earlier.
It asks you to list down things you are afraid of, things you are ashamed of, things/people you are angry at and so on.
Funny thing is, I didn’t have to do anything for most of the emotions I was carrying except writing them down on paper. It was like they melted into nothing the moment they came out in light. Like magic. Some stubborn emotions needed some help but that’s step two. Let’s do the inventory first.
Another interesting thing was the realization: what affects you is more a reflection of you than others who apparently ‘did’ that to you.
So we don’t have to fall prey to each and every thing that others do to us. They are fighting their own battles.
It’s like developing a muscle – by training and reinforcement.
If you practise enough, you will start registering what is happening before pressing panic button. You will also know what pushes your buttons and the most important part: you have buttons. So, in a way, you are also party to any conflict that you encounter. Now, not having buttons to push will be close to asking you to be an enlightened monk. That may or may not happen.
What can happen is when the steam blows over, think what could you have done differently. Conscious thought triggers your behavior next time.
Knowledge is the best weapon you can possess and knowing yourself is the only way to be a better you.
A few pounds lost on the side are a bonus!
(Published in We Are The City)
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