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When You Stop Reacting They Stop Provoking

“There is a battle between two wolves inside us, One is evil, it is anger jealousy greed, resentment lies, inferiority and ego. The other is good, its joy, peace, love hope, humility, kindness empathy and truth. The wolf that wins is the one you feed.”

Native American Proverb

Every day is a revelation, every passing moment a prophecy. The last couple of years in my life have been very eventful. I’ve landed on new horizons, made new acquaintances and tasted distinct cuisines. All experiences have taught me something new. I’ve come in contact with different individuals, some have left for good and some will always linger on for good. But there is a category of individuals who are very trying and test your patience level to extreme either through their venom-laden tongues or sadistic behavior. Now here I must take the opportunity for expressing my heartfelt gratitude towards such noble souls for they have taught me a valuable lesson that when you stop reacting they stop provoking.

Newton’ Third Law

Newton’s Third Law states that ” For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.”  It’s such a beautiful law with enormous wisdom. When there is an action there is reaction simple yet so profound. Have you realized that even the breath that you inhale has a reaction? Something as mundane as a flapping of a bird’s wings accounts for a counter-response, how amazing. I have tried to apply this law to a few of my relatives, co-workers, and boss( toxic one) that if I react to their gibberish there would be more provocation coming my way. On the other hand, if I stop reacting there is no chance of any provoking. We all have people in our lives who get on our nerves, beneath our skins. People who derive pleasure out of our fall. They become our triggers, the more we acknowledge them worse it is for us.

Just Breathe

I have been an angry person and very quick to outbursts. As time passed, my outbursts became predictable, the irony is everyone could see them coming apart from me. Years of emotional pain and perceived wrongs had me struggling with my eruptions. But this behavior of mine needed to change because I’ve had enough of people commenting on my foul temper. One of the techniques that helped me control my mood upheavals was being mindful. Whenever I get angry or anxious, I simply watch my breath and it helps me to shift my mind off the situations and people and keeps me calmer. There is no religion or confusing metaphysics here but a simple fact, live in the moment and enjoy! Breathing is a fundamental fact of life when things go hay-wire just come back to the basic.

We all have our hot buttons which when pushed make us react, it is but natural. We can’t avoid certain situations and people. The key is to identify the triggers which lead to reactions. Self-awareness and mindful breathing can help us to control our emotions.

“It’s all about finding the calm in the chaos”

Donna Karen

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Why You Should Shun Your Ego

“Ego is just like the dust in the eyes without clearing the dust we can’t see anything clearly, so clear the ego and see the world.”

Buddha

We dwell in our tiny selfish world of me and myself.  A world where self-centeredness and egotism prevails, where we consider ourselves as the sole makers of our own destiny.   This focus on self and only self-leads to a confused version of oneself. In simpler words, it gives birth to the ego. What is an ego? Ego is a person’s sense of self-esteem or image. Our egos make us feel important, desired, wanted… It’s a concocted self, based on our false belief and faith. Ego is not who we are in reality but how we want to be. Ego is not the voice of our true self rather it is the voice of our insecurities. It’s an illusion of self largely crafted out of fear.

 Freud and Buddha

According to Freud, the human personality is composed of three interacting agents, Ego, Super-Ego and Id. Id is wild and instinctual, Ego is organized and realistic and superego plays the role of moral custodian. The Ego oscillates between Id and super-ego, which results in complex human behavior.  In Buddhism, Ego is considered the root cause of all suffering. The constant sense of disappointment and pain spring out of a fragile ego. Ego along with anger and hate is considered a vice, an enemy within the soul which needs to be conquered. Gautum Buddha emphasized that for the soul to be awakened, ego must die. Human life is transitory and much of our suffering comes from clinging to the ego. Ego is a false psychological construct, its an illusion or ‘maya’. The role of maya is to seduce humans by luring them into the complexities of worldliness.

Ego Root Cause Of Suffering

I must confess that I’ve spent many sleepless nights burning in the inferno of anger. I’ve fanaticised taking supreme vengeance on my foes, tried to soothe my battered ego by feeding it with more venom. And the result had been more pain and heartache. The more I boosted my ego more anxious I became. I couldn’t liberate my mind of all the negative comments, incidents and people. It was a constant struggle until I started practicing meditation. What I realized was shocking, situations and people were not always as bad as I perceived it to be. It was my frail ego which propelled me in the direction of further negativity. Suddenly I could understand the real cause of my restlessness and feelings of constant dejection and despair. My biggest foe lies within me, it was my own concocted self-image. There was this unpenetrable shield between me and the world, which didn’t allow me to experience life in its full glory. My own false vanity and pride alienated me from the truth.  I realized what Buddha said thousands of centuries ago sitting under the Bodhi tree,

“The death of the ego will be the beginning of your real self”