When someone is doing something in a way I don’t want it to be done and I am not able to accept it, I become angry. However, when someone is doing something in a way I don’t want it to be done but I am able to accept it, I remain tolerant. When someone has something that I don’t have, or someone is able to produce results that I am not able to produce and I am not able to accept it, I become jealous. However, if I can accept it, I get inspired.
When I encounter uncertainty and I am not sure about how I am going to handle it, and I am not able to accept it- it causes fear in me. When I encounter uncertainty and I am not sure about how I am going to handle it, but I am able to accept it – I feel adventurous. When someone has done something that has emotionally hurt me and I am not able to accept it, it develops hatred in me. When someone has done something that has emotionally hurt me and I am able to accept it, it helps me forgive them.
When someone is present in my thoughts but is not physically present, and I am not able to accept it, I say “I am missing you’. When someone is present in my thoughts but is not physically present, and I am able to accept it. I say ‘ I am thinking of you’. Then, the emotional equation is quite simple.
Something + acceptance = Positive Emotion
Something + Non –acceptance = Negative Emotion
So , it is not ‘something’ or ‘someone’ who is making me feel positive or negative, but it is my ‘acceptance’ or ‘non acceptance’ of something or someone that is making me feel positive or negative. It isn’t the world, but the quality of my response to the world (acceptance or non acceptance) that determines the quality of my emotions. Sometimes some external factors, which are not in our control perturbs us. For e.g. if today’s temperature is 45 C and if I crib a lot about it, Will it help? External events are not in our control but our reaction to them is in our control. Our ‘acceptance’ to such situations makes us think positive about the same whereas ‘non acceptance’ creates negativity.
The next time I find myself disturbed by a negative emotion, instead of asking who or what is disturbing me, I will examine who or what I am resisting (not accepting). I will replace resistance (non acceptance) with acceptance, and the negative emotion will turn into a positive one. Emotional management begins by stopping to blame that ‘something’ or ‘someone’ and starting to take the responsibility to respond life with ‘acceptance’.
The language of life is I CAN
I have often seen children blocking the path of an army of ants on the wall with their hands as a prank. The ants spontaneously find an alternate path and keep marching. The child now blocks even this path and the ants simply find another path and move on… The child, driven by mischief, uses his fingers to push a few ants off the wall. With resilience and spontaneity, the ants begin their climb once again. Whatever be the obstacles, the ants go on with the belief I CAN. Till they die, they try, they fight, they strive and they march on believing I CAN. They lose this sense of I CAN only to death. I have seen bulls pull excessively overloaded carts on flyovers and over bridges. One step at a time, struggling through every inch of it, they make it. They may have been victims of man’s exploitation, but all the same they never give up. Even blades of grass and the almost invisible micro organisms keep growing against all odds and with the belief I CAN. They lose this self belief only to death.
The language of life is I CAN. The language of death is I CAN’T.