Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Who gives us the right to get annoyed? (Part 1)


No one enjoys someone else's upsetness. We instinctively flee shouts and murmurs of disgruntlement. Therefore, who gives us the right to get upset? We have to conclude that we give it to ourselves. When it´s our turn to express our dismay with something, we conveniently forget the impact this has on them.
Most of us grow up believing that we have the right to be upset. Someone suddenly cuts across in front of us in the traffic, we wait an hour for a friend who doesn't show up, we don't qualify for something in spite of months of preparation, someone insults us directly or indirectly... the list is long. We very quickly jump into any fray that challenges the ego’s illusions. Paradoxically, we run from others who behave like this.
The trouble is when this 'right' to get upset is allied with either a sensitive nature or traces of perfectionism. Both the touch-me-not types, and the haughty can’t perceive the effect they have on others. We walk on eggshells with of the first and shun the latter. Meanwhile, they don´t even realize why they are not so well liked.
Once a friend told me that he grew up with an aunt who was such a perfectionist that she was never satisfied with her own house. Some part of it was permanently under renovation. When she died, she was still renovating. Even if she was bringing down walls and moving whole chunks of the house from one side to the other, in the parts that were 'ready', no one could move anything even one centimetre. They would immediately be subject to an irate lecture about their dirty hands or the prohibition to touch anything. Visitors knew they could come there only at their own risk. She had all the rights and everyone else none. In India they say that domestic anger even dries up the vases. Many wilted flowers in that house! Until now, this friend has difficulty in dealing with people who are authoritarian.
After listening to the story, I reflected on how great it would be if we could have such attention on our inner house, as his aunt had on her physical one. Clean thinking would be natural. Right learning would produce the necessary renovations of our character. Everything would be in its place. There would not be even the will to get upset.
One of the main experiences I have received from my Raja Yoga meditation practice is that when I am internally set according to my innate qualities, it becomes very difficult to get upset. It does not just require the will to avoid getting upset. Real inner stability is needed.
Curiously, the word upset in Hindi is naraaz. Raaz means secret. So getting upset is about not understanding the secrets! Even so, seeing the bigger picture helps.
If we train ourselves to have a wider perspective, we see and comprehend more. Amplitude of vision automatically brings stability. Otherwise, we unthinkingly react because we don't understand the secrets about why things happen.
Knowing that we live in a world where anything can happen to anyone at any time, we should never be shaken so easily.