Maturity means to not let our emotionality interfere with our responsibility
In our fast-paced, want-filled culture, it’s easy to get stressed out and suffer emotional breakdowns. Perhaps the emotion most likely to disrupt the lives of most people today is anxiety.
The whole process of becoming mature centers on becoming effective in managing our emotions. Babies are governed by their emotions – if they feel pain or anger or fear, they burst out into tears. As they grow up, they learn to better regulate their emotions. Or at least they are expected to.
While we adults don’t usually cry when things don’t go our way, we may still become overwhelmed by emotions such as worry, fury or self-pity. Worry may make us want to quit and forget the whole thing. Or fury may want us to hit out at someone, something, anyone, anything. Or self-pity may make us want to wallow in self-martyrdom, feeling sorry for ourselves, attracting attention through some desperate act of self-destruction.
The Bhagavad-gita helps us understand that we are far bigger than our circumstances. No matter how imposing they seem to be, they are ephemeral, whereas we are eternal.
Such emotion-driven responses usually make things worse. To improve things, we need responses that take into account our emotions, but don’t let them be the only thing in the account. The ability to respond thus is the essence of maturity.
While some of us may have better mastery over our emotions than others, we all can benefit from greater maturity. Gita wisdom helps enhance our maturity by providing a solid spiritual foundation.
The Bhagavad-gita helps us understand that we are far bigger than our circumstances. No matter how imposing they seem to be, they are ephemeral, whereas we are eternal. We are spiritual beings who can access the omnipotence of God by activating our latent power of devotion. Through metaphysical contemplation and devotional meditation, we gain glimpses of a transcendental terra firma, an arena that is forever beyond the anxiety-inducing changes of the world. By incorporating contemplation and meditation into our daily routine, we ground ourselves in spiritual reality, thereby enabling us to deal calmly and resourcefully with the changes inevitable at the outer level. The more we realize our spiritual indestructibility and our divine connectivity, the more we can manage our emotionality intelligently without letting it interfere with our responsibility.
The empowerment available through spiritual wisdom is demonstrated in the Gita through the example of its original student: Arjuna. At the start of the Gita (01.29), he is on the verge of an emotional breakdown, not even being able to hold his bow. But by the end of the Gita (18.73), he has regained his perspective and composure – and is ready for whatever challenge life sends his way.
Gita wisdom stands ready to offer us all similar spiritual empowerment.
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