Very often in my voyages around the globe I have met kind hearted and tender souls. People, who wouldn’t hurt another.
Yet, many such persons of a pure heart are often beset with sorrow and guilt.
I met Sarah in Wellington (name and place changed). Empathy and kindness in her eyes emanated straight from the heart. Yet, I found that she wasn’t always joyful.
“I find it difficult to maintain relationships with friends and even with family sometimes. Some people are often unhappy with me. I feel so bad about myself.”
Then she told me of an incident where one of her friends, Sally asked for half of Sarah’s office one fine day. To be given to Sally and that too for free for at least six months. Sally wanted to start her own venture. But she couldn’t find an appropriate space in the locality.
Sarah, much as she wanted to help Sally, couldn’t stop her running business. The request could not be acceded to.
The friend then expressed her displeasure with Sarah and their relationship suffered.
Sarah kept feeling guilty. She felt maybe she had been greedy, self-centered. Not righteous.
There are many other instances of good and wonderful people who are ridden with guilt for feeling anger sometimes or for not measuring up to standards of others.
Good and kind people, especially those who are on the path to discovery of the omnipotence inside, often analyse themselves too strictly.
People seem to believe that a person of God or a self-realised person should always be in a state of equanimity. In a state that reflects inner and outer peace, which nothing should be able to shake. Such a person should be free of anger, free of fear and free of even a momentary expression of anything remotely considered to be negative.
Is that really true? Does inner enlightenment make each one of us such a person who feels no pain, no hurt, no fear.
A stone? Forever in equipoise?
Perhaps, kind hearted people are most unkind to themselves.
Because, history shows that even prophets felt all such emotions. They were never in outer stillness at all times.
I have met many such good souls and I find that almost all of them are aware of righteousness. Of selflessness. Of sacrifice. In extreme.
By themselves, emotions are not good or bad. Those who seek the truth must desist from placing everything into boxes of black or white, of good or evil.
We are born in the human body to experience emotion. Not a single feeling is by itself good or by itself negative. Take the example of love. Indeed, if I were to consider love as infinitely good, then in situation of self-defence, I would always be the loser. Because, anger and violence would be bad.
I would never be able to defend my family or my country.
Every emotion has value in a situation.
Years ago, I was attending a seminar on self realisation. The person conducting the seminar was a very wise man, a true saint. Not in a saintly uniform, but a man who manifested true spiritual radiance. There was a person in the audience, who was not at all serious and often left the hall to run an errand and to return. He disturbed everyone.
The saint did not say a word. He continued with his teaching.
Suddenly, this man got up and out of context said some very unkind words to the teacher in full public view. The words were not only unkind but also untrue.
The saint heard everything and told him
“My dear friend, if you consider me to be self realised, please also know that I am also human just like you. When you speak lies about me, it hurts me. When you disturb the seminar, I feel disturbed. In the same way when you respect me, I feel love and reverence for you. I too have emotions.”
In other words, it is okay for a good person to feel emotions, even if it is reasonable anger at times. If someone were unkind to my child and I did not feel a thing; probably I wouldn’t be a parent.
Kindness and love need to start with myself. I do not need to be critical of me all the time. Everything in the world just cannot be my fault.
Huge difference between self analysis and self criticism, I must say.
The friend who asked for something from Sarah, which she shouldn’t be asking, the relative who out of jealousy condemns me and the colleague at work who tries to make life difficult for me; their behaviour is not my fault and I need not convict myself.
If I want to be righteous, it must start with being righteous to me.
The path of goodness, the trail of truth does not entail finding fault with myself at all times. Correcting myself is a positive ability. Extreme self-criticism derails me from the path of truthfulness as censure of others does.
It is perfectly alright not to be in equipoise at all times. It is alright to be human.
Remember, the universe is pure love. It does not judge you. It does not condemn you. It is. It is unconditional love. Limitless strength.
If I want to be one with the universe, that is all I should strive to be. Never to judge myself, never to be harsh with myself and never to condemn myself.
For I am that infinity. That perfection.