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Long Live Aruna Shanbhag – II


A follow up post from my previous one.

There is one very important lesson the story like Aruna Shanbhag teaches us. We must be able to make a distinction between a person and our feelings and thoughts about that person. When we react to something like this, we are reacting not to the situation, but the the way situation impacts us. We are reacting to that impact. That is more about us than about that person or situation.

I realized this while dealing with my parents. Once they retired, wanted more to focus on doing the things they enjoyed. But I wanted them to focus more on doing yoga and eating right. On face I was worried about their health. In reality I was worried about how a change in their health status would affect me. If they had ailment, I know I was going to be the primary caregiver. If something worse were to happen, I would be very upset at the loss of one of my loved one.

In short, I was projecting my emotions on them.

Once I realized that, I was able to strike a balance. They needed to take care of their health but at that point in their life, they needed to enjoy as well. After all, they had worked so hard for these days.

It’s an intricate exercise. A delicate balance between empathizing and de-empathizing.

This bit of a knowledge, in a way is a giant step in personal maturity. This is where our compulsive habit of judging others starts to taper down. This is the beginning of the journey of introspection. Paying more attention to your own thoughts and feelings. Realizing that external situation merely provides triggers, but the patterns of thoughts, habits and behaviors that get triggered, exist within you. And if you are willing, you are empowered to change them. Often times, you are better off changing these patterns within you than changing the situation.

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