This is a brilliant article on Sorrow. The whole idea is not to give and take sorrow. Worth reading indeed.
How many of us take and give sorrow without even knowing it? We may easily understand when we give sorrow, but do we realise we are also taking the sorrow by getting upset or disheartened or complaining about trivial matters. Do we understand that in any situation we have a choice as to the feelings we create and so sorrow is not forced onto us, it is something we choose to indulge in. Sorrow is anything that causes discomfort – it is a suffering on an emotional level; quite different from pain which is a physical state. What we call emotional pain is in fact us taking sorrow from the situation. It’s not real; it’s a creation of our own mind. For example, a patient could be in pain and bearing it with fortitude and yet not experiencing sorrow. Some people on a spiritual path have learnt the art of remaining in happiness even though they may be in physical pain. How is it possible you may ask! Pain is a message from the body that comes to tell you there is something you need to change. For example, eating too much chili food can cause ulcers; sitting too much may cause back pain; worrying too much can cause headaches etc! Thus a physical cause, results in a physical reaction. But on the other hand to take sorrow, and then to suffer emotionally is our choice; a choice we make with our mind and intellect.
Sorrow is the outcome of our interpretation of events. For example, we didn’t pass the job interview and we got disheartened. Our loved one didn’t call us (within 24hrs) and we think they don’t love us anymore. We weren’t invited to a meeting or a party and we sulk. Events are just events, they do not conspire against us, but sometimes we just put our own spin on them. Sometimes, life just happens that way. Maybe we had a great CV and they admired us, but we were just not the right person for that job (in which case would we really be happy in a job that was not a good fit for us!?). Perhaps our loved one was just pure busy and caught up, they had no intention to hurt us through their silence. Perhaps the others thought of our best interests and knew the meeting would be a waste of our time and therefore didn’t invite us! We take a lot of sorrow from these situations when we take them personally. In fact we are projecting our needs into the situation or the person. We all want to be wanted, loved and well thought of at all times, and if there seems to be a threat against this cherished notion, sorrow and sadness kick in as our defense mechanism. This closes up our heart and once our heart is closed we can no longer flow with love, good wishes and blessings.
We may believe that we are punishing the other party and denying them of our love, kindness and inner beauty, but in actuality we are hurting ourselves more. It is the block in our heart that is causing us the grief, not them! In that moment, we do not act from our higher self, only the lower self, which is needy and greedy. Our higher self gives without wanting a return and our heart flows easily and constantly. When we give sorrow to others we are creating karma for ourselves. And intense karma of this kind never rewards us with happiness, only further sorrow.
There are many ways in which we give subtle sorrow. Here are a couple of examples. For example, I may have wealth and that is my good fortune but to flaunt it in front of a person who has nothing, that is intentionally creating sorrow. On the other side, if I envy someone because they have the latest gizmos (and remember… because of their good fortune) then that is my problem! Instead of taking sorrow from everything let me see what I do have and take happiness from that. Never judge a book by its cover. Also by looking at the defects and faults of others, I am giving sorrow; in that moment, I am not uplifting the other. In spiritual language, I am only ‘kicking’ the other person more. They have ‘fallen’ because of their shortcoming and yet I am making them weaker by focusing on their imperfections. I have to build such immunity to the sorrow that not only am I able to tolerate the sorrow, but turn it around to my favour. If I have the strength of virtues; contentment, self respect and self worth to name a few, then I have a higher threshold or immunity to sorrow and suffering in my life. I am then able to deflect the criticisms of others, rather than immediately having feelings of hurt, rejection or self-pity. Lastly I create more sorrow from the sorrow by exaggerating the situation and enlarging it with my waste thoughts. Learn to give others the benefit of the doubt. Remain positive as much as you can; there is always benefit behind everything, even if you cant see it just yet! It’s Time… to stop giving and taking sorrow and to use spiritual wisdom to take the best from the situation. Sorrow is created as the result of my own thinking and so choose to have self-respect and a heart that is flowing. Don’t take things too personally. See things more clearly, without the clouds of emotion, and you will be able to respond appropriately. Then you will see that a life of happiness is possible… always!