The turn was sharp and deep. My car brakes screeched as I unintentionally pressed it without even realising. It was a miracle that no vehicle collided into me as my car came to a sudden halt. The road ahead was clogged with traffic.
To find a way through the fulminating vehicles roaring their rage on the invisible road seemed almost impossible from where I stood. I considered turning back but the traffic behind me was already thick and so I had no choice but to inch further. As I was urged on by impatient drivers honking, I reminded myself that I was in control of the steering wheel and so It is going to be fine. In order to keep myself calm I tuned in to my favourite radio station. The journey was slow and frustrating. However overtaking one vehicle at a time, cautiously I was able to make through. “Phew,” I let out a sigh of relief as I caught sight of the smooth tar road reflecting the bright overhead sun, with almost no traffic ahead. I looked in the rear view mirror and saw the thick traffic on the road behind. There were trucks, cars, scooters, bikes, covetous auto rickshaws flanked almost anywhere across the road greedily hunting for potential customers. There were also innumerable buses carrying more people than their capacity, looking like bunch of grapes with people thronged all over them. The music perfusing my car now congealed into a song as my mind muzzled with the satiety of a well accomplished task. As I sallied forth it suddenly struck me that journey of life had so much verisimilitude to this journey on road.
The promptness of my turning back would have saved me all this unnecessary stress, so in life if we show similar promptness in being upfront when we are on the wrong side so much unnecessary stress can be saved.
However sometimes it is inevitable to not move forward for the sake of dear sanity. In such a situation a calm mind is the key to damage control. Remember the quantum of time to come out of a situation is going to be the same irrespective of the amount of frustration you allow to build on yourself. So isn’t it better to steer through in a way which is less stressful. However the real challenge is how to keep the mind calm. We all know what is the right thing to do, for we have grown up listening to all this sententious stuff though nobody ever told us that what was actually needed was the formula to bring that rectitude into conduct. The formula is – Practice. The practice is not going to be easy for there will be numerous deflections. While you want to be at peace there will be people and situations that will constantly endeavour to jeopardy your peace of mind. Remind yourself constantly how piddling the matter is when the cost to pay is peace of mind. Nothing is costlier than peace of mind. Practise not paying heed to such things beyond your control. Practise to control your reaction to such shenanigans instead. Practice is also needed not to play the victim card that we all love to play. It gives us great satisfaction to convince ourselves how we have been aggrieved by others but we fail to realise that the more we discuss a unpleasant episode the more vexatious it becomes.
Something which will help us sail through the rough traffic of thoughts is a creative hobby. When things don’t go the way we want them to be distract yourself with a hobby. After you have spent your excess energy surfing on the sea of the satisfaction generated by doing what you really love doing, you want have any left for the negativity. Practice, practice and practice till you master the art of keeping your mind calm. Remind yourself “this is not me” every time the behaviour of others threatens your calm. Without your wish nobody can affect you.
Another key to steering well through the tumultuous times is to overcome the hurdles one at a time and not to get distracted by the traffic on the side of the road. As soon as we have fights with our dear ones execrable memories of the past start seeping in through various nooks and niches of the mind. Beware of such treacherous thoughts. They are extremely dangerous for the well-being of a relationship. They eclipse the numerous goods done by a person and give you excuse for vindicating impropriety which will only add to your own misery because no normal huma can feel good after mistreating another mortal.
To save yourself the drudgery, keep away from the temptation of tootling the horn, it won’t alter a thing on congested road but only create sound pollution. When in arguments we start harping the things we did for the person and soon loose focus of the actual problem. What is worse is that every action has an equal and opposite reaction and the palpable backlash, when you degrade yourself by evincing the heartfelt actions as a favour, will be the negation of what you say which will scar the relationship forever.
If there is a strong urge to say something make the sound a song . If you are upset by the behaviour of somebody try thinking “he or she is behaving really mean just now but I must not forget he or she did such a sweet and such good thing for me.” Another thinking which can be extremely soothing is if the person is extremely important is: “so what if he or she is being mean I sure love him or her with all my heart and I can never be happy without him or her. So this behaviour doesn’t matter.”
When we are embroiled with our perturbations song becomes music and journey becomes drag. So learn to focus on the song. There is no one in the world who doesn’t have a song to hum, none whom God hasn’t blessed in a unique way. What is important is to focus on your song i.e. the blessing. Make thankfulness your default setting. Thank God a thousand times a day for thousand of things you get through a day. It can be as simple as a cold glass of water offered when you haven’t even asked for it. You will then see there is so much in life to celebrate.
Also learn to focus on the features of the car you drive rather than the length of cars around you which means not to get in comparison with those around you because comparison is a never ending toxic. The more you consume of it the more the urge increases. Remember no matter how many bigger cars might be there around you, you have to complete your journey in your own. Make the best of your available resources and be happy with it. After all nothing is costlier than peace of mind.
Happiness is a choice and not chance. Of course there will be mishaps beyond our control. Sometimes things might go so bad that life might even seem impossible but the solace is however impossible situations might appear, life will still find a way.
So keep your eyes on the road and be in command of the steering wheel of your life and enjoy this journey called life.