Guiding Light: Isolate the problem

-- Swami Brahmavidananda Saraswati

Many of us when faced with a problem make a global judgment. Let me illustrate. If I have an injury on the knee, I don’t say, ‘My knee is paining’. But I convert it to ‘I am in pain’. We have to learn to be more specific, ‘My knee is paining. Activities such as standing or walking will be difficult. But that will not prevent me in working from home. It will not come in the way of relating to my wife and kids. Only my knee has a problem. So I have some physical restrictions’.

We are not saying that we don’t have any problems at all. But it is isolated to the limited area it is affecting. Similarly, we play many roles in life. If I have a problem at work with a colleague, can I isolate it to just that colleague and say, ‘My relations with the superiors and subordinates is fine. I only have a problem with this specific colleague’ Or Do I say, ’My life has a problem’. Sometimes we let it affect our work life and extend the problem to our partner and children.

Similarly, if I have a relationship issue with my partner can I isolate it to that person without letting it affect my work and my relations with children? To do this, one has to understand that one plays different roles in life. At any given time, one of these roles may have some issues that have to be dealt with. One has to stop making a global judgment about oneself saying – My life is miserable. I have a problem.

Instead, say that ‘I have a problem in this issue of my life’. Understanding this simple person that I am which plays many roles will bring about a great sense of comfort and happiness in my life because my problems are isolated to those areas. Other areas of my life are okay. It requires objectivity. One of the values mentioned in the Gita is learning to spend time with yourself to become comfortable. But the rewards are worth it.

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