'A sense of humour lends you poise, it gives you balance and it helps you to bend without breaking'

(HH Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda)

MenoSundays; Life Lived Lovingly

You were left with two words to ponder at the end of last week's post. What to do with them?

How does this word help us in our emotional expansion and mental maturity? It indicates the application of the intellectual process. To clarify something we have to investigate, we have to learn, we have to question, we have to raise doubts and we have to test.

We do this all the time at a subconscious level. What is required now, as we seek to assess and improve ourselves, is to make it a conscious and meaningful effort.

We can observe stuff without having any actual feeling about it, but every now and then we do get that quiver of the skin, a shake in the voice, a welling in the eyes. The first thing to assess is whether or not this is just happening with ourselves or is a widespread reaction. If we are watching something unfold on the news, such as a royal wedding or a school shooting, it is to be expected that we are not alone in any reaction that we have to these things. Both are likely to produce tears or a tightening of the facial muscles. In the first case, it will be smiling which tightens the face and the tears will feel soft and joyful and warm on the skin. In the second case, the tightening is likely to be a frown, even a gritting of teeth, the eyes might close and the feeling of despair and uselessness may be present. Tears, if they appear, will be of shock and lament and they will feel cold. (Tears are important... see here.)

However, if we appear to be the only person affected by something, we might have to ponder a little more deeply as to the why of that. Is everyone else 'cold-hearted'? Highly unlikely. Is their response to our reaction telling us whether it was appropriate, or out of context? Did we end up feeling uncomfortable about feeling so strongly when others didn't? What, if anything, was there to gain from being so emotive? Is the effect lasting... are we carrying the feeling with us far beyond the reach of the actual event?

Clarifying what it is that prompts us to emote and coming to grips with the fact that we do so is a major step forward in self-understanding.

There are many ways to purify ourselves so that emotions do not overtake our commonsense and dominate life. Clarification is essential to the process, but having new insight as to the whys and wherefores of our behaviour, what to do next? What is 'purification'?

We can take responsibility for our reactions. This alone is quite difficult if we are used to being ruled by our emotions. It can be things like seeking a self-help group which focus on our specific tendency; we may, through clarification, come to realise we have deep anxiety, or a phobia, or deep despondency. Not ready for that? There are plenty of tools available for reading and listening. Even biographies of people who have similar difficulties can help us to become more objective about our own emotions and encourage to make the steps towards bringing balance into our lives.

Clarification and purification are important tools for any aspect of life. Here the focus has been on emotion and how it can hold us back from being optimum human beings. However, all aspects benefit from learning about the 'stuff' of life and finding ways to apply remedies.

Clarification is learning. Purification is application.

We can learn how to Love; then we can apply it.


  1. Sometimes I 'jump' to conclusions emotionally...I most definitely need to focus on clarifying the facts.
    Happy Sunday to you...Oh you'll never in 87 years believe what I saw on International House Hunters last night
    A couple and their Siberian Pup, Shasta, from Raleigh looking for a home in Edinburgh. She rec'd a post doc at a University in Rosyln (spelling).
    They found a lovely flat overlooking water.

    1. Hari OM
      Hiya Ce,
      At the moment comments are not coming thru to email, so am having to remember to check for them... all of Chrome is crawling too - clearly, Google is tinkering trying to get things right!!!

      Re the house hunters... there is no Uni of Roslynn... but the agricultural research station is out there and post docs from Edin Uni may work do their work there. I used to work for the research branch of the Agric College! Yxx

  2. I see the roles of both parts. All of us are sometimes ruled by emotions. I don't always know why -- so some clarifying and purifying would be good for me. Thanks for the insights.

  3. Taking responsibility for our actions - that reminds me of what a dear and now departed friend used to say about "choosing your reaction". Something I agree one should try to do, but sometimes are emotions are also a guide to how we should act, are they not?
    Cheers, Gail (finally recovering from the wonderful but exhausting American invasion!)

    1. Hari OM
      First, response to your question about feelings sometimes being a guide... This is quite true, but they can only be so if we are able to stand separate from them and analyse them in the moment. This is what is meant by not letting the emotions dominate. It is not that we eliminate them, merely have them under our control, at which point they can also become our tool of 'instinct'. Unfortunately, emotions tend to release the sorts of chemicals which cloud the mind and intellect, so unless we have practiced some techniques to counteract it, we can be overwhelmed.

  4. Don't get overrun by your emotions. Take a step back. Easy to say, not always so easy to do though...

  5. I need to clarify why when I read of a dogs death on blogville tears flow down my face, but when I read of a person that was close to someone dying I don't tear up... emotional is my middle name... tears when joy, tears when angry, tears when sad. but the good news is now that I am a SENIOR the tears have dried up except for when pets die. you do not want to make me angry enough the anger tears visit. that to is about gone. to old to get that angry

  6. One thing that struck me, "biographies of people who have similar difficulties" This is why I wrote my book. Not only did it help me, but I hoped it would help others in similar difficulties. One can learn so much from either mistakes people make, or the coping mechanisms.
    Thoughtful post, again, Yam!

  7. My family joked that our mom would cry at supermarket openings. I would be moved to tears at the sound or sirens. Now tears are almost non existent. Years, and I do mean as in decades, of counseling and work have me on a much more even keel. My MIL, also, set an example of appropriate emotions instead of the hysteria to which I was accustomed. I do miss being able to have a 'good cry' every now and then. Especially in the shower as it felt like being washed clean inside and out. Thank you for your thoughtful post. namaste, janice xx


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