Emotions exercise great power and influence over our thoughts and actions. Negative emotions cause agitation, unrest, conflict, struggle, and frustration, resulting in unhappiness. Positive emotions, on the other hand, evoke feelings of calm, peace, happiness and harmony. They make us feel elevated.
Love, a positive emotion, makes us feel good. When we are close, there is no need to shout. Have you seen two people in love sitting together, two close friends having a chat, or a mother caressing her child ? They all speak softly; they also speak the same language of love. When we pray to God with devotion, when there is complete positive identification, there is silent communion. Seminars on how to develop positive thinking, attitudes, and emotions are very popular today. We are told, “Fill your heart with love !” But the problem still remains.
This is because we separate our thoughts into positive and negative. We want to eliminate the negative and cultivate positive emotions; because we have already divided this world into good and bad, beautiful and ugly; we have categorised people into friends and enemies, and all objects into likes or dislikes, or as positive and negative. And as long as we continue with these divisions, our problems, the conflicts and struggles will remain.
Anger and jealousy, for instance, are only desires manifesting in other forms. If we desire something and someone else gets it, we become jealous. But what if we never wanted it? We remain unaffected. Similarly, we may love someone, but the moment a sense of possessiveness comes over us, troubles begin. Unfulfilled desires give rise to a display of negative emotions. Desires for self purification and spiritual evolution, however, elevate us. So why create the division of positive and negative? Both are manifestations of the same force taking different forms. When we criticise someone too much, it appears as hatred, yet recognising that somewhere deep in our hearts there is admiration, effects a change in our attitude. Secondly, look upon all as your own Self, but don’t consider them to be ‘like’ yourself.
Everyone wants to live happily, to be loved and forgiven. So, let me become loving and forgiving ! Lastly, let us ‘divinise’ emotions. For example, attachment is a wonderful quality for it gives us energy, but if the attachment is for objects or sense pleasures it will bind us. If attachment is for higher ideals, it will lead us to spiritual fulfilment.
The Hindu tradition teaches us to divinise all aspects of life. They enjoin us to look on our parents, teachers, elders, and guests as God. The Narada Bhakti Sutra says that if we must have desire, let it be desire for God; if we get angry, then direct the anger towards God; if there is greed, then transform it to greed for the Name of the Lord. Instead of counting money with intensity, begin to count the Name of the Lord with the same concentration. This divinisation of emotions and devotional desire will lift you and improve the quality of life.
Cultivate the thought: “Divinity alone is present everywhere!” Feel the presence of God everywhere……. soon, this feeling will become a part of your life forever. Where there is love, there is no room for violence, hatred, enmity, or jealousy. By divinising our thoughts, emotions, and actions, directing them towards the Higher, we will eventually resolve all our problems.