When your heart and mind work in tandem, you can fearlessly embrace the world and be reciprocated much to your surprise—says Shivi Verma
As a young adult trying to understand life, I lived in a constant state of distress. None of the principles that I believed in seemed to work in my favour and neither did copying others, the so-called smart people, give me any reprieve. If I operated from a space of love, sharing, kindness, and co-operation, I was mostly taken advantage of and betrayed by my peers. I would feel like an idiot for having feelings and values. And if I tried acting street-smart, sharp, and selfish, in order to fit in, I would soon begin to feel hollow and empty from within. My inner voice would rebuke me and make life difficult for me.
I was perpetually caught between the proverbial devil and the deep blue sea, and I did not know what to do with my life. Deep within, I was aware that most people were operating from wounds, ego, one-upmanship, or greed, and none of these could give lasting peace to anyone. But I felt greater sadness to see that good-heartedness was considered foolishness and naivete by society and looked down upon.
I also observed that wrong beliefs flowed from top to bottom, and the best way to change them was from the top. Which means it is easier to set a good example if you are a leader in any capacity. Therefore, while I suffered discrimination when I was a fresher in my college hostel, I was able to enforce fair play and justice as a senior boarder and win plenty of respect and admiration for my approach. I soon realised that without inner strength and conviction, all great virtues can easily be crushed and trampled upon.
Spirituality helped me balance my heart and mind. The world is in great need of kindness, warmth, and helpfulness, but for these virtues to be respected and valued, I needed my mind to act as my sentry. I needed to be aware of manipulators, bullies, emotional blackmailers, and con artists, without losing faith in humanity and myself. I became good at sensing cunning, deceit, and lies and not falling in their trap.
As this inner cooperation between my heart and mind began to increase, life began to simplify. I began to relax. I was no longer afraid of showing care and concern for people, including strangers. I had no desire left to prove to the world that I was smart, kick-ass, and a force to reckon with. All these attitudes stemmed from inner insecurities of not being good enough.
I began to meet people halfway, relating to them as humans first instead of enemies in disguise. And the results began to show. I mostly earn a warm response from strangers and unknown people. Many have shown such sterling examples of honesty and integrity, that I often get surprised. I do not feel that the world is out there to get me. It is possible to create a better world if you do not return evil with evil, stick with goodness, put your mind to good use, and have faith in your inner virtues.
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