ByMahalakshmi Rajagopal July 2014 Emotional and spiritual health are related. While spiritual aspirants strive towards their emotional enhancement, religious practitioners do not consider it important and face blocks in progressing spiritually through religious practices. By aiming to attain emotional maturity, we attempt to scale the ocean. Every day, we swim in a sea of emotions. Sometimes, we reach the shore; sometimes we struggle in it and at times we even sink. The universe is constantly providing us with opportunities to mature emotionally. Since we aspire to be spiritually inclined even as we remain within our social and professional domains, we need to develop unconditional acceptance even amidst criticism. A recent experience taught me this. Contributing to a discussion on Hindu dharma, I offered my views on reincarnation and rebirthing. Pat replied one of the discussants, “Don’t show off. Come down to our levels.” Although initially angry, I introspected. I valued my knowledge because of its impact on me and my environment. The discussant did not because he had no such experience. I realised that his opinion that I was “showing off” was simply HIS perception. Whenever an individual is unable to accept your expertise in a topic, he may label you as arrogant, and high-headed. Every feedback we receive from our environment helps us to grow. But whereand how the feedback should be used is what I would like to address over here. In this recent incident I bobbed in a sea of emotions before reaching the shore. I had a learning and growth. I didn’t have to work on my superiority complex but on empathy and unconditional acceptance. The following may help the readers in similar situations. 1. When someone criticises you, accept the negative feeling you experience. Use any technique you are comfortable with and release it. 2. Having cleared the baggage, probe in to the truth of the matter. 3. If you indeed identify arrogance or any other quality you have been accused of, thank the person who gave you the feedback and introspect further and work on it. You may require some expert’s help here. But refrain from self-criticism. 4. If you don’t, evaluate your empathising nature by focussing on the person who gave the feedback. 5. Empathy helps to develop unconditional acceptance of others in spite of their negativityand still love them unconditionally. 6. Empathy helps you to remain humble and accept that even with spiritual progress, you can still be criticised and remain comfortable about it. 7. Empathy helps you to forgive and forget. 8. As this emotion grows within us, we are soon able to perceive and experience the divinity in others and even those who criticise and harm us. Isn’t it an assured way towards the path of spiritual progress? -Mahalakshmi Rajagopal
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