Once upon a time, there was a king who went hunting in the jungle. While riding his horse, he came across an old man in tattered clothes. It was winter and the day was especially cold. He stopped near the old man and asked him if he doesn’t feel cold in his cotton rags. The old man replied, ‘I am a poor man. I don’t have money to buy winter clothes. But God gives me strength to bear the cold. I am doing fine.’
The king took pity on him and promised to send him some warm clothes as soon as he returned to his palace. Thus saying, he went on his way to hunt. Upon his return, he got busy with some urgent court matter and completely forgot about his promise to the old man. He remembered the old man the next morning and sent one of his courtiers immediately to find the old man.
When the courtier reached the jungle, he saw the old man lying dead in the same place where the kind had left him. Next to his body, there was a message which said, ‘O King. Thanks for your promise of sending warm clothes for me. However, I don’t think I would survive this cold now. You see, life towards the end has taught me a very valuable lesson. Till I relied on myself to provide for my needs, I was happy and content in the old rags and have survived for years in extreme winters. But the moment I relied on your promise, my expectation increased and I relied less on my own self. And that is the reason I find this cold unbearable today and will not survive this weather. Remember, always rely on yourself to look after you, instead of others.’
The above story teaches a very valuable lesson. The more we rely on ourselves, the more successful we are going to be. The moment we start leaning on others, our efforts come down and we end up disappointed.
Time and again, we need help, support and counseling to help us through particularly difficult situations. While it is a great idea to share and seek help from outside, but without the support of our inner self, nothing can be achieved.
When facing a difficult situation, do reach out to others and seek suggestions / advice / ideas, but ensure to follow it up with self counseling sessions.
The person who understands you the most is YOU.
Open your mind and allow it all in
Sit down with yourself and let your thoughts flow. Good thoughts, bad thoughts and irrelevant thoughts.
Treat your brain as you do your closet when you sort out your clothes. Do let all your thoughts in, good or bad, without any judgments. And then slowly categorize your thoughts. Keep the useful thoughts, and throw the bad or useless thoughts away. This way, your thinking will get clearer about what you feel. Once you understand yourself, try and stand aside, treating yourself as a third person. As if it is a friend who is facing the issue and you are giving advice based on your knowledge and experience. And the solution will automatically click in your mind.
Hear all, but listen to yourself
More often than not, we end up taking advice from others with respect to our problems. Remember that each of us face issues which are unique to our own circumstances. There is no ‘one size fits all’ solution. Hence, we are the best judge of what we should and should not do. Others can only guide us with their experience; be it parents, friends or professionals. Ultimately, it is our journey and our lives. And we are the only ones who can try on the possible solutions for size and reject the ones that are unsuitable to our particular circumstance.
Take charge of your life and your problems. It is great to have an external support system, but even better when you are your own support. So accept, understand, forgive and love yourself.