It is often said that human nature is as stubborn as a mule. It is said, you can’t change the spots on a Dalmatian, nor can you change the stubbornness of the human mind. But, change is not only possible, it is inevitable at some stage in our evolution. To change ourselves is certainly the greatest challenge that we can take up, it is also the most rewarding activity that we can do.
How To Change?
We Need to Want To Change.
We have to feel the necessity of changing our nature. If we don’t want to change, how can we expect the universe to do it for us when we are sleeping in the land of nod? If we understand the benefits of changing, half the battle is won. This is essentially a choice to be happy rather than unhappy. If we cling to jealousy, despair and self-pity we will only bring unhappiness onto ourselves. If we wish to be genuinely happy, we have to understand the necessity of overcoming our weakness and undivine qualities.
The Inner Cry
We can’t change human nature with a proud and haughty attitude. When we inwardly cry for our nature’s transformation it becomes possible. To inwardly cry for a better life, is to sincerely reject our wrong thoughts, and wrong state of mind. The inner cry is never an ostentatiously display of emotion. It is a private aspiration, it is our real humility coming to the fore. When we inwardly cry for change, we let go of our pride and self-sufficiency. It is in this state that we will feel sweetness and softness; we will see the futility of our self-imposed lofty pride and unhappiness.
Persistence and Determination
Many people know what to do,
But few care how to do,
And fewer still dare to do.
We cannot change human nature overnight. We need persistence. We need to constantly reject the onset of negative thoughts as often as they come to us. We need to remember constantly what we want to change into. As soon as we start taking the wrong approach we need to check ourselves and put us back on track.
If all fails, we can play tricks on ourselves. Even if we are insincere we can smile at others. We can try to offer something to other people. We may feel that we are being insincere, and we don’t really mean it. But, it is much better to offer an insincere smile than a sincere growl. We may start off with insincerity, but, we may end up believing our own tricks. Our insincere smile will turn into a sincere and genuine happiness.
The worst stumbling block to change is to brood on our shortcomings, limitations and misdeeds. Our mind has remarkable capacity to heighten and magnify our problems. Before we know it, a small problem has magnified into the pinnacle of despair. However, this is only strengthening our ego; it is only strengthening our weaknesses and problems. It is always better to be active, to talk, to do something positive. When we are in a negative frame of mind it is not the time to be silent and lethargic.
Don’t Let Your Pride Hold You Back.
Often part of us wants to change, but, there is a part of us which consciously or subconsciously wants to hold on to the undivine part of us. There is a subtle pride in maintaining our grimness, our misery. We feel that to be happy is to humble our ego. The problem is we come to identify ourselves with this part of us which is holding us back. If we see our own folly it becomes easier to let go of it. Again the key is we need to want to change.
It may be difficult to change for ourselves, but, it is easier to change when we think of others. If we love people we will want to offer something positive and not something negative which holds them back and makes them suffer too.
(1) Excerpt from Twenty-Seven Thousand Aspiration-Plants, Part 151
photo: Pranlobha, Sri Chinmoy Centre Galleries