How often have you heard someone hurt you, later say "I didn't mean what I said"?
How many times have you told someone, "I didn't mean what I said"?
How many times have you regret what you did, because you hurt someone, without meaning to?
We all have experienced moments of regret - that feeling of sadness about a mistake that you made mixed with an unrealistic desire to change the past.
How does it come to a moment of regret? If we truly believe in a value that we have within ourselves, how do we manage to say or act against it? How do we sabotage ourselves and the relationships we have with the people we love?
I explain it to myself as follows:
Whether you call it soul (Christianity), Nafs (Islam), Nefesh (Judaism), Brahman (Hinduism), Atman (Sikhism) or Jiva (Jainism), we all believe that there is a core within each one of us humans, that is a good and true consciousness.
This spiritual heart within us is perfect, full of love, joy and happiness.
If we say or do something that isn't aligned with the values of our soul, we feel regret. How does this happen? Traditional scriptures describe that the soul can use the body and the mind to its own benefit. It is life's mission to fulfill the purpose of our soul and find ways to have our body and our mind work for fulfilling this purpose.
I believe we are faced with situations or events in our life to gain these learnings. Life teaches us through experiences, not through lectures or other's experiences.
In my family I experienced elders that were studying Hindu scriptures relentlessly, only to realize that they didn't apply any of the wisdom that they were studying. This frustrated me.
Why didn't they express the love unconditionally and without judgement that they were reading about to their own family?
But then, why did I talk about health matters, work in the healthcare industry, preach how prevention is important, when I myself eat unhealthy? Shouldn't I be the example to practice what I preach myself?
We are so quick to judge others to be hypocrites, while we ourselves are.
Two things come in the way of Mahatma Gandhi's saying, about how "happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony.":
One is the lack of realization of wisdom and one is the wandering mind.
When being exposed to wisdom, we need to be in a space to receive this information. Understanding the wisdom is only half of the story, there are two levels here: One level of rationally understanding the concept, and one level of fully realizing and embedding the theories into practice. Both of them belong to fully realizing theories and wisdom.
When our mind is not still, it distracts through momentary pleasures or unrealistic imaginations from our core values. Have you been on a diet and you know that in the long term it is beneficial for you to eat healthy, and exercise regularly? A momentary thought stream of sweet or salty pleasures, whatever you desire most, can create actions that drive you off your path. And what is the source of these moments? Just a momentary string of thoughts. This is valid for as much as eating unhealthy, as it is to robbing a bank. All decisions that waiver from a true and goodhearted path, are a strain of thought that we identify with. It's so easy to confuse our thoughts, with the voice from our hearts.
Thoughts - that's all it is, that keep us from "thinking, saying and doing in harmony".
If we don't use our mind to our benefit, the mind will control our actions. What do we do to use our minds to our benefit? First step is understanding that we do not need to identify with our minds - we are our Self (brahman, soul, atman, naf), and not our thoughts.
And then work on stilling your mind.
As soon as we learn to let go of our thoughts and let go of identifying with our minds and our bodies, we will be able to fully embed the quote from Mahatma Gandhi.
With this theoretical understanding, let's together try to forgive any hypocrisy from people around us and most importantly forgive any hypocrisy we experience within ourselves (also called guilt).
Until we still the mind, we won't stop experiencing moments of regret or guilt.
Join me on this journey to let go of judgements about hypocrisy both within us and within others while embracing the connection to your own good heart.
Let's unleash the goodness in our hearts!