Your hair will look great shorter.
Blue really looks better on you than black.
That guy is not worth your time.
She is just using you to get to him. Just forget it.
You need to be more assertive.
Don’t get emotionally involved with people so easily.
i think maybe you should just give her a piece of your mind.
Think a little before you say something.
Look before you leap.
Etc. etc. etc….
How often have we been the speaker and the listener of these and many such words? Friends, elders, foes, teachers, parents, well meaning and not-so- well meaning people around us. People who want to give us a helping hand, people who, well, just like to say stuff.
My personal favorite comes from the story of the wise sadhu (sage, who has earned great wisdom after years of penance. Theoretically. Nowadays television helps. Apparently) and the king.
This king, a kind one, was suddenly attacked by his arch enemy. The king in question suffered a devastating defeat. (Much like the Indian cricket team does so often). He lost his kingdom, his wealth, his soldiers. Practically everything. But he does manage to flee the battle scene and hides in a cave. He is in total despair. He doesn’t know what to do. Should he kill himself? Should he go back and surrender? Each option seemed dreary. While mulling on this he remembered the small piece of paper his Guru, the wise sage, had given him when he became king. The sage had asked him to keep it in his ring and open it only in the most desperate of situations. This advice would give him the solution. So the king opens this piece of paper. On it are four simple words:
THIS TOO SHALL PASS.
The king feels as if a bolt of lightning passed through him. As if the sky cleared up after a storm. As if the sun suddenly burst on in the sky. With new found hope and courage, he managed to gather the remaining soldiers, appealed to another king, who was friendly and won back his kingdom and wealth.
Of course there is a great celebration. The entire kingdom comes with gifts and showers blessings and praise their brave king.
During the day of the celebration of this great victory , the same sadhu comes up to him and gives him another piece of paper as a congratulatory present for the King and asks him to read it. Full of curiosity the king opens it and reads something familiar:
THIS TOO SHALL PASS.
The King experiences the same sudden insight, the same clarity. He rules his kingdom wisely and justly. Late he too gives up his kingdom, goes into the forest and spends the rest of his days in serving the poor, meditating and sharing his knowledge.
I love this story. And each time am euphoric, am down in the dumps, am angry, am elated, am impatient, am nervous, am afraid…i tell myself and others: this too shall pass.
I calm down a bit. And then after a few moments, the feeling passes. The feeling of calmness. The golden words pass out of my memory and i am back to where i was. And then i remember this story again.