How I Gained Control Over My Emotions

As a kid I hated running errands for my mom.

This is because errands have a peculiar way of showing up whenever you're having a nice time, or watching TV, or playing football.

Then one day, I learnt an important lesson: no matter how hard I protested, I was still going to run those errands. At that time, I didn't know why. But when I was about seventeen years old, I made an important discovery: I had no other choice than to run those errands because I wasn't in charge.

It was this discovery that led me to the sinking realization that the only way to control our emotions is by GIVING UP.

Emotions are purely psychological. They exist only within our own consciousness, as such, any attempt to control them only takes us far away from them. 

How do I mean? 

At first, I used to think that not being happy to run errands meant that I was a bad child. All attempts to create happiness whenever my name was being called eventually got me riled up. 

The problem was that I didn't realize soon enough that, as humans, we can't control our own impulses. And when we consciously try to create a state of mind, the desire to create that state of mind often lead us to create a different and opposite state of mind from the one we are trying to create. 

This is because our emotions are products of our minds. So chasing happiness, for example, means that your mind is the one chasing and is also the target of what it is chasing; like a dog chasing its own tail (oblivious that the tail is nothing but an extension of itself). It will never catch its tail.

So what did I do?

I taught my mind to achieve the happiness it desired by giving up that very happiness. 

I stopped chasing happiness, because happiness would not come by leaving enjoyment for work. That is the human nature. Instead, I accepted the fact that I'll always be unhappy whenever an errand pops during my nice time. I accepted that it wasn't within my grasp, and surrendered to the fact that my mom was not only in charge but also worth more to me than the nice time.

(It is important to note here that being in charge does not translate to not being dutiful). 

Now whenever my mom calls me during my me-time, I remind myself that I'm not in charge and do her bidding(s). And guess what I got in return? Happiness.

This new happiness, however, is different from the one I had sought earlier. It is not the happiness you get by trying to control your impulses, but the happiness you get by letting go of things that are beyond your control. And that, dear reader, is true happiness.

Going forward, I realized that this idea is neither limited to happiness alone, nor solely concerned with running errands. This concept applies to every of our internal, psychological experiences.

I have come to realize that trying to feel as secure as possible generates more insecurity. That being comfortable with uncertainty is what allows us to feel secure.

The constant desire for more freedom ironically limits us in a number of ways. Similarly, it is only by limiting ourselves (by choosing and committing to certain things in life) that we truly exercise our freedom.

The more we demand respect from others, the less they will respect us. The more we ourselves respect others, the more they will come to respect us.

The more we strive for perfection, the more mistakes we make. The more we accept our mistakes (and correct them), the more we attain perfection.

... You see, we all live in this irony.

Giving up, letting go of things that are beyond our control, accepting the fact that the negative feelings are part of who we are. It is by leaning into these fears and uncertainties that we are truly able to direct and process our emotions.


Thank you for reading. Please leave your comments.

  1. You are absolutely right !The last paragraph says it all. BarakalLaahu feeq sir

  2. Barakallah fiih, really thoughtful....

  3. Abdul Malik,Barakallahu fihi

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