How to Handle Emotional Attachments?
Sonakshi Sinha: Dearest Sadhguru ji, I’m a very emotional person, and I often find it very difficult to emotionally detach myself from a situation that I know is not good for me. I can see this is not going somewhere where I want it to go, but it is very difficult to divert my mind and my emotions away from that. I’ll keep thinking about it and dwelling on it, which is something that I don’t want to do. How do you think I can handle that situation?
Sadhguru: There is a lot of talk about the head and the heart business. There is no such distinction in the real sense because the way you think is the way you feel. The way you feel is the way you think.
For different people, different things run first. Today, largely because of the type of education, for most people, their thoughts run ahead of their emotions. But there is still a sizeable percentage of people for whom their emotions run ahead of their thought. Nowadays, those people whose emotions run ahead of their thought are made to feel stupid because they do not understand the power and the intelligence of emotion, though people are starting to talk about emotional quotient.
Now, what Sonakshi is asking is, there are situations that you don’t wish to be in but the emotions are tangled up, so thought keeps going there and unknowingly you keep walking in that direction.
It is just that thought is agile, it can turn around fast. But emotion is sappy. It takes some time to turn around. Today you can think, “Oh! This person is the most wonderful person.” Tomorrow, if that person does something that you don’t like, your thought will immediately say, “She’s no good.” But emotion is not that agile. If my emotions have gone ahead with this person, they cannot turn around so quickly. In the meantime, you struggle.
Monkeys on the Mind
What do you do about this? Don’t try to control your emotions or thoughts because the very nature of your mind is such that “I don’t want to think about this person” means that’s the only person I’m going to think about for the rest of my life.
This is the proverbial monkey story. If we tell you, “Don’t think about monkeys for the next five seconds”, can you not think? Only monkeys! Because this is the nature of your mind. If you say “I do not want something”, only that will happen.
When compulsive thoughts and emotions come, the first and foremost thing that you do is, you simply see them for what they are – you don’t try to resist them. The moment you resist, they will multiply.
In this mind, you don’t have subtraction and division, you only have addition and multiplication. If I say, “I don’t want this emotion,” it will add – one will become two. If you say, “Oh my god! It’s coming again, I don’t want it,” it will multiply by hundred. This is the nature of your mind. In this mind, you cannot forcefully remove anything.
Distance From Data
What you need to do is understand that thought and emotion are just a recycle of the data that is already there – something that you remember. It is just that memory is a little smelly, so it keeps coming. You just need a little distance from that.
Suppose you were on your way to the airport and you got stuck in a traffic jam. How much anxiety and struggle you would have! Then somehow, you got to the airport and got into the flight and took off. From up there, when you look down, how nice the traffic jam looks! This is simply because there is a little distance. It is still the same traffic jam but because there is a distance, suddenly there is nothing to it.
Similarly with your thought and emotion, with a little bit of practice, you can create a little distance from your physiological processes and your psychological processes. But if you try to handle individual thought and emotion, they will multiply thousand-fold.
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