I recently got to know that an ex-colleague, who had made my life miserable few years back, is going through a rough phase in career. I gleefully thought, “serves him right, he is tasting what he had dished to others!” Few minutes later, a small inner voice cautioned, “Come on Padma, let bygones be bygones, the least you can do is not be happy about it.” I allowed the voice to snuff out the joy.
I must admit it was not easy!
I was hoping to get a coveted award. When it was given to someone else, a pang of jealousy sprang. Again, the inner voice came to my aid. It helped erase the negative feelings.
I can think of countless such moments in my life. Every time the dark side attempted to take control, this inner voice gently tried to save me from the dark emotional alleys.
There are times when I ignored this voice; but what followed is not something I am proud of.
In the classic novel, The strange case of Dr. Jekyll and M. Hyde by RL Stevenson, Dr. Jekyll says, “inside everyone of us, lies two beings, the higher self and a lower self. The dark and light constantly trying to take control.”
Closer home, Chinmayananda Swami in his interpretation of Bhagwad Gita says “each one of us is continuously battling the good and the bad within us… just like the war between the Kauravas and Pandavas in Kurukeshtra… It is the constant struggle in which we need to allow the good to bubble up!
We indeed have two faces, the dark one emerges every once in a while. It’s up to us to nip it in the bud; stop it from lingering and overpowering our behavior and actions.
My learning: pay attention to the small inner voice; our internal navigator that separates dark from light, bad from good. At times, this voice is not pleasant, it’s easy to ignore and kill. But, if we kill it too often, it might become inaudible someday.