No man is free who is not master of himself
There was a women named Natalia living in India. She was a software engineer by profession. One day she was doing her work at her home during the pandemic and at that time she got the news that a person in her building died because of some severe disease. As soon as she got this news she felt sad about it and she became a little anxious. Throughout the day she was constantly thinking of this news. As time passed, she started creating an illusion of the news in her brain and kept herself in the center of it. And she started thinking what if this situation happens to any of her close relatives? Because of this, she started becoming more fearful.
At night, her heartbeats started to increase rapidly due to anxiety of thinking negatively that what if someone from her known one dies. But after doing a little bit of walking and breathing exercises she started feeling a little normal. For the next week or so her heart used to beat faster than it normally does due to fear of death. Natalia thought these things might be happening because of some problems in her heart and so she thought of consulting a doctor.
Later she took an appointment with the doctor. The doctor checked her and performed an ECG test. In the test, everything was normal. Then the doctor checked the blood pressure and it seems higher than the normal range. The fear in Natalia’s mind gave rise to the increase in blood pressure. The doctor gave her some medicines and later she was feeling a little bit better.
One day, she was skimming through YouTube videos where she was exposed to the philosophy of stoicism. She then started learning more about the stoic philosophy by reading various books and watching videos related to the stoic philosophers like Marcus Aurelius, Epictetus, Seneca, Zeno, etc, and followed their teachings. As Marcus Aurelius said:
“The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts.” — Marcus Aurelius
When we change the way we see the world and keep a balance between happiness and sufferings then this can lead us to a stable mind which will help us in achieving greatness. This can be done by mastering the mind.
She had a question of how to become mentally stable? Natalia found out that doing meditation and yoga could help her become mentally stable as well as relaxed. She understood that its not easy to master the mind and so she started to work on herself by practicing yoga and meditation.
After practicing yoga and meditation for few days she also got inclined towards spirituality and she started reading the “Shrimad Bhagwat Geeta” (a holy manuscript of Hindus). This holy book made her understand the importance and the position of the living entities (humans) in this universe. The chapter 2, verse 57 of the “Shrimad Bhagwat Geeta” says:
यः सर्वत्रानभिस्नेहस्तत्तत्प्राप्य शुभाशुभम् ।
नाभिनन्दति न द्वेष्टि तस्य प्रज्ञा प्रतिष्ठिता ॥ ५७ ॥
Meaning, A person living in this material world who is unaffected by any situation either good or bad, neither appreciates it or despise it, is fixed in perfect knowledge.
In the end, she came to realize that one thing that is common in all of such philosophies and spiritual books is that the only way to get rid of fear and anxiety is to become mentally stable and free from all the attachments of this material world.
The thing which you all can learn from this essay is that life is a journey which consists of combination of various experiences (some are good, some are bad) the only thing which we humans can do is to enjoy the trip.