Odessey

Musings of a Curious Mind

29 May 2020

Balance and Harmony

I have been playing Overwatch lately. One of my friends recommended the game so I bought it without any thought - but never had the chance to actually play it. I just random stumbled in my lockdown-induced boredom and well, its fun so far.

While I was watching the story videos, I stumbled upon a video which has an interesting quote from Genji - a gritty, hardboiled Cyborg Ninja who’s a playable in-game character.

When I was young, I lived a life of recklessness. In my selfishness, I inflicted pain and hurt those I cared for.

I have learnt many lessons in my struggles with doubt and fear. Balance and harmony is not easily attained - they must be fought for.

Life without Balance and Harmony

In everyday life, we don’t really reflect deeply about our own thoughts for long periods of time. Its easy to just go on days and days feeling a certain way and not realizing that we feel that way. For example, certain events in life can trigger spontaneous emotional reactions without crossing the threshold of awareness. A person who seemed to brush you the wrong way while at work (even if he didn’t intend to) will recieve biased scorn from you. Even when you start your day pissed off, because of which somehow the whole day is ruined.

Being in this emotional state for a long time can sometimes induce a state of confusion and doubt. For example, the bias towards a certain person due to the slightest misunderstandings can grow into hate when left unresolved. A doubt to one’s own abilities when prolonged for a long time can potentially grow into a subconscious feeling that one’s not good enough or able enough to do something.

Like others, I also have been a victim of this plight. Humans are inherently emotional beings, so emotions can sometimes grow out of control. Emotion affects thoughts, thoughts affect behaviour, behaviour affects your destiny and the place in this world. One of the crazy things that I learnt was being overly emotional can actually affect your rational day-to-day thinking.

Way towards a solution

Luckily there is a way to solve this, but its not a simple one. It needs three things, in order: - Ownership - Self-awareness - Self-compassion

Practising these allowed me to be more aware of my emotions, control my reactions and adopt a growth mindset. As a result, it also cleared my mind of past misconceptions about myself and others - instilling in me a state of mind where I can think freely, opening the way towards achieving balance and harmony.

Ownership: Saying that I own my own destiny

It starts with saying that I am the one who is responsible for my circumstance - therefore I have the power to change it. This is the stoic philosophy of not worrying about things which are not in one’s own control and only focusing on what one can. This newfound understanding can have marvelous consequences - allowing you to own up to your own mistakes, and giving you the power to do change or improve upon them.

Self-awareness: A personal sensor of emotions

After one understands that one is the master of their own destiny, they can start developing a sense of self-awareness. Being aware of one’s own feelings is not easy, cause it needs a static, background voice which is not emotional. But having a sense of self-awareness allows you to observe when your emotional reactions are in excesses, and therefore give you the chance to control them. With enough practice, it is possible to notice when one’s feeling angry or frustrated.

Self-compassion: Being your best friend

Self-awareness by itself is not enough, it also needs self-compassion - a friendly inner voice which is understanding of your own true feelings, is understanding of your mistakes and allows you to change them. Consider this like Friday in Iron Man, but more attuned to you. Being kind to yourself can do wonders, and actually allows you to grow as a person.

Having a sense of kindness towards yourself and being aware of your own thoughts allows you to think clearly, allowing you to be free of your own biases. This in-turn ensues a state of calm - a balance between your thoughts which ensures harmony.

The things that games can teach can be so mind-boggling at times. Hope this helps you in some way.