I was sitting in my chair. Droplets of tears came running in my eyes as I thought about what had happened. I had just experienced a heartbreak, my first such incident. It wasn’t a pretty feeling. I began to sink in my own thoughts. I kept thinking about it over and over again and the more I thought over it, the more it disturbed my mind and the more I cried over it. The person was gone, the memories remain. For how long the memories are going to haunt me I cannot tell.
As I recall this incident, I still feel the shivers run down my spine. I can still feel the presence of the person. I can still feel the good and the bad times, the happy and the sad moments, the love and the fights. As I recall this incident, I can still feel the effect it had on my mind and the dark void it has left in me, in my memory, the effects of which can still be seen after all this time.
As I was thinking about this incident of heartbreak, I realized that there are certain events of our life which disturb our Equilibrium more than certain others. (At this moment, I would urge you to read the previous post on Equilibrium before moving further, since everything I talk about now is a continuation to the idea of Equilibrium). Certain events, such as the one described above, lead to a significant disturbance of our Equilibrium on the negative side. In the same way, certain other events lead to a significant disturbance of our Equilibrium on the positive side.
Considering that Equilibrium is the natural state of all existence, I have a reason to believe that everything ultimately comes back to the state of Equilibrium. The question is when? How much time and effort does it take for a disturbance to come back to its natural state of Equilibrium?
The answer would depend, to a considerable extent on the willingness of the person whose Equilibrium is disturbed. However, based on a generalized categorization of certain events and the extent to which they affect the mind, certain common rules may be identified.
Here I want to discuss four major types of events, the extent to which they disturb the Equilibrium of the mind and the time it takes for the individual to recover from them.
1. Sudden Negative Disturbance
Certain events such as loss of a loved one such as a parent or a young child, heartbreak in a relationship, sudden loss in business, a major failure in life or anything similar to which we were majorly attached and had a lot of Expectations from often lead to steep negative disturbance of the Equilibrium of the mind as shown below:
In such cases, since the mind is immensely disturbed, assuming an average effort, it takes the longest amount of time to recover from the incident. The memories of such deep loss are there for a long time and since the Equilibrium is disturbed on the negative side, this often leads to a negative outlook towards life in general.
I’m a huge Kung Fu Panda Fan! An example of this case from the movie would be Lord Shen of Kung Fu Panda 2 (you can think of any other character/villian from your favorite film who was affected too much by the events of the past).
2. Slow Negative Disturbance
Certain events of life where we end up losing things to which we were not that attached to, for example, loss of a wallet, slippers at a temple, getting lesser marks in an exam, theft of a bicycle or a hundred other similar situations lead to a relatively shallow negative disturbance of the Equilibrium.
In such cases, the Equilibrium is restored relatively sooner and since the sense of loss is not much, we usually replace or discard the lost item and the mind gets back to its normal state in comparatively lesser time.
Think of the last time you forgot or lost something small, like a piece of clothing and the time it took you to come back from the feeling of loss. Slow disturbance of equilibrium restores it quickly.
3. Sudden Positive Disturbance
Certain events such as chance events like winning a lottery or effort and patience based events like the birth of a child or a grandchild, the purchase/construction of a house or a car or something similar which comes after a lot of effort and hard work leads to a sudden disturbance of the Equilibrium on the positive side.
In this case the sudden positive disturbance leads to a significant attachment of the mind towards the event or the object.
This significant attachment further gives rise to the possibility of a Sudden Negative Disturbance of the mind! This is the key reason why I feel hurt a lot with even a tiny scratch on my car. Or I feel the pain and happiness of my child or my grandchild much more than the pain and happiness of anybody else in the world.
Note that a positive disturbance is also a disturbance. The mind is so jubilant and elated towards that object or event that it loses its balance. This is primarily the reason why the man who wins the lottery, as a result of the elated state of mind, loses all the money in no time. This is also the reason why the first child of the family is more close to the family members than the second or the third one. In such cases, because of the sudden disturbance, the Equilibrium takes a long time to get restored, if at all.
4. Slow Positive Disturbance
Certain other events which lead to small happiness also disturb the Equilibrium to the positive side but in a slow and steady manner. Small wins, targets achieved, new clothes/accessories purchased, competitions won and similar such events lead to a small positive disturbance of the Equilibrium of the mind.
The small positive disturbance leads to a small attachment which stays for a while and then fades away. Think of the excitement you get when you purchase a new phone or a new dress. The excitement stays for a few weeks or a few months and then fades away. In other words, Equilibrium restored. Until we buy something new! 😉
Think-it-over: Can you think of incidents from your life where your Equilibrium got disturbed suddenly, on positive or the negative side? Is their effect still visible in your life?
Positive disturbance creates attachment, negative disturbance leads to negativity and a negative outlook towards life. Interestingly, the more events of sudden positive disturbance you get the more events of sudden negative disturbance you will experience.
Depending on the attachment towards the event and the effort we make, time takes its own toll in restoring the Equilibrium to its normal state of existence.