The Pain of the Moment

7:30 AM. Morning Traffic Jam

I realize that it isn’t easy to activate the virtues when negative emotions have gotten into my system and are running riot. It takes a while for me to allow these negative emotions to subside before I can focus on bringing forth the feelings of humility and understanding.

Honestly speaking, it’s easy to send someone compassion or forgiveness when we are in a secure and comfortable mood. When our emotions are calm and we are in a state of well-being, it’s not too difficult to practice when-which-how. In fact, this is the whole point of emotional self-mastery—to create an individual human energetic field (IHEF) that is firmly rooted in the energetics of the soul—the solid platform of the energetic heart. This firm foundation brings us emotional control, strength, and serenity in the midst of chaos, which gives us the opportunity to serve others (and ourselves) in distress.

Have you had the chance to practice when-which-how in the midst of your own emotional turmoil? Try recalling your state of mind and emotion at the instant of sharp dispute or stubbing your toe. What emotion were you feeling? Love and peace, or anger and pain? If someone had asked you at the moment you stubbed your toe, what is 96 + 47, what would your answer have been? You probably see my point.

When we are in the midst of a personally emotional situation, it is highly likely that we will not be able to initiate the when-which-how practice in a timely way. In such situations, we are probably in much pain, and as our previous examples showed, when we are in any kind of pain it is difficult, if not impossible, to think and feel clearly.

Here is a personal example that will probably appear insignificant to most people, but the wonderful practicality of when-which-how is that we can even use it for the most seemingly trivial incidents of our lives. Let’s remember, though, that this practice is not about the events or contents themselves, but about how we react to them. With this in mind, here is my example. When I first began to practice when-which-how, I was watching a baseball game. My favorite player was at bat and he was hit in the hand with the baseball, by the opposing team’s pitcher. It turned out that the batter’s hand was broken. He was the best hitter on the team and he was disabled for a month with a broken bone in his hand.

I was angry and frustrated, yet immediately remembered when-which-how. I thought to myself, “This is the time to engage the practice.” Do you know that I was so upset and irritated that I could not begin the process? In fact, believe it or not, I was having a difficult time recalling the names of the six virtues! I was doubly shocked. Not only couldn’t I think straight, but I couldn’t feel straight either. I was trapped in an emotional whirlpool of pain and frustration and had no hope of engaging the heart virtues.

On an intellectual level, I knew the pitcher had not injured the batter on purpose, but yet I couldn’t express understanding, compassion, or forgiveness into the situation. This, I believe, is an example of how the pain of the moment affects our ability to practice when-which-how.

In our example here, our practitioner has sensed his lack of appreciation for his family, but he is soon overwhelmed by his irritation with the wet newspaper and the larger issue of his arguing children. He is in too much emotional pain and turmoil to engage the practice. The ability to overcome this impediment comes with experience in the practice. At the beginning stages, if you are overwhelmed with a situation, don’t blame yourself for your inability to express the virtues. Be patient and wait for your emotions to subside and later, when you have some time to spare, do the work of sending what you feel to be the appropriate virtues. Remember that the energetic heart and higher self operate in a non-spacetime, non-local manner. This means that you can perform your service later (in time) if you are unable to engage the practice when the situation is occurring.