I’ve discovered there is one pose that’s harder than handstand…it’s equanimity. The thought of being able to keep an even temper when facing adversity feels like it’s the stuff of yogic fantasy.
I have to be honest, I struggle with forgiving people for being unconscious and committing a crime of ego.
The “crime of ego” is anything in which a person unknowingly acts with the intention of protecting their pride or self-preservation. In its most common forms it’s infidelity, gossip, selfishness, or betrayal. It’s when we’re lashed with a condescending tone, are criticized by someone for them to feel better about themselves, lied to, or are intentionally led astray.
Quite frankly, the mere thought of not reacting to this kind of behavior seems like it’s a one-way ticket to the cuckoo’s nest!
Depending on the severity of the situation, we may not be able to forgive someone for how they treated us just yet. Maybe we didn’t get closure or are not able to fully understand why someone did what they did. Perhaps even gratitude and finding the lesson in the experience is just a little too much to ask.
What’s a yogi to do? Equanimity is an expert-level, advanced posture and could be beyond our reach.
The only resolution I can come up with is a compromise of getting to neutrality. Get to that place where you don’t want to prove them wrong, retaliate, or burrow down in anguish and continue hurting yourself.
For me, repeating a mantra has been helpful by wishing for the person’s growth of their awareness:
“May [person’s name] find enough self-awareness to have a happy and fulfilling life.”
We don’t want to pay forward our pain and take it out on someone else or become bitter and carry around constriction, pessimism, and tension all the time. The best thing we can do is to break the cycle of damage.
The Bhagavad Gita says, “Yoga is skill in action.” I haven’t found anything that outlines the steps to get to equanimity. But as we hone our skills and progress on the path to awareness, maybe this is one of them?