Yes, there are lots of things happening around you and many happening beyond your reach.
Yes, they are disturbing you and filling you with restlessness, fear and even hate.
Yes, you feel so helpless that you can’t do anything about those things, even though you would love to do something.
Yes, it’s a fact that you are being affected by the world you live in.
And herein lies one important question: How much do you allow what is happening around you and beyond you to affect the healthy functioning of your mind?
In other words, how much do things happening outside, get to you inside?
There are days when you find your heart beating faster and at the same time you feel something heavy dropping in the relative calm pool that is your mind.
Probably something you hear in a conversation going on in the room next door; some TV news that you just saw; something you read in your newspaper, Facebook post or
Twitter, or even something in a Whatsapp message — any of it is enough to give you that sinking feeling.
You feel agitated and unable to think happy thoughts. You would agree that this is a sign that something has latched on to you. It wants to take the ‘happy’ out of you and fill it with all things ‘unhappy’.
Remember the dementors of the Harry Potter novels and films? They are experts at sucking out the best out of you and then leave you barely alive.
That is the kind of power all those outside things can have on your mind if you are not careful enough.
Let me mention Harry Potter again who goes to a school called Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. In this school, one of his Defence against the Dark Arts teacher
Remus Lupin teaches him something very important. He tells Harry how to conjure a ‘Patronus charm’ with his magical wand to fight dementors.
Allow me to quote Professor Lupin here:
“A Patronus is a kind of positive force, and for the wizard who can conjure one, it works something like a shield, with the Dementor feeding on it, rather than him. In order for it to work, you need to think of a memory. Not just any memory, a very happy memory, a very powerful memory… Allow it to fill you up… lose yourself in it… then speak the incantation ‘Expecto Patronum.'”
Harry Potter learns from Professor Lupin how to create his Patronus, which is a stag. This Patronus stag helps Harry defend himself against the soul-sucking dementors out to get him. This lesson pays him well in his later adventures.
You, we, us — have to learn how to immediately engage our own protective shield of powerful positive force around us in our world, as soon as we sense ‘dementors’ reaching out to us.
If you have problems doing what Professor Lupin suggests in terms of thinking a happy powerful memory to ward off ‘dementors’, then simply open your imaginary umbrella.
As soon as you sense drops of negative rain falling on you, making you uncomfortably wet, quickly think of opening your imaginary umbrella. Let the negative drops fall on it. You will be safe from its hurtful impact.
Sure, this sounds quite child-like. But if some invisible umbrella can save your powerful mind from being overtaken by negative forces, it’s worth a try. I haven’t tried it yet, as I find Professor Lupin’s lesson works for me. I am thankfully able to skip on to some better, firmer, happier state of mind, before it gets agitated beyond my control.
Do find your personal Patronus quickly, or that bright and colourful umbrella. You do need to keep your mind calm and peaceful in a constantly changing and churning world.