We can’t control emotions because emotions are the response of our mind and body to the thoughts we think about things. If you change what you think, your emotions will also change. If you try to change your emotions, it is futile because in they have already happened.
Thoughts act like a filter or lens that we view the world through and emotions are like the light shining through the lens. It’s like a movie projector. The image on the screen is the result of the information beemed out from the projector, and can’t be changed unless you change the source of the image. So in the same way emotions are the result of the thoughts we think. In order to change a thought, you must get to the source of the thought. We call that a belief and you can believe anything you want.
When you are absorbed in something due to intense attraction, all the negative qualities of the mind naturally disappear without any effort. But the attraction must be deep. The mind should be completely absorbed through-and-through. In science, absorption is said to be a bulk phenomenon, which means that a solid soaks up a fluid throughout its bulk. It is different from adsorption, which is said to be a surface phenomenon. In adsorption, the molecules of a gas or liquid only deposit on the surface of a solid as a superficial thin film. The object of our attraction should capture our mind’s attention through-and-through like absorption; not superficially, like adsorption.
As long as a girl knows that her boyfriend is attracted to her, she behaves as she likes. She tries to attract her boyfriend more and more using reverse tactics. She may even behave arrogantly or rudely with her boyfriend. But when she comes to know that her boyfriend is attracted to some other worthier girl, the girl becomes quiet and stops behaving rudely with her boyfriend. She realizes that her reverse tactics may break his bond with her. The same is true in the case of our mind. The mind is naturally attracted to worldly things. So, as long as you are attracted to the worldly bonds, which are congenial to the mind’s natural inclination, the mind will dance as it likes and you have to provide the music that it demands! Such a dancing or wavering mind also gets angry when its desire is not fulfilled. This is explained in the Gita. Krishna says that if you constantly think about worldly affairs related to money and family, it results in an increased attraction towards them. It is followed by the desire for enjoying them and anger when one is prevented from enjoying them. One further develops an intense fascination for the enjoyment of worldly objects, which weakens the mind. The person is then unable to analyze logically and finally ends up in total destruction (Dhyāyato viśayān…praṇaśyati).
So, instead of fixing your mind on the worldly bonds, you should fix your mind on the divine personality of God. It means that you should be attracted to God. The attraction or devotion to God is the result of spiritual knowledge. Once you have fixed your mind on God, the mind automatically becomes quiet. Its worldly aspirations naturally subside. It is just like the case of the girl, who upon finding out that her boyfriend is attracted to another worthier girl, starts behaving properly with her boyfriend. So, by fixing your mind on God, all your mentioned problems will disappear without any effort. Without this more powerful new attraction (God), the mind’s old attraction towards the world will never disappear.
Prahlāda’s mind was so absorbed in God that he never got angry when he was subjected to horrible punishments. He did not even get angry when his father was killed by God. The Gopikās too, did not get angry even though their husbands and in-laws were scolding them for dancing with Krishna and giving butter to Krishna secretly. In all these cases, the minds of the devotees were strongly absorbed in the unimaginable divine personality of God.
But among all devotees, the Gopikās and Hanumān stand in the topmost place. This is because they were devoted to the contemporary Human Incarnation of God who stood alive before their eyes. The object of their attraction was not the personality of an Energetic Incarnation of God belonging to another world. Neither were they attracted to a past Human Incarnation. Practical devotion becomes meaningful only when the object of one’s devotion is the visible living Human Incarnation of God. The importance of the two scriptures, the Bhāgavatam and the Rāmāyaṇam, is because of this very crucial concept.
But I can promise you there are emotions that, for reasons that those who read these answers totally understand, are just not healthy to keep bottled up inside.
Those include the feelings that are the deepest, darkest fears that hide in our hearts. They include the violence of war,(everything that encompasses), the heart break of losing a spouse in death. Losing a precious child to death. See these things break something inside. Because we are not supposed to outlive our children.
But the only one not surprised to see them in heaven is God. My own brother died when I was about 4 years old. He was 19. All I knew then was he was gone to heaven. I understood that was a good place and I knew I would see him again. That was all I needed.
When my daddy died, I was older and I understood he was going away and my protector was gone. It broke my heart. My uncle knew it and he seemed to be the only one who did except for the preacher.
So those emotions that we guard and hold in and try to not show, may really need to be let out. Find a way to mourn if necessary. For those with PTSD from war need to find ways to release pent up emotions. Which it was so great to see people being more respectful to those who serve and who served. But there were still those who protested. The veterans definitely needed help with that and so did their families.
So yes, we can control our emotions. But in some cases it may be better to find a way to express them or deal with them.
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