Today’s lesson on Stoicism was about the simple practice of minding our will and choices because ultimately that’s all that we can do. I like how this simplicity lends clarity to a fundamental principle. We are not in control of a lot of things but we live as if we were. Or in my case I try hard to have a sense of control or only go into things that I can more or less manage, always afraid of pushing beyond the fringes. I’ve gotten much better at ceding a bit of this and letting go. It is ironic though that what gives us undue stress are the stories and conditions that we try to keep as close to our hearts as possible.
The thought that there is very little in this world that we are in full control of is unsettling. Not even our bodies. One part of us may just say f#%* it and just live aimlessly. But the bit of wisdom that we have will say that yes that is true but how we react and view the things that happen to us define how we lead our lives. It is what we make out of our realities that differentiates a life of meaning.
There is a lot of work to be done to get to this state of being. It’s not easy especially if you care so much about a lot of things and specifically if you care so much about how you are perceived. So I think I need a mantra to be constantly reminded of this.
You’ve got just one thing to manage: your choices, your will, your mind. So mind it.