“We are born to a comfortable position enough, if we do not afterwards lose it: the aim of Nature has been to enable us to live well without needing a vast apparatus to enable us to do so: every man is able by himself to make himself happy. External circumstances have very little importance either for good or for evil: the wise man is neither elated by prosperity nor depressed by adversity; for he has always endeavoured to depend chiefly upon himself and to derive all his joys from himself.”
That’s from the essay called “Consolation to Helvia”—Seneca’s truly remarkable letter to his mother after being exiled from Rome by Nero.
The letter captures the essence of the Stoic philosophy: “whatever is best for a human being lies outside human control: it can neither be given nor taken away.”
In other words, we possess WITHIN OURSELVES the greatest treasure: our ability to CHOOSE OUR RESPONSE to any situation.
Here in America we are prone to feeling sorry for ourselves. We are prone to, dare I say it, WHINING. Oh I am a woman and the men hold me back with their glass ceiling….Oh I am a child and I have no rights to do anything, Oh I am a person of color and all of my ancestors and I are held back by those who are not “of color”
Those are the biggies at this time and certainly not all of the complaints.
But what are we really doing here? We are giving away ALL of our own power. We are pretending that what is best is out of our control. Our greatest treasure is that we possess within ourselves our ability to Choose our Response to any and all situations. You can find the gold or the silver lining anywhere, when you choose to see what is going “right”. YOU can change your world and the world around you by consciously choosing your response. By choosing out of love and not fear or pain or anger…We must accept that it is all within us each and work from the possibility of that. If we keep doing what we are doing we will keep getting what we have gotten.
And How is that working out for us? We are sliding backwards in a lot of areas…Do you want your power back to claim a life of your own choosing, design and creation that is actually worth living?
Where can you choose to see it differently? Where are you holding yourself back and pointing at another as if it is them doing it to you? No you can’t control the choices and behaviors of others but you can control how you choose to be in that.
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Much love and Many Joyful Adventures,