Friday, February 24, 2023

Daily Stoic: The Real Source of Anger

 Often, when I attempt Stoic resolve, I am thwarted in my desire for tranquility by politicians' ineptitude and results. Today's meditation is like that. I must look at this not as a way to resolve the world, but to resolve myself towards my goals. So, take politics out of it as you read this

Keep in mind that it isn't the one who has it in for you and takes a swipe that harms you, but rather the harm comes from your belief about the abuse. So when someone arouse your anger, know that it's really your own opinion fueling it. Instead, make it your first response to to be carried away by such impressions, for with time and distance self-mastery is more easily achieved.

Epictetus

This is easier for me to understand with a personal example with my attitudes. 

Let us say someone I know conversationally says, "Wow, you have put on some weight huh?" Because I value their opinion AND it is something I am uncomfortable with, my first response is anger and the desire to lash out ("Yeah, and you're a fucking waif, aren't you!").  Even if I don't particularly value the person's opinion - I will still get pissed off.

And yet if someone says, "You're not very smart, are you?" or "Are those blue contacts, you eyes look great today?" I could not care less. I am very comfortable with my intelligence and my kind-of blue eyes.

So, if I can shrug off the second comments, I should learn how to shrug off the first type. Easier said than done, but possible.

FYI, Gavin is probably the only person who has ever told me I gained weight and I didn't want to smack him. Because he put it in these terms at volleyball at the beach once. "Hey, just so you know, you're gaining a little weight in your stomach." Because Gavin stated it in a reasonable manner and at the beach where the comment kind of made sense, and since I was in single mode looking to ...... spike the ball ..., it didn't bug me. That once.

What I hear whenever anyone says something 
about my weight or clothes.


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