From time to time, you experience the deflating realisation that you are sick of yourself. You grow weary because familiar sets of circumstances that shouldn’t cause disturbance cause disturbance. Disturbance enough that simple tasks are a burden. Oh, this again – why do you do this to yourself? Negativity then begets negativity. The reaction to burden becomes a burden.
Fight the emotional impulse.
There’s no long description needed for what it feels like. Sometimes there is, but not now because you know all too well. But you noticed it early and embraced it. You aren’t going to yield to it this time, you’re going to remember that it will pass just like last time. More promptly because you’re getting better at noticing it. This feeling is as ephemeral as stormy weather. It’ll clear. Every storm ceases to exist soon, that can’t be disputed.
Sit for a minute and think.
What did you do after the last storm? You built up better defences, you reinforced your foundations. You wrote, because writing flushes out the mind. You meditated, because meditation calms the mind. You read the Stoics because those clever bastards had an answer for everything. “Skillful pilots gain their reputation from storms and tempests,” said Epictetus.
You’re becoming a skillful pilot.
It’s easy to put a lot of stock into the outcome of one event like it’s the last piece of the puzzle to a complete life. Like the gambler convinced a ball landing on a red tile is everything. But when you shift away from outcomes you become more difficult to disturb. Do things for reasons that can’t be taken away from you. Where the ball lands is in the hands of Fate, but gaining wisdom, doing the right thing, saying the true thing, those are all you.
Stand up and stretch.
Doing tough exercise creates tiny tears in your muscle fibres. Growth, gains in strength, are the result of the muscles repairing themselves. Challenges are there to be overcome, adversity makes you stronger. This applies physically and mentally. You’re going through something right now, that’s fine. Just make sure you keep going.
One step at a time.
Things seem clearer now. Gratitude flows more easily. The past isn’t worth worrying about and the future will come when it comes. For this instant there is contentment. Freedom. Freedom is not judging and not worrying about being judged. Freedom is detachment from results. Freedom is having strong preferences, not inflexible demands. Freedom is accepting that whatever happens happened as it was supposed to. Freedom is energy. Freedom is when you are truly being yourself. Freedom is life.
From time to time, I just need to write an article like this to remind myself. It helps. I hope it helps you too.