“Do away with the opinion I am harmed, and the harm is cast away too. Do away with being harmed, and harm disappears.”
~ Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, 4.7
In The Daily Stoic April 17th entry, the writer speaks of words having multiple meanings, and the listener gets to choose the meaning.
As I remember it from my University Communication 101 class, (Thank you Dr. Elliot), “Words don’t have meaning, people have meanings for words.”
Even more succinct, I distill this idea down to:
🔴 “Words happen, and we give them meaning.”
Going back to the only three controllable we have as Stoics, the meaning of words (and our belief in their power) exist in our ‘perception’.
⚫️ Attention / 🔴 Perception / ⚫️ Action
We control the lens through which the experiences of life will be received; even when others give it with malintent.
Here are two ideas that have helped me in the control of my perception:
1. From Don Miguel Ruiz’s classic, “The 4 Agreements”, remember the second agreement: 🔴 “Don't take anything personally.”
As with everything that’s easy to say, it’s an effortful practice to live. And these are the challenges that make life worth living.
2. I assume all experiences, sensations, feelings, and thoughts in my awareness are for my benefit.
Even those that distract me from my desire or being. They are there to help me practice my philosophy.
Or as another life lover said:
Live life as if everything is rigged in your favor.
If this is the assumption then, the empowering question of every word, experience, sensation, feeling and thought is, 🔴 “How is this for my benefit?”
If you choose the identity of Stoic, always know what you control:
🔴 Your Attention / 🔴 Your Perception / 🔴 Your Action
After which, what more can Life ask of you?