I was mostly house-sitting for Maureen of Beauly Organics, so another article it is.
Instead of an inspiration source today, I want to explore a thought that has occurred to me again in my having had some much time to think these last couple weeks. I recall walking down the halls at Becker High School when I realized that at some point in the future, I was going to experience a terrible dread. It wasn’t some deep or transcendent realization, it was just a prescience based in a statistical likelihood.
I don’t remember anything else that day except for the detail of it feeling like a normal day and that one curious thought. This idea also has the corollary of knowing I will one day experience magnificent happiness, and I now have the memories of these feelings to reflect on. Like relationships starting and ending, for example. Okay, this all seems ambivalently neat and scary, but what does one do with this information?
Recall the Epicurus quote I had in another blog post:
Pleasure is our first and kindred good. It is the starting point of every choice and of every aversion, and to it we always come back, inasmuch as we make feeling the rule by which to judge of every good thing.
I feel like we all use the information I’ve writren out so far whether it’s at the forefront of our minds or not. That is to say, we try to have fun and have plans for bad things happening, we remember things that hurt or made us feel happy and try to avoid or rekindle those instances respectively. I’m often surprised at how much people don’t seem to prepare for the bad elements, favoring the focus on warm fuzzy feeling, which often means outright ignoring the bad things right in front of them.
So here’s my two cents I’ve spent too many lines of text coming around to; learn to identify the elements of what produces good or bad things in your life and figure out which of those you can influence.
For example, maybe you’ve also come to the realization I stated earlier that you’ll experience terrible dread and it causes you frequent stress. It used to drive me right into existential crises, leaving me to prop myself up on nearby tables to regain my composure. That happened until I learned to let go of that element I can’t control.
You see, the knowledge that something bad will inevitably happen doesn’t offer anything besides knowledge of one of life’s realities we all know. Worrying about that only increases the likelihood of that reality coming true sooner and more often. So I should focus on things can control, like my state of self improvement. The more I do to improve myself, the less likely bad things are to come up. They will inevitably come up, but if I’m always self-improving I’m always becoming more and more prepared for this eventuality.
Figure out what you don’t like about your circumstances that you have the power to change. Your health, your home, your job, your drive. Figure out what you can’t control, be aware of them, but don’t let them control you. If you know what they are you can try to have plans and contingiencies, but for the most part your circumstances are what you make them.
The universe is big, intimidating, and ultimately in charge, so all we can do is work within the perimeter it ultimately lays down for us. The perimeter may be bigger or smaller than you thought it was, but you’ll never know unless you push against the line.