The Daily Stoic for February 23rd. “Circumstances have no care for our feelings”.
“You shouldn’t give circumstances the power to rouse anger, for they don’t care at all.”
—MARCUS AURELIUS, MEDITATIONS, 7.38
That is probably one of the most recurrent teachings of Stoicism, and the one that’s most often challenged in our everyday lives.
No matter how stoically we conduct our existence. Nobody is immune to getting involved in an awkward or infuriating situation.
When I first started practicing stoicism, I was trying to “ignore” these situations in order to avoid them affecting my mood or ruining my steadiness, but wasn’t quite there. I would still get angry or loose my nerve from time to time.
Circumstances Have No Care For Our Feelings
“Artificial flowers cannot die for life within them is illusion”
— The Guess Who-Talisman
Then I realized is not a matter of ignoring anything. It’s a matter of fully acknowledging what’s happening, and then rationalizing it.
As an example, still with a fever after my trip back from Budapest, I cannot ignore my state of health. Even if I try to pretend I’m ok and continue with my normal life, I won’t be able to do it. I would probably only get worse.
What I need to do is realize I am sick, accept that I need time to recover, and try my best to take care of my business to the extent possible.
I think that’s the big different, not acting like it’s not happening, but fully understanding it. Then, you can decide it doesn’t mind and continue with your life, or do something to change it. That’s your choice.
Since I started doing that, I am finding less trouble being steady. With temperatures around -20 ºC, and housebound in order to recover, I would have normally gone mad by now. 🙂
That has to mean something.
In today’s Daily Stoic, “Circumstances have no care for our feelings”, I share my experience on how I deal with the stoic concept of not getting angry for things we have no control over.
In my case, I discovered that “ignoring” a situation like it’s not happening didn’t work for me. Instead, I use a different approach to rationalize it and then understand that getting upset or mad about that it’s not gonna change anything.