This is how you prevent Mental Suffering!
Marcus Aurelius has slowly become my god over the past couple of months and this quote is just one of many that I have bowed down to.
We have the power to hold no opinion about a thing and to not let it upset our state of mind- for things have no natural power to shape our judgements.
Think about all of the negative things that have happened to you or are currently happening in your life and entertain this question
'Is it possible to hold no opinion about something negative in your life?'
Just take that one bad thing, big or small and act as if you had no idea that it ever occurred. Just imagine how different you would be feeling. And I know you will be saying "yes, but it has happened and I do feel shit"
So, I ask you,
Is the way you are thinking about this negative thing helping you feel better? Is the opinion you have about it actually relieving any of the symptoms that you wish would just go away?
You might feel raging anger, enormous guilt or be drowning in sadness and I bet more than anything you just want those feelings to go away.
Keeping hold of this opinion, grasping onto it so tightly is not helping you.
What is under your control?
You cannot change what has happened for you to develop this opinion that is making you feel like shit. And you cannot help the initial thoughts you have about said situation.
Your automatic, angry, hurt, sad, shameful thoughts are completely valid and you cannot control them popping up in response to something so stimulating.
You can, however, control what you do with them.
You can choose how much power you give these thoughts, and when I mean thoughts I mean your opinions because that is what your thoughts are.
You are not the punisher
Some people may have strong opinions about a certain situation that has happened or is happening to them and you may think
"well if I just disregard my opinion, am I not just admitting defeat?"
If it is a person that has done something wrongful to you and your opinion has changed of them, you may be thinking
"But if I let go of my negative opinion of them, they will think that they are getting let off the hook?"
Understand this truth
The thing is, you are letting go of the power you give these opinions to help yourself, to allow some of your own pain to be eased.
Only you can admit defeat. An opinion you have about a situation should not hold that much power over you and neither should the thoughts of another person. The person who has wronged you is likely to be feeling all sorts of negativity, and if they are not, you cannot control that- that is just the person they are. Do not let their personality consume you.
The quicker you realise that the only thing you can control is your own mind, the easier your life will be.
My Personal Experience- Let this motivate into believing that you can let go too
Recently, a few negative situations have occurred in my life and I have been feeling confused with my experience. Normally, I would have thought, after thought and would be worrying to the point of combustion.
In my journal, I described myself to be feeling robotic because I am not feeling the usual emotions that come with these particular situations. I even thought myself to be soulless. But what I've uncovered is not that at all.
I have been aware of the opinions that I have had and then let them shed. Instead of them all being stuck to me, they are floating around and out of me.
This is a different experience for me, one that I'm not used to so I assumed the worse. I thought there was something wrong with me.
Instead, I am not letting these negative situations 'win' or 'overpower me'. I am not allowing people in my life to 'get off easily' but I am also not allowing myself pain and torture for it either. I know what my thoughts are, I am just not giving them the power. I am in control.