“We suffer more in imagination than in reality” — Seneca
Seneca was a Roman philosopher who lived from 4 BCE to 65 CE. He projected the idea that human lifetimes are the perfect amount of time if time was used properly.
This quote seems… grim at first, to say the least. Without a second thought, this quote is telling you to suck it up and solve your problems. Although stoicism is meant to help people work towards that ability, chances are that you would struggle with doing that. However, if you really let your mind wander with this quote, it becomes apparent that it’s reminding you just how powerful your mind can be.
As far as we know, we’re the wisest and most intelligent beings in the Universe. We’re so smart, in fact, that we get bored. Even with all of the information surrounding us and stimulating our minds, we still get bored. On top of that, we can develop skills that no other animal can. We can create things that control the elements around us. Our physical domain becomes whatever we want it to be.
However, the same applies to our mental domain. We can make that however we want it to be too. Our mental domain can have an untouchable fortress, or it can be a cardboard box you sit in when you get upset. The thing is, you can’t tell people this without seeming as if you don’t care about their problems. But you, noble reader, understand this concept. As someone who’s been working on themselves mentally, you know you have more control over your thoughts than most people think.
The truth is, most people understand that they control their surroundings, but they’re never taught that they have complete control over their thoughts and emotions. Then when they finally stumble across that idea by themselves, they expect it to be easy. Of course, it isn’t, so they quit. In doing this, they let their emotions control them. After that, they wonder why their lives fall apart, and start blaming everything that’s going on around them. Then they try to shut out exterior problems. Before they know it, they’re back at square one.
The reason this quote can resonate with so many people is because truthfully, a lot of people want to be the victim. Not because they aren’t; their problems are valid and they really do matter. In a way, everybody is a victim. Unfortunately, when everybody is a victim, nobody is. This causes some people to magnify small problems they have in order to stand out and feel validated for having that problem. This isn’t to say that nobody has problems. As we know, the world can be a dark and scary place where terrible, horrible things happen. I’m not dismissing that fact. What I am dismissing, or rather what this quote is dismissing, is the idea that problems of any kind need to be a certain size before they’re validated by others; including yourself. Your problems are valid, and they do matter. Anybody who refuses to hear you out isn’t somebody you want to be around.
All of that being said, sometimes our problems aren’t exactly what we think they are, and it’s important to take responsibility for our actions in order to solve those problems.
What do you think? What problems do you think need to be acknowledged by others? Do you have problems that you’re making worse inside your head? I’d love to hear what you think in the comments section. Also, share this article on your social media! You never know who could use this information to help them. Stay tuned for future blog posts every Monday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday, and check out a post on my page called “Feed Your Fire” for information on how to win a FREE MONTH OF COACHING from me, VALUED AT 1,000$! Other than that, take some time to care for yourself, and try to be the reason someone smiles today 🙂