January 10

“People don’t have the power to hurt you. Even if someone shouts at you or strikes you, if you are insulted, it is always your choice to view what is happening as insulting or not.”  – Epictetus

Even as I type these words extreme situations that I will never have an inkling of understanding come to mind.

Still, allowing ourselves to be victims is to give away our power. It is us choosing to allow the aggressor to be the one in control, to have the last word. Rather than saying, ‘I am stronger than this situation.’ We are saying, ‘This happened to me.’

When someone shouts at us, belittles us, or even physically attacks us it can feel very personal. But it’s not.

It is not possible for someone who truly knows us personally and cares about us to act in that manner while simultaneously keeping in their mind that we are people entitled to respect and kindness.

So the next time someone is rude, demeaning, or disrespectful keep in mind, it’s not personal. They are forgetting to act in a manner that they would consider in keeping with the image they have of themselves. When we consider how embarrassed they would be if they saw themselves from the outside, it would almost be easy for us to feel sorry for them.

I truly hope you never have to exercise this thought after someone is physically abusive towards you.

virtus fortis vocat

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