January 26

“Begin with little things. Did your child make a mess? Did you misplace a valuable item? When these happen, remind yourself that this is the cost of living a life free of disturbance. This is the price of inner serenity. There is nothing for free.” -Epictetus

Emotional discipline is the skill set that will guide us through these situations while allowing us to see what we can learn and use to make ourselves better. Sometimes, we just need an opportunity to get better at being disciplined.

Stuff happens. It has, it does and it will. How we respond to it is entirely our choice. If we feel like we have no control over our response to the things that perturb or annoy us it is only because we have not yet chosen to discipline our emotions. But we can. We can choose to take a step back from any situation, take a breath, look around, and make a different decision than the one our emotions might be calling for.

That won’t be easy, situations can grate on us, they can be relentless, and sometimes they are painful. But if we fall back on looking at what part of the situation is within our control, more often than not we will find the only part we control is our response. Reminding ourselves that having these little disturbances daily is the way we sharpen our emotional discipline tool set and that is the cost of a tranquil life is a good practice. It also happens to be one you will get plenty of experience with if you choose to.

virtus fortis vocat


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