“How evil and guilty a slavery the person is forced to serve who is dominated in turn by pleasures and pains, those most untrustworthy and passionate of masters.” – Seneca
It would be easy for us to frame this meditation in terms of addiction or some other bad habit that is painfully obvious to those of us on the outside.
What might be less obvious are the little traps we allow ourselves to fall into. The need to respond to every chime our phones make The trap of typing the website for a social media site into the search bar when we are supposed to be looking something up quickly. The inability to let go of a single criticism spoken to us in anger by a colleague or loved one, even when we know they are wrong.
There are so many more, from the food we eat because it is convenient, the time we waste because we are bored to the time we waste because we are fixated on some minor slight. These moments rob us of our potential but worse than that, we put these moments, these external things in charge of our own well being.
We could and we should do better. We can stay in control of the the things we can control, how we think and how we act, how we choose not to react. By doing this we take control back from these externals and we can focus on making ourselves into who we want to be.
It’s not easy but things that are worth it never really are.
virtus fortis vocat