“There are more things likely to frighten us then there are to crush us. We suffer more often in imagination than in reality.” – Seneca
Bad stuff is going to happen to us. We are going to get sick, we are going to get injured, we will lose money, we will miss out on events, we will have people treat us poorly, and then at the end of it all we are going to die.
But focusing on and worrying about those parts of life aren’t going to take away any of the sting or pain when they finally arrive. It just makes us suffer more than we have to for longer than we have to. And then we still get to experience the hardship. And worse than that, our minds are already primed to suffer. We’ve already made being miserable a habit, are we really going to look at our situation as it is unfolding and say to ourselves, ‘this isn’t so bad?” No. We aren’t.
Instead, we have to start cultivating a different habit, a different mind set. We can convince ourselves that we can handle any hardship by well, convincing ourselves we can handle any hardship. With that mindset, when we start to worry about things that might happen in the future, whether they are health related, financial, social or other issues we can convince ourselves that we will be able to handle them. When they arrive, if we can’t handle them, they must be pretty bad and it would be reasonable to assume that no one could have. At least we won’t have suffered prematurely.
But in reality there are few situations that we can not endure and while some situations will leave us forever changed, we can use even those to become stronger, better.
And that is our life long goal.
virtus fortis vocat