“Nothing can work me damage except myself; the harm that I sustain I carry about with me, and never am a real sufferer but by my own fault.”
– St. Bernard
The above quote is actually an excerpt from Ralph Waldo Emerson’s The Spiritual Emerson. It’s a similar argument that has been echoed by many an intelligent mind throughout history. Marcus Aurelius in his Meditations says it a different way when he writes “All is opinion”. It’s the idea that things are neither bad nor good, but thinking makes them so (that’s also from another book, might be Emerson or Aurelius, but I can’t remember).
I find it interesting that humans can logically ratify the above argument in such an easy and straight forward manner, but when it comes to effectually understanding it in the moment of theirs lives, the vast majority of people cannot help but lose sight of this idea’s implications. The idea is so simple. When you’ve been hit by a truck and are now paralyzed and will never walk or have sex again, it’s very hard to argue with the fact that being sad about this event does not help your situation. You’re paralyzed… ya can’t do shit about it.
And yet it is ever the most difficult for humans to do that logical thing and let go. To make you brain stop thinking about it and focus on the fact that your still breathing (which is better than being in the dirt).
So difficult, so simple.
The only thing that I’ve found that works is meditation.