“How ridiculous and unrealistic is the man who is astonished at anything that happens in life.”
― Marcus Aurelius, Meditations Book 12
– How often do we think that something in life shouldn’t happen to us?
– As if we are somehow immune to the things that happen to anyone else in life.
– How often do we think that we are owed something?
– As if we are somehow privileged above others, that we deserve something
– We may think it’s unfair when something we worked hard for fails to materialize.
– We may think it’s unfair that someone we love gets cancer, that they didn’t deserve it.
– We may think we deserve a perfect partner because go to the gym workout and wear nice clothes.
– The world is full of all kinds of stories about people getting hit with the unexpected and didn’t get what they wanted.
– Who determines what is fair and unfair?
– So much in our lives that is simply up to chance, where we have no control over it.
– We never deserve anything.
– Now this doesn’t mean that all is lost.
– Let go of trying to control the things that we can’t control, and focus on what we can.
– We cannot control the circumstances that happen to us.
– We cannot control the outcome.
– What we can control is how we respond to the things that happen to us.
– If we are diagnosed with an serious illness, we can’t control that it happened to us.
– We can’t control whether we’ll recover from it.
– If we follow the prescriptions of our doctor, we increase our probability of a positive outcome.
– We may not get the job we think we deserve. But we can increase the probability that we’ll get a good job if we put the work in.
– We can also choose our attitude towards towards our situation. We can be angry, we can be sad, we can react in many different ways.
– We’re going to have deal with it anyway, so if we can approach it in the most helpful way we can, we reduce our overall suffering.
– I think that most suffering in the world happens when we try to control the things that we can’t and fail to control what we can.
– Life is full of surprises, but it shouldn’t be.
Photo by Ben Rosett