163 – Self Ownership

“I have often wondered how it is that every man loves himself more than all the rest of men, but yet sets less value on his own opinions of himself than on the opinions of others.”

— Marcus Aurelius

One of the things the Stoics teach us is that we shouldn’t worry about the opinions of others. This advice is very sound and seems pretty easy when it’s people that we don’t really know or care that much about. When it comes to the opinions of people closest to you, this is not always an easy thing. For example, if your parents disapprove of your choices, or you and your partner disagree on something, it’s not always easy to stand by what you feel is right, and let go of their opinions. Self ownership is the idea that you are 100% responsible for your opinions, emotions, and actions. It means that you recognize that no else “makes” you feel, think, or do anything. It meas that you give yourself the space to have your own thoughts and opinions, and that you allow others the same. That you and those you love can disagree and hold different views.

Are there people in your life that care about that always seem to be on the opposing side or disapprove of your choices? What are ways that you can set appropriate boundaries and hold true to yourself?


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