“Look inward. Don’t let the true nature or value of anything elude you” (Meditations 69).
Only be concerned about things that are the way they actually are. Don’t let things out of things I have no control over.
“The mind is that which is roused and directed by itself. It makes of itself what it chooses. It makes what it chooses of its own experience” (70).
The power to control a situation is purely mental. This can help with my anxiety.
“Like seeing roasted meat and other dishes in front of you and suddenly realizing: This is a dead fish. A dead bird. A dead pig. Or that this noble vintage is grape juice, and the purple robes are sheep wool dyed with shellfish blood. Or making love – something rubbing against your penis, a brief seizure and a little cloudy liquid. Perceptions like that – lathing onto things and piercing through them, so we see what they really are. That’s what we need to do all the time – all through our lives when things lay claim to our trust – to lay them bare and see how pointless they are, to strip away the legend that encrusts them” (70-71).
I totally disagree with this mode of thinking. Why can’t I enjoy a glass of vintage wine without delving into its fundamental label of grape juice? Why can’t I savor the pleasure of sex without stripping it of its pleasurable mystique? If Aurelius is a cynic, this passage firmly expresses it. Enjoyment should be pure enjoyment. I think over-analyzing pleasures will just taint the overall experience.
“Remember – your responsibilities can be broken down into individual parts as well. Concentrate on those, and finish the job methodically – without getting stirred up or meeting anger with anger” (74).
I find this very practical when it comes to any sort of task – especially overwhelming homework assignments – or even a stressful week.
“When you need encouragement, think of the qualities of the people around you have… Nothing is as encouraging as when virtues are visibly embodied in the people around us, when we’re practically showered with them” (80).
Look for the positive.
“The mind itself has no needs, except for those it creates itself. Is undisturbed, except for its own disturbances. Knows no obstructions, except those from within” (87-88).
Don’t exaggerate the minds necessities. Don’t create unnecessary boundaries.