I was reading this post from Ryan Holiday when I happened upon the following written by Marcus Aurelius:
It never ceases to amaze me: we all love ourselves more than other people, but care more about their opinion than our own.
I love old wisdom that is as true today as it was in antiquity. Aurelius died 1,840 years ago, so we might agree that his writings have stood the test of time.
One of the reasons I like old wisdom is because it cures us (ok, me) of our (my) insufferable, egotistical sense of superiority when comparing our modern, advanced lives against people who didn’t know how to refrigerate butter.
Aurelius’s wisdom is helpful for us to contemplate during times when those around us might see things differently and are more apt to vent their hot opinions on their social media channel of choice.
Caring “more about their opinion than our own”, as Aurelius says, can freeze us in place – causing us to settle for a version of ourselves that is less authentic. It can also elevate our anxiety, disturb our sleep, and cause us to spend an inordinate amount of our day conjuring up stinging retorts.
Maintaining serenity often means setting aside time. Meditation and prayer are great ways to enter into what some call the “liminal space” – a threshold into a deeper sense of calm. Getting into nature, or near water in particular, can help immensely.
Also, you should never read the comments…
Speaking of being near water, the picture accompanying this post was taken of me by my lovely wife when we were visiting the Lake Superior shore north of Duluth, Minnesota last week. Here’s hoping you are finding a way to get outside during these summer months and reconnecting with the non-electronic world around you.