This is a small win and also a big win. The exact instance itself isn’t such a moment to celebrate, but I am inspired by how this line of thinking is bleeding over in to other parts of my life, and more so the impact it is going to have on me when I get home.
As I mentioned in the past, we are allowed to spend a maximum of $180 every 2 weeks at the store. Last week I had $26 left, and this coming week commissary is closed. So I won’t be able to shop again until sometime in October. That’s three weeks with having spent only $26.
A couple months ago I would have admittedly thrown an internal fit over this. Now, I am actually laughing about it. I am not phased. At all. I am even questioning myself, wondering why it doesn’t bother me even just a little more.
Stoicism talks about how we can tame our irrational thinking. I am hesitant to call out famous Roman philosophers but where it has fallen short, in my opinion, is that I do not think it is providing solutions beyond merely recognizing and ceasing the irrational thoughts in one’s life. A word which has been appearing in my reading more and more lately, and I had not seen at all the last three months, is faith. I needed this word to remake it’s appearance in my life. Stoicism has much to say about fear and how fear, which all boils down to anxiety surrounding the future, is futile. Okay, great, I get it. Don’t focus on fear, it doesn’t help. But what then? Do we simply walk into a void, the Zen solution of no mind, and let it all go? I’m a touch too type A to sit back THAT much. I have been trying though. Then the word faith comes around. I am not talking about faith in the religious sense, but faith being the opposite of fear. The polar opposite. Faith being a trust in the future, in the Universe.
Think in the sense of fear of something you want and you fear you may not get it. You want it so badly, but if all you can do is fear you won’t get it, what does that do? You do not have to give up, or stop taking action. However, more often than not we should let go of things energetically and simply create space for what we need to come into our lives. It sounds hard, but it is much easier than the alternative, and far more freeing.
Release it. Trust that it will work out fine, because everything will work out the way it works out. If your faith is stronger than your fear, you’re okay. These concepts are far beyond being angry (if I actually was) that I can’t shop at commissary and that my locker is running low on food and protein powder. However, they apply to it. In essence, I would have had anger, but that anger was over fear of what I thought would occur when I didn’t get to shop. I.e.: I’m hungry for this type of food, I prefer my locker to be stocked so I feel comfortable, blah, blah the list goes on. But if I let it go, have faith, and realize everything is going to be fine LIFE IS SO MUCH EASIER.
I cannot access commissary this week. I do not care. The decision to close commissary was an external factor. Seneca would tell me I should not be upset about it because it is not up to me, so it means nothing to me. It is a situation I cannot change but I can have faith in everything resolving itself – whatever a resolution looks like in this instance or any other one.
The same concept, but on a more drastic scale, is if we are going into a full blown, inside all day, every single day, Scott would lose his mind and not see the sun, lockdown due to Covid. Why put even one ounce of energy into that fear? It is not serving me in any way. Plus, if it happens, why lose my mind, why lose your cool? To what avail? It will eventually end and the only thing I would have to show for it is a ball of stress.
I will have spent $26 in the last 3 weeks and I have found ways to be content with everything I have. I would prefer more, but do I need it? And if I don’t NEED it, why put energy into yearning for it?
For me, this isn’t about what I am doing…it is reasonable enough to take this action or think this way. More so, it is about who I am BEING when I do it. Trying to control life at times is resistance while seamlessly gliding through what occurs and is outside of you is surrender. We are unable to always hold on to exact visions of what we think every single detailed aspect of our lives will eventually look like. What about knowing that we have it in us to make sure we’re taking the necessary steps which will lead us to the life we want and faith will help with the rest? Surrender in this sense of the word isn’t giving up at all, it’s winning.