I’m not a member of this community, so I should note that the intricacies and intimacy of a chronic pain condition are lost on me. I do, however, try to be compassionate, and I ask for folx indulgence as I fumble through my thoughts and feelings in this blog. That being said, I should preface today’s post with a…
Trigger warning: challenges one to face adversity with resilience and grace
Seneca summed it up nicely when he said, “The point is not to wish for these adversities, but for the virtue that makes adversities bearable.” (Moral Letters, 67.4)
“Ready and at home” is a reference to President James Garfield’s thoughts on the terrible nature of war. He said, “Of course I deprecate war, but if it is brought to my door the bringer will find me at home.”
Today’s post is about knowing there’s shit coming, and being ready for it. Not “prepared”, but ready. Sit with those until a difference arises, if there isn’t one already.
That shit’ll know where to find us. So, to be clear, we’re not asking for this aforementioned shit to find us, or asking for any negative thing or circumstance to find us, for that matter. However, we are (or want to be) asking ourselves to face our fate at our most excellent, no matter what that may be in the moment.
Sometimes it’s very hard to be our best (and by best, I mean “most virtuous”). Sometimes we feel very far away from best. Sometimes we are lazy and don’t care to engage with best. Sometimes we’re crushed beneath the weight of illness, or sloth, or indifference, mindlessness, apathy, or our own egos that the definition of “best” gets called into question…
… and yet, we’ve simply got to do our best anyway, EVERYTIME.
In addition to President Garfield’s perspective, Ryan Holiday’s companion analogy contained within today’s lesson was a perfect way to frame this awareness teaching for me… Hospitality-style:
When difficulty knocks on our door, make sure we’re prepared to answer, “Not the way we are when a surprise visitor comes late at night, but the way we are when we’re waiting for an important guest: dressed, in the right headspace, ready to go.” (The Daily Stoic, p. 90)
(See y’all tomorrow)