[I’m typing this on my phone so there will be errors]
So the same folks who did Stoic Week have put together are doing a Stoicism Resistance trainingand I need it, like, yesterday.
I’m pretty much stressed out of my mind and it’s making me exhausted all the time. At work the holidays are upon us and as a food service worker that means utter chaos. Then yesterday I was dropped for the entire semester. My Fall 2018 drop down was just GONE. Best excuse for not doing the homework ever, but totally not great for my stress levels, holy shit.
I was going over the email trail and the confirmation email shows that I only requested to withdraw from one class and I was. A week later I’m booted out of the semester completely and my other professor is emailing me asking why I withdrawaled.
I call the school asking what the hell and keep getting a “hmmm that’s weird” and I know! That’s what I said. I get passed around the different departments and finally have to show up in person and take a form to the department chair (who is really nice and I like her a lot) explain what happened, show her the email trail, and basically look pitiful.
So! What is actually stressing me out? I don’t want to look like an idiot. One of the things I was struggling with during Stoic week was identifying what roles I’m participating in. It’s obvious now, I’m a worker and a student. So, as these are my chosen rules I want to obtain “excellence” (which is a poor translation of a Greek word which actually refers to having a good attitude and having practical knowledge about what I want to obtain), but I’ve run into a problem where I’m still haven’t perfected my healthly internal monologue so I’m still clinging to my self image. I don’t want to look bad and I want to appear like I’m not struggling which goes against being Stoic.
To deal with this I might need to branch out and look at Buddhism again. The mysticism of the Buddhist religions was not something I could relate to or believe in, but there are some really good core concepts that might help my anxiety.
The one I’m focused on right now is being “selfless” as in literally without self. There’s a Buddhist teaching where a king is visiting a monk and the monk asks “how did you get here?” and the king replies “I came in a chariot.” “Ah, and what is a chariot? Is it the wheels? The axle? The cushion?” “It is all of those things.” “And if you laid all those parts out on the ground, is it still a chariot?” “It is all those parts arranged in a particular configuration” And the teaching is a metaphor for what is the self. Realizing that helps me to remember that maintaining a self image is a waste of time and as Epictetus points out, not within my power.
Now if I could calm myself the fuck down in a few minutes instead of a few hours we’ll be in great shape. That’s what I’m hoping to get out of the resilience training.