Defeatist attitudes

I am a big believer in Stoic philosophy and the most important part of that, certainly to me, is to understand the difference between things you can control and things you can’t control and to ensure that you operate accordingly.  The idea is that you shouldn’t waste energy stressing about things that are outside of your control.  Just accept them and move on.

Today, I am unwell.  I have been unwell for the past few days and was quite sure that today I would be well again.  I am a little frustrated about this.  I had planned to get so much done this week but none of it has happened.  And I honestly can’t tell whether or not this is something that is inside or outside of my control.

Getting sick was, generally speaking, outside of my control.  So I need to accept that.  I am sleep-deprived with a foggy, achey head which causes me react to things a lot more emotionally than when I’m my normal cheery self.  Do I accept that?  Do I accept that the two are linked?  I am just a bag of chemicals, after all.  If I accept something that I actually have control over, am I just excusing myself from the fight?

I recently learned some incredible things about the placebo effect.  If you aren’t familiar with this effect, it is, in short, the fact that if you give somebody a sugar pill, a fake injection or a fake surgery, they will show signs of improvement even though no medical procedures have actually taken place.  The biological, chemical changes that occur simply because the mind thinks it has the support to fight the illness are truly remarkable.  The mind has so much power over our biology and is so easily changed by external influences; wouldn’t it be amazing if we could have this control ourselves?

Why do we have so much faith in little pills and people in white coats?  Why can’t we have that kind of belief in ourselves?

These are all just thoughts I’ve had today.  I was hoping this blog post would wrap up in a nice conclusion-shaped bow but I think it’s just going to to drift off without one.

Carmen x

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