The New Stoic — Merging Emotion With Logic

How we become wiser

If, for many years, all the weight we could lift was five pounds, but now, somehow we decide that we want to lift ten pounds instead — obviously, our muscles will have to undergo stress.

For our whole life, our body has been accustomed to lifting five pounds. Now we’re asking it to go beyond what it’s accustomed to — knowing that the body is programmed to save energy rather than spend it.

We have an idea about why. Food and resources were hard to come by for our ancestors, so they taught us — their “inheritors,” through their beliefs (in our genes), that we should save as much of our energy as possible.

At this point of our lifting journey, two kind of people are formed.

The first kind is the one that is not prepared. The one that simply wants to lift more weight for some superficial reason, and goes on trying lifting heavier weights, without a warm-up by the way, only to find themselves burn out and in pain.

And when it’s time to get back at it the next day, the first kind gives up because the body is incapable of moving.

What about the second kind?

The second kind feels as much emotions as the first one. The second kind, however, has learned that acting based on emotions only is not sufficient. In order to live effectively, one needs both, emotions and practicality.

The second kind wants to lift ten pounds as much as the first one, so the second kind lets his/her emotions drive the endeavor. The second kind learns about muscle growth, about warming-up, about incremental progress.

Instead of lifting ten pounds right after entering the gym, like the first kind did, the second kind warms-up, and progressively adds weight. One day after the other. Step by step.

Eventually, the second kind’s body has had enough time to adapt, and now, lifting ten pounds has become second nature.

What is the difference between both kinds? There are many. But the most important one is this: The second kind understood the relationship between emotions, and logic.

On average, most are stressed and burdened out. Day in and day out, we’re programmed to be overly emotional. Our lover should do this and that because that’s how it happened in Cinderella. Or. We should be rich by now because Brad Pitt went from rags to riches in whatever movie in just two hours.

When we realize that being overly emotional is unproductive, we shut down our emotions.

One guru after the other…

The next day, we are “detached” from those poor little humans’ problems. With time, we isolate ourselves in an ivory tower, living in denial.

Human emotions have been suppressed for eons. The cultures and countries that suppress their emotions the most, usually in favor of work or knowledge, often produce a lot of perversity.

There is a fear in us. A belief that, if we were to express our emotions, we’d be rejected by others. So, each one walks his own path, timidly, closed off. Yet silently, begging for love.

Why are we here?

After we got all the toys we wanted. The only thing that matters is wisdom, and understanding.

But how do we grow wiser? Books can guide us. But unless we consciously experience our experiences, reflect on them, and integrate what they taught us with some perspective — we “know,” but we’ve not grown.

It is only through practice, therefore, that we grow and become wiser.

This practice means this: Embracing our emotional nature, merging our emotions with practicality, and using both forces together, as they were meant to be used.

The next time your boss acts like a you-know-what, your frustrations and anxiety will come up, that’s okay. If you made a mistake, fair enough. You are responsible for it. Excuse yourself, and take the necessary steps to fix the situation.

Most of the time however, it won’t be your fault — many people are insecure, so whenever they get into positions of power, they want to show who’s who. Your emotions will come up again. That’s fine. It may not be as black-and-white as it seems however, there is always a lesson to learn. Practice being cool-headed in spite of the volcano within yourself.

Just like the second kind, you understand the odds of the game you’re playing. You want to learn. You seek wisdom. Wisdom, however, demands that you get out of your own way, and go beyond the boundaries you’ve been accustomed to. That’s how we grow. Some day, we will have to leave our comfort zone, and it happens as much externally, as it does internally.

Whatever happens in your life therefore, you always have the power to overcome it. Overcoming it won’t always be pleasant, at least not at first. But as you remain calm, as you embrace your emotions and connect them with your logic — you are creating more room for you to grow.

Some day, you may drop any judgment you had against your boss. You may come to see him/her as a fellow soul in the vastness of Life. Out of nowhere, during this time of crisis, you may suddenly feel grateful for all the lessons he/she taught her. And through this gratefulness, you may forgive your boss.

Forgiveness concludes the life lessons we’re learning with the people that triggers us the most.

I hope you enjoyed this read. Strength and love to you. We’re stronger together.

As a final note.

If you like such practical teachings and feel like this read came at the right time in your life, then you may want to learn more. I started a newsletter where I share weekly lessons on effective healing and spiritual growth. If you’re interested, you can subscribe here.

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