It’s Just You

There is nothing worse than the sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach. It’s not a physical pain; but it’s not all mental either. You can actually feel whatever it is sitting there, in your gut, tying you up in knots.

Stop. Take a breath. What is the source of this actually? No one and nothing is physically tying up your stomach. It’s just you. You’re doing this.

Marcus Aurelius was the Emperor of Rome. The challenges he faced—assassination attempts, coups, wars, a troubled son, the stress of power—would make the problems we face seem minuscule by comparison. And yet, in his private diary, he had to look at his anxiety the exact same way we do.

In fact, he wrote about it. And here’s what he said on one day when the churning in his stomach needed to be dealt with: “Today I escaped anxiety. Or no, I discarded it, because it was within me, in my own perceptions — not outside.”

That’s it. Just discard it. Let it go.

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