I’ve always been inspired by the works of Marcus Aurelius and the great stoics of ancient times. Big thinkers with exceptional minds and ideas. I’ve read Marcus’s ‘Meditations‘ probably 30 times throughout my life, and I always come back to it when I start to feel a little lost.
For a long time now I’ve had the idea to journal in a similar way to what we see in Meditations, small passages scribbled down as reminders to myself. In the morning before going about my day, in the evening to reflect upon the happenings of the day, in the midst of crisis, during a period of love or immense joy. A growing collection of words inspired by and bought about by the very act of life itself.
This is what I’m going to do here. And I honestly can’t wait to dive right in and get started. I’ll admit this first entry for you is one I wrote back in the winter, when I first came up with the idea. That said, it was, and always will be, the natural birthing point of this ever-growing collection of self-talk. So without any further ado, I present you: To Himself.
It would be easy to remain in the warm comfort of the sheets, allowing the mind to continue swirling in intricate visions of the imagination, and the soul to wander the outer-realms without a care, but of course with all journeys of transcendence and imagination, such as sleep, or meditation, there comes the moment where it must once again crash into the realities of the outside world. Such confrontation is only rendered more difficult in the autumns and winters, with the harsh coldness of the world outside—with it’s miserable weeping skies and it’s drab, low hanging greyness erasing all memory of the beautiful summer mornings we enjoyed a few sweet blinks before.
To stay put atop that mattress while the radiators swell with heat and delay the responsibilities of the day just by another hour is the most alluring whisper. The seductive and powerful whisper of our shadow-selves. ‘Sleep through any notion of what must be done,’ he tells us, ‘It’ll wait a little longer.’
But that’s what it comes down to in the end. What must be done. Whichever time that alarm bell chimes is the time we’ve committed ourselves to waking the night before, and with it, all that would be done in those waking hours. To ignore that and roll over, to hit ‘snooze’ and groan your dismay at the hideous ringing, is to shun, and ignore, and hate on only yourself and the decisions you’ve made for your own wellbeing. It’s not the alarm that’s telling you to get up and meet the world head on, it’s you. The master of the device, the master of the decision, the master of the mind… You.
This is the moment of utmost importance in the day. The very first decision we get to make for ourselves. Will it be a success, or a failure? To set the day up atop a failure is to build a home out of sand in the midst of a rising tide, to tell ourselves that our decisions aren’t important, our desires aren’t concrete. We only serve to set up a pattern for the day. A pattern of failure and questions and shady distrust in ourselves. While yet to build the day atop a success is no less promising than the thick stone foundations of the ancient castles that still stand vast among our European landscapes, hundreds if not thousands of years later, each block laid finding comfort and security in the integrity of the blocks placed before it.
We must trust ourselves. We must leave that warm bed and confront the cold outdoors. No matter how tired, no matter how comfortable. We must meet our responsibilities with an iron resolve and a laser-sharp focus, with an outsiders look at the overall picture of our lives. The more we commit to routine and ritual the less tough decisions need to be made along the way. The more we succeed in following through with our word, the stronger our resolve becomes.
The shorter our journey becomes.
There we have it, the first entry in many just like this. If you enjoyed this piece of writing be sure to hit that follow button so you’re notified every time there’s a new entry. I’ll be posting to the ‘To Himself’ project as often as possible. In the meantime, I write a ton of content for Vocal, which you can check out here. I’ve got fiction, lifestyle, writing tips, and pretty much everything in between.
Until next time… sleep well, arise better.