I never come back home with the same moral character I went out with; something or other becomes unsettled where I had achieved internal peace; some one or other of the things I had put to flight reappears on the scene. -- Lucius Annaeus Seneca
What does Seneca imply by this quote? Seems like even back in Seneca’s time, (he passed away in 65 B.C. / C. E.) the human race was dealing with “Change.” What is it about change that so can rattle our minds? Is it the sudden inconsistency? Is it getting pushed out of a routine? Is it plain fear of moving forward? Yes moving forward. What does the latter represent?
I am discussing this as we begin this New Year, a celebration in time that marks the start of new beginnings or actually a new Season of growth. We come out of the dead of winter and through the seasons we grow, we stall, we re-coop. All processes of change.
Break it down. “I never come home with the same moral character I went out with:” We encounter so much in our hyper-stimulated world. “Ping” goes the smartphone; “read me” says the billboard; homelessness surrounds us (at least in my city of Los Angeles). We may then be subject to situations that bring warmth into our psyche, a parent joyfully parenting; an encounter with a random hello; and in my case, people from all over this earth that I meet through my Airbnb unit. Are we the same person we just woke up to? We most definitely are not. We do not have the same thought 5-minutes into a day, let alone at the first glimpse of daylight. Then we go about our day, “kapoooowww,” we are side-swiped with a different perspective, by perhaps a jolting message, that we, if we were listening closely, if we were present in the moment, we may see that a perfect stranger, unbeknownst to us, perhaps metaphysical is budging, nagging, guiding us towards a better situation for our present state!
The most challenging, “becomes unsettled where I had achieved internal peace:” so many times we are led to think that once we deal, we are fine and on our way. Sure we are, we strive for balance, we educate, put ourselves through the ringer achieving the perfect state and then, “aaaoooooojaaa, what was that? Who is that speaking? “It is me your subconscious, hello.” We deny that whatever we experience in life is recorded on this thing called the brain, or our hard-drive equal, and that it is ever present to send us a jolt from our past, reminding us of the good and the bad, all of our experiences are forever ours. Our internal peace becomes threatened by everyday living, something triggers and we may feel like we are back at step one. Oh poor me…….. Alright already!
Which leads to last and not least, “some one or other of the things I had put to flight reappears on the scene:” Viruses, that is all, viruses, as in our computers come on to the scene setting our internal peace topsitervi. However, if we were to learn that our “internal peace” is in a safe partition protected by our human-existence’s “anti-virus program,” ever striving to correct or patch those things that bubble up and make us anxious, anxiety as it were, is put at bay and we are brought back to a state of peace, where we are content at every moment. Ever presently so!
Seneca was right; we are never the same from day to day no matter how much we try to shield ourselves from reality. Yet with acceptance at hand, our lives become richer, we become more compassionate, accepting and loving. Nothing is wrong, there is nothing that is bad, it is all good, we always come out on top in one way or another. The world at large is daunting yet we are all one. Together let’s give each other the space to bloom. We are part of a bigger intricate picture, blooming at different stages just like a flower that is ever-bloom dying and being reborn, throwing its seeds to the wind. Let’s start a new Season of growth by coming out of the dead of winter possessing the skills to grow, deal with stalls and preserving enough nerve-energy to re-coop, re-charge and be at peace. Embracing change, beautifully so!
To your wellness, naturally,
Sixto J. Sicilia
Founder & Simplicist IssimoUSA
Ph.D. Student - Holistic Health and Nutrition
Registred Yoga Instructor (RYT), Meditation Instructor