The most important thing in dealing with a storm is to be prepared for it. To be prepared. Then every storm loses its strength and effect.
Sometimes my everyday life feels like a storm. A daily emerging storm. Sometimes violent, sometimes less violent. But always able to mess up some things. Or even to destroy. This storm can be a long storm, for example, when a project is completely out of control and causes stress (and sometimes panic) for all involved. Or it can be more intense, more sustainable, for example, when a serious problem arises or even something bad happens. Likewise, it can be short or harmless. It can be announced if clouds are already rising days before. Or he can show up on a brightly beautiful day. And it does not have to be caused by an external flow. My impressions, emotions and thoughts can also represent such a storm. Even if I meet every moment with care and ground-optimistic, I cannot avoid these big and small storms in my everyday life.
Eiktet, a stoic, used a similar storm metaphor when he was thinking about ‘being prepared’. Be prepared to face any storm calmly.
Elsewhere, he used the image of the athlete to reflect on this very prepared-to-be:
»That’s how you recognize a true athlete – it’s someone who rigorously protects himself from false impressions. Stay steadfast, even if you suffer, don’t be overwhelmed by your impressions! The struggle is hard, the task divine – that’s how you get mastery, freedom, happiness and serenity.” Epiktet, Teaching Talks, 2.18.27-28
be prepared. Protect yourself from false impressions. Staying steadfast. Then – to get back to the Storm metaphor now – every storm passes by without leaving much damage.
Every day, I imagine exactly this: to be prepared. We Freemasons have a nice picture or symbol. We have a trowel with which we are supposed to close the cracks in our hearts every day and thus protect it against the influences of the outside. Well, admittedly, here I have now mixed two symbols together for non-Freemasons. But make the sense more tangible.
So every day I try to be prepared anew, to protect myself from the negative influences. Even in front of those I trigger myself. With my emotions and thoughts. Unfortunately, I do not always manage to do so. As is often the case with the work on myself: a lot of things are done and some things are implemented. Yes, and it is as so often with the work on myself: just perceiving this rough spot of my cube is the first, most important step to smooth it and make my cube a little bit better. Today, at least, I will be a little more prepared for the storm of everyday life. Have I just recognized this as essential 😉