But self-repression is phony self-control. Rather, self-control requires naming and understanding emotions in order to discipline one’s response to them. Self-repression, then, is another extreme. Eldirich Edain
Edlrich gets it.
A strong, balanced, intelligent and nuanced approach to life is the key to a good one. Letting go of the notion of being “the tough guy” is not the same as becoming an ineffective wimp. As is often the case, truth and wisdom are found somewhere between polar extremes, not at the poles.
Stoicism is seen a bad thing. Repressing one’s emotions to the point of not even recognizing them, and thus being unable to empathize with others, is at the core of masculinity’s diagnosis.
Stoic philosopher and sometime Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius states Stoicism’s central idea succinctly:
I’m constantly frustrated by events outside of my control. And most of life is beyond my control. We can influence people and events, but the effects are usually small.
Emotions happen – I don’t control them either. The only things I can control are my thoughts and reactions (which is not to say I always do).
But because of its appeal to soldiers since before Aurelius to the present, Stoicism is synonymous with enduring pain through self-detachment.
Which is unfortunate because one need not silently endure pain simply because that pain is…
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