How Seneca, Attracting Positive Energy, and Happiness Heal Grief

Positive thinking has always been my forté, if not my downfall, since being an optimist doesn’t always prepare me for the horrific. When the worst happened this spring, I had to work at thinking positive. Even cancer and double boobectomies didn’t shut down happiness like death.

I’m a firm believer in the Law of Attraction.

You attract the energy of your thoughts, whether they are positive or negative. What a simple way to live, right? Just think positive and you’ll attract a great life. But it’s hard when you’re grieving and random memories arise like when I notice the safety googles in my garage. “Watch out for your eyes,” my brother used to say at random times; a standing joke from a time when he helped me move out of an apartment. He almost poked his eye out on a table leg. Don’t ask.

I needed help from an old Roman philosopher, Seneca.

There’s no time limit on grief. I read philosopher, Lucia Seneca’s letter yesterday in a Brain Picking’s article by Maria Popova. Seneca wrote to his mother a few millennia ago, when he was banished to Corsica. He told her that distracting yourself from loss makes it worse. Grief will be hanging out when you come back from the Bahamas, or dinner with friends. He was a little more eloquent than that.

“It is better to conquer our grief than to deceive it. For if it has withdrawn, being merely beguiled by pleasures and preoccupations, it starts up again and from its very respite gains force to savage us.”

Instead, Seneca suggested a focus on “liberal arts.”

“I am leading you to that resource which must be the refuge of all who are flying from Fortune, liberal studies. They will heal your wound, they will withdraw all your melancholy.”

Whoa! Would reading end my grief? Cool. I’d start with Tuesdays with Morrie, memorize some Faulkner quotes on dying, and round it off with a little philosophy by reading Camus, Sagan, and the Dali Lama.

I finished Camus’, The Stranger and scratched my head. I mean, the main character was absolutely clueless. He acted more like an amoeba, than a thoughtful man. Then I found out he won the Nobel Prize for introducing philosophy of the absurd. Oh.

It occurred to me the meaning of liberal arts may have changed over time. Wikipedia to the rescue.

*insert mind blown gesture here*

Liberal arts in ancient Greece refers to the education of a “free” person “to know in order to take an active part in civic life, something that (for Ancient Greece) included participating in public debate, defending oneself in court, serving on juries, and most importantly, military service.”

Ha! Maybe Seneca could’ve improved on the defense of his affair with the emperor’s sister had he brushed up on liberal arts. Did he want his mother to educate herself so she could defend herself someday? Nah.

Most likely, he wanted his mother to “take an active part of civic life,” come out of her grief and find a way to contribute to society. He could’ve said, “Join the living, Mom!” But, hey, they lived a few millennia ago.

So am I joining the living? Of course. I never left, but there are moments every day where I remember my brother and it brings me down with the “would have, could have, should haves.” Not anymore.

From Seneca – “Everlasting misfortune does have one blessing, that it ends up by toughening those whom it constantly afflicts.”

I should be badass.

It’s all about choosing happiness.

And this: “It was nature’s intention that there should be no need of great equipment for a good life: every individual can make himself happy.”

Yesterday, I read a blog post by Niki Meadows. This saying caught my attention.

Energy Flows

A great reminder to make the choice to be happy.

Here’s my interpretation:

Thinking positive to attract energy

Between Seneca and Meadows, I awoke with renewed energy. Okay, so I overslept. Now when I think about my brother, I will think about the absurdity of death. I will make the effort to smile when I remember him. Engaging in life will heal the wound. I think I’ll be okay.

 

Have you ever heard of Seneca? Do you believe your thoughts attract energy?

Related posts:

Be Your Own Badass Hero

I Celebrated a Birthday, but Failed to Save a Life

What Seeing Mila Kunis and Asthon Kutcher Taught Me

An Open Letter From My Boobs

Energy, Attention and Intention – Niki Meadows

Seneca’s Consolation to Helvia – Maria Popova, founder and editor of Brain Pickings

Fantastic Meme Found in Crested Butte

bikes leaning across trail Telluride

Danny and I biked on a trail through Crested Butte. As we rode out of town, we noticed a gathering of people taking pictures. We dropped our bikes, walked up to the cement post, and cracked up.

Things I hate meme from Crested Butte

I would love to meet the person who graffitied it. This is my kind of humor.

If you had the opportunity and courage to graffiti, what would yours say?

Mine would say:

Things I love –

1 . Respect for property

2 . Natural selection

3 . Sarcasm

I still like the other one better.

Have you ever graffitied anything? A wall? A desk? A tree? Would you?

New Expressions for 2015 – In Response to Esquire

Do you get bored with expressions? I do. I avoid, “Awesome,” like an f-bomb. Okay. That’s not true. I occasionally f-bomb. Last year, Stacey Woods, a writer for Esquire’s Culture Blog, listed twenty-seven sayings or slang that had to go. This year she’s not messing around. She listed fifty of them!

I chose a few and came up with substitutions. I’m sure they will be the latest new expressions for 2015!

“Rockin’ out” is out.

This dog is ampin’ it with his jazz hands!

TrueGif (11)

Being “over it,” is over. Continue reading

Ramblings and Results

I hope you survived April Fools! April has arrived and another snowstorm is on the way. The joke’s on us.

April Fools meme

The worst April Fools’ prank sprung on me was through my computer. GAH! I am very particular about apostrophes so when I noticed one of my tags from yesterday’s newsworthy post read, “April Fool’s Day,” I freaked. I had double checked before typing it. April Fools’ Day is the proper way to write it, but I had typed in April Fools Day without the apostrophe since it was a tag. After mopping the coffee from my desk, I went into edit. No matter how many times I tried, I could not get April Fool’s Day off my tags. I even cleaned out my cookies. Then I remembered that I had noticed it first on my iPad and the edit was still open. I closed it, ran upstairs and then deleted April Fool’s Day, updated it, and added April Fools Day. It still came up as April Fool’s Day. I went back to the post I wrote last year and went through the same process. I may always look like a fool on April Fools’ Day.  I have a year to figure out what I’m doing wrong.

Grumpy cat April fools

Courtney is gradually recovering from her tonsillectomy. Thanks for your well wishes and checking out her blog. Now, I have a sore throat. I think it’s psychosomatic. After noticing a zit on a person’s forehead, one will sprout on mine the very next day! If I’m so good at imagining things into reality, then why can’t I imagine myself in great shape while looking like a thirty-year-old? My imagination only seems to work for zits and sore throats.

Diane Fallon

The winner of the caption contest is Dianne Fallon! “The Maniacal Traveler” brought a great post about a guided tour in Roswell, New Mexico to the Use Me and Abuse Me blog party and wrote a hilarious story about the seduction of Thin Mints. Congratulation Dianne! I’ll run another contest in April.

snowshoeing with Roxy

“I’ll never turn down a ride from a handsome stranger” – Dianne Fallon – Winner of the March Caption Contest

Speaking of Using and Abusing Me, it’s never to late to add your link in the comments and click on a few. Tell them, “Susie sent me,” and they should click back to your place! There were a lot of new faces in the crowd and I know they would love to meet you.

That’s all for now. I survived April Fools’. I hope you did too!

Were you pranked at all on April Fools’ Day? (See. I know how to write it.)