· By Case Kenny
Do they deserve your energy?
It’s ok to not care about some things in life.
It’s ok to not even react to some things.
This is counter to how I typically approach life because I think it’s great to care. I think it’s great to let your intention and natural emotions show you what is important to you and what is not.
But if you’re always listening, always reacting and always giving emotional responses to everything… it’s exhausting. It's OK to simply say "this is not worth my energy."
I’m sure no one would disagree that some things and some people don’t deserve your energy but the little things are energy suckers...
Someone cuts you off in traffic… energy.
Someone is 15 minutes late to a zoom meeting… energy.
Someone is rude to you… energy.
Someone cancels a date, changes their mind about wanting to date, etc.... energy.
We’re in robot mode and we rarely take time to say "this deserves a reaction and this does not."
It’s ok to not even care. Not everything deserves a reaction in life.
This is an idea that comes from Marcus Aurelius and his meditations.
Meditations 6.52 says "it is in our power to have no opinion about a thing, and not to be disturbed in our soul; for things themselves have no natural power to form our judgments."
I like this because the greatest detriment to being human is becoming a reaction robot.
Without thinking we give everything energy by forming an opinion about it.
That person cut me off in traffic? They must be having a bad day.
That person stood me up for a date. They must be a f***boy.
That coworker didn’t send me the doc I needed. They must be selfish.
I'm drawn to this idea of Marcus Aurelius and the technique in philosophy called epoché. It's Greek and it's a technical term typically translated as "suspension of judgment."
Epoché. Suspension of judgment.
"I suspend judgment. It doesn't deserve my energy."
This reminds me of characters in movies where the character is super stressed and neurotic and tries to calm themselves down.
- Adam Sandler and Jack Nickolson in the movie Anger Management. Adam Sandler says goosfraba to calm down. Goosfraba… goosfraba.
- Mmartin Lawrence in Bad Boys. His therapist encourages him to say woooosahhhh. Wooosaaah. They say these things as a means of putting up a boundary between their stress and reacting to it.
We need something like this in our lives - a boundary between what happened and our robot reaction to it.
When something happens… you don't give it anything. You don't label it. You don't rationalize it. You just accept it as it is.
You suspend judgment.
I’m talking about the smaller things in life... I’m talking about if someone flakes on you on a first date... I’m talking about the rude waiter at a restaurant... I’m talking about getting cut off in traffic, a slow person on the sidewalk when you’re late to a meeting, etc.
In those moments… can you practice epoché and say "it doesn't matter?"
Do those people deserve your emotions? You’ve grown so much over the past 5 years, you’ve had ups and downs, you've healed, leveled up, learned about yourself, challenged your conditioning, new standards, new boundaries, etc.
But then someone cuts you off, someone flakes on you, someone is rude to you, someone disrespects you in a small way… and there you are without any say in the matter… you’re giving them judgment, a reaction.
You've grown so much, you practice so much healthy and compassionate self control in your life, you don’t lower your standards for less than what you deserve, you put in hours and hours working your tail off, you love yourself, you love others…. you’re in the driver's seat… finally!
But then in an instant you surrender yourself to the little things.
You let THEM draw emotion from you.
Sure you’re human, someone cuts you off wtf! You can’t really control that. But end it there.
Does it deserve anything further? Does it deserve any further judgment? Do you need to hang onto this?
It’s ok to not care. Epoché "I suspend judgment because it doesn’t deserve any more energy."
Think about how peaceful it is to something just observe life.
That’s power. That’s self control. That’s true. Inner peace. That’s what you deserve.