Lessons from an Emotional Flatliner

After years of being called a “Drama Queen” and living up to that name, I started to resent it. People were confusing my passion for drama, confusing my excitement for theatrics. I started to realize that people weren’t relating to me because they saw my personality as a negative. My intensity was coming off as a bit manic. Over the years, I found myself dimming my own light to allow others to feel more comfortable around me. I became self-conscious, uncomfortable in my own skin, and embarrassed to be me.

While pregnant with my first son, I started to shrink in the presence of others and become more aware of my ‘spiritedness’; Did I laugh too loud? Did I take up too much of the conversation? Was I attention seeking? My emotions crawled deep inside me, into my thoughts, and instead of allowing them to be expressed outwardly, I held them in to get churned, reexamined, judged over and over again. On the outside I was an emotional flatliner, but I was blistering with self-doubt on the inside.

Stress, anxiety, and depression are caused when we are living to please others.

Lessons I Have Learned from Marcus Aurelius

  • Stoicism is a principle belief that one doesn’t react to events but, rather, react to our judgement and our judgements are up to us.
  • There are 4 Cardinal virtues in Stoicism; wisdom, courage, temperance, and justice.
    • Wisdom= good sense and discretion
    • Courage = endurance and confidence
    • Temperance = discipline and modesty
    • Justice = honesty and equity
  • Understand the dichotomy of control- distinguish between the things which can be controlled and things in which we have no control.
  • Internalize your goals to create tranquility within yourself.
  • Understand that the past has already happened, it can’t be changed.
  • Stoics are not passive or unemotional INSTEAD find the wisdom, courage, and discipline to be YOU.
  • Stop placating to the status quo or the loudest voice
  • Your power, your strength comes from your mindset

Instead of shrinking and trying to please others, I am beginning to learn who I AM. —- slowly. I can see ME in my sons’ eyes and I am starting to understand who that is.

One thought on “Lessons from an Emotional Flatliner

  1. Aubrey,
    I am always surprised when I read your story. My perception of you has always been that you are a confident, knowledgeable, creative and committed educator. While we may have had our issues, I truly respect you as an educator. You always had amazing ideas to share. Today I teach 8th grade Honors ELAR and I have often wished that you and I had been better friends. I would love to talk to you about how you would approach different concepts that are taught at middle school.
    Thanks for sharing your struggles. You inspire me to be better.

    Like

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