Meditations for submissives 009: Maximus

There isn’t a bust of Maximus, so here are some Roman face pots instead. (source)

The Meditation for June is a mix of good advice for submissives and Dominants.

This is Book One, Number Fifteen.

The Maxwell Stanisforth translation in full:

Maximus was my model for self control, fixity of purpose, and cheerfulness under ill-health or other misfortunes. His character was an admirable combination of dignity and charm, and all the duties of his station were performed quietly and without fuss. He gave everyone the conviction that he spoke as he believed, and acted as he judged right. Bewilderment or timidity were unknown to him; he was never hasty, never dilatory; nothing found him at a loss. He indulged neither in despondency nor forced gaiety, nor had anger or jealousy any power over him. Kindliness, sympathy, and sincerity all contributed to give the impression of a rectitude that was innate rather than inculcated. Nobody was ever made by him to feel inferior, yet none could have presumed to challenge his pre-eminence. He was also the possessor of an agreeable sense of humour.

Maximus (possibly Claudius Maximus, another Stoic philosopher) was the embodiment of the Stoic ideals of being unbothered and unwavering. Moderation in all things including emotions.

Maximus was my model for self control, fixity of purpose, and cheerfulness under ill-health or other misfortunes.

Self control = goes along with moderation in all things. If you have control of yourself you can choose when to let go because you’ll know you can regain control when you’re ready.

This is a personality trait that is admirable in people on both sides of the slash. A D-type who can’t control themselves can’t be trusted to control anyone else and no one wants to deal with an s-type who isn’t interested in learning to control themselves.

Fixity of purpose as an admirable trait reminds me of one of my favourite quotes ‘The secret to success is constancy to purpose.’ Which is by Benjamin Disraeli, one of Queen Victoria’s prime ministers. I wrote a submissive journal prompt on why that was important for s-types. You can’t accomplish anything if you don’t focus on that thing.

Stoics were big on not complaining even when in pain. Pain was simply part of life that everyone who’d ever lived had dealt with and there was no reason to believe you were any more deserving of a painless ride than anyone else. ‘Pain is finite,’ basically.

This doesn’t mean s-types should keep health problems from their D-types. Dominants need to know what’s going on with their submissives so they may assign tasks and alter expectations accordingly. There’s a difference between being straightforward about health problems while getting on with what you can and whining about every little ache and pain as though no one had ever had a cold before.

Some D-types have to enforce down-time with their subs, however, as many subs take the Stoic value of working-through-the-pain too far, as they want to do everything for their Dominants, even with a perforated spleen and multiple compound fractures.

His character was an admirable combination of dignity and charm, and all the duties of his station were performed quietly and without fuss.

Everyone likes a person who has both dignity and charm. Unfortunately, ‘charm’ isn’t something that can be taught. When a person who lacks it, attempts to be charming they either come off hyper-creepy (men) or slutty-in-a-bad-way (women).

submissives who get on with their tasks without fanfare—because they enjoy and are fulfilled by what they do—rather than because they are prideful or are looking for praise are the ideal s-type. If a sub is trying to out-sub everyone else… or if you find yourself doing things for performative reasons or because you think it’ll ‘prove’ you’re a good submissive, it’s time to rethink those particular actions.*

*Performative doesn’t mean doing exhibitionistic subby things with your D-type because you enjoy doing them. If you enjoy it for its own sake it’s not ‘performative’.

He gave everyone the conviction that he spoke as he believed, and acted as he judged right.

Integrity. Something people on both sides of the slash should cultivate. subs: if the person you’re considering submitting to doesn’t have integrity—their actions don’t echo their words and they aren’t consistent—this is a red flag. You won’t be able to trust them.

Bewilderment or timidity were unknown to him; he was never hasty, never dilatory; nothing found him at a loss.

This sentence is what every person on Earth is looking for in a leader. Whether it’s a leader in business, the military, the bedroom or anywhere else. Some of these traits are acceptable (possibly attractive) in a sub, but not a D-type.

Bewildered or at a loss (never being): there are people who are collected under every circumstance. No matter what it is—it seems they’ve considered all possible outcomes and are prepared to handle it. While obviously a valuable trait for D-types, it’s also handy for s-types, as it means they’re used to thinking through various outcomes and are prepared to handle whatever they need to in order to make their Dominant’s life flow smoothly. This is a trait that can be cultivated with effort.

Timidity: Shyness in an s-type (hello) isn’t necessarily bad as long as it doesn’t interfere with being able to communicate needs and wants within the relationship. D-types need as much accurate information as they can get so submissives must learn to communicate honestly, no matter the subject, even if embarrassed.

Acting too quickly or being slow to act are unattractive traits for anyone. The former is an indication of impatience and the latter is indicative of indecision or wilful obstruction.

Impatience is, (in a power exchange) at best, useless. At worst, it’s dangerous, on the part of a Dominant. An impatient s-type is just annoying. Being in a hurry never hastened anything.

Indecision, on the other hand, makes a Dominant seem weak-willed. If, after a person has had the opportunity to review the necessary information, they still cannot make a decision (or choose not to for fear of accepting the consequences) they are not ready to make decisions on behalf of another person.

Being slow to act on behalf of a submissive has different consequences. If a sub requires more clarification before undertaking a task they need to learn to ask as soon as they reach the point of needing the information. If the slowness to act is based in procrastination or laziness then a review of goals and motivations is in order.

None of this is to say a person who is shy or who occasionally gets tongue-tied can’t be a Dominant. However, if a person tends to act rashly or is lazy, it would be wise to work on those aspects of their personality.

He indulged neither in despondency nor forced gaiety, nor had anger or jealousy any power over him.

The use of the word ‘indulged’ here is interesting. Even back in the year nil people enjoyed being emo and wallowing in their feelings to the annoyance of their friends. “Ugh. I like ol’ Sextitus, but he doesn’t half go on about Lucretia, does he? Sack up, already.”

Maximus wasn’t a Pre-Christian whiner, though. He didn’t let his negative emotions—sadness, anger or jealousy—get the better of him, nor did he pretend to be in a better mood than he actually was. Stoics valued seeing things as they were.

As a D or s-type, it’s important to be able to identify your emotions, but not allow them to control you. The former is necessary to accomplish the latter. Why should a submissive put their physical and psychological well-being in the hands of a person who can’t control their own emotions?

Kindliness, sympathy, and sincerity all contributed to give the impression of a rectitude that was innate rather than inculcated.

‘The impression’ of being inherently morally upstanding (rather than having learned to be so) is an interesting word choice, but an important one. It’s possible to learn to be kinder and more sympathetic (sincerity will follow) by learning more about the world and others’ situations and practicing empathy. By simply realising everyone is doing their best. These qualities are valuable in everyone—whether they are into power exchange or not.

Nobody was ever made by him to feel inferior, yet none could have presumed to challenge his pre-eminence.

s-types, if a D-type is trying to out-Dominant everyone around they are insecure. Insecure ‘Dominants’ are not people you want to spend time with. Huge red flag. Ethical D-types help everyone around them—submissives, other Dominants, vanilla people, dogs—because they’re not intimidated by other people’s success or happiness. Kink isn’t a competition.

Previously mentioned was how submission should be practiced for its own reasons—not to impress anyone else. See the final sentence of the previous paragraph. There will always be some submissive who seems to be out-subbing everyone else. If they’re genuinely happy then they’re doing so well because they’re genuinely happy and their submission complements their Dominant’s. And they’ve been working their hindquarters off constantly improving themselves. They’re not worried where they fall in the non-existent Power Exchange Olympics, because they’re focused on their own goals.

These are probably the ones the second part of the sentence applies to. The inspire other subs to try harder—but don’t compare yourself to them. They’re at a different place on a different journey taking completely different photos with a different tour schedule.

If a submissive is performing their submission—don’t be jealous because they’re not happy unless other people are unhappy and they will burn out. They’re not being fed by what they’re doing.

He was also the possessor of an agreeable sense of humour.

I like how ‘Oh yeah, and he was funny,’ is tacked on to the end. As though we needed anything else to recommend the man to us.

A sense of humour—being able to laugh at ourselves, and the scene in general, is vital. What we do is serious—being in control of other person’s body, life and emotional well-being is serious—and allowing someone to have control is obviously serious, but it’s also supposed to be fun. If you’re not enjoying yourself at least some of the time—if you’re not being fulfilled emotionally—perhaps power exchange isn’t for you.

Meditations for submissives 008: Severus

The Meditation for May is good advice for everyone regarding being a decent human, leader and friend.

This is Book One, Number Fourteen.

The Maxwell Stanisforth translation in full:

From my brother Severus I learnt to love my relations, to love the truth, and to love justice. Through him I came to know of Thrasea, Cato, Helvidius, Dion, and Brutus, and became acquainted with the conception of a community based on equality and freedom of speech for all, and a monarchy concerned primarily to uphold the liberty of the subject. He showed me the need for a fair and dispassionate appreciation of philosophy, an addiction to good works, open-handedness, a sanguine temper, and confidence in the affection of my friends. I remember, too, his forthrightness with those who came under his censure, and his way of leaving his friends in no doubt of his likes and dislikes, but of telling them plainly.

There’s a lot going on this time out, so let’s break it down a little.

From my brother Severus I learnt to love my relations, to love the truth, and to love justice.

Severus was neither Marcus’ birth nor adoptive brother, so he must mean spiritual brother.

Not this one, either. Looks like he’s about to drop some philosophy, though. (source)

I’m fully in favour of loving and respecting people who’ve earned it, though, whether they’re related to you or not. I’m sure Severus was wise indeed, but not all relations deserve your time and energy.

Truth and justice—yes and yes. The truth may make you miserable, but it’s better than a happy lie. Children are placated with happy lies.

Through him I came to know of [many fun names to say, but people we don’t really need to concern ourselves with*] and became acquainted with the conception of a community based on equality and freedom of speech for all…

We’re all still on board for this, right?

…and a monarchy concerned primarily to uphold the liberty of the subject.

And we were sailing along so smoothly. Marcus was co-Emperor of Rome a couple of times and he believed in civic responsibility and doing the right thing for the people. This statement calls back to that—if a person has absolute power they should use it to ensure the well-being and freedom of the people they have power over.

Considering we can’t seem to reach that ideal with democracy I’m going to side with Marcus on this.

Fire and blood, friend. Fire and blood.

He showed me the need for a fair and dispassionate appreciation of philosophy…

Whether or not a person would like to study philosophy is up to each individual. Learning to think and examine one’s own thoughts and how other people think is highly useful, but it can also be taken to an extreme that’s unproductive.

Stoicism was revolutionary because it was the first (or one of the first, though I believe the actual first) philosophy that could be lived. Meaning, people could base their lives and conduct on the philosophy, rather than sitting around yakking about something that wasn’t going to affect their behaviour or the world around them all day.

I’m on the side of doing something productive rather than pondering infinite hypotheticals to no good end, so, while it’s interesting to learn about other philosophical schools (just as it’s interesting to learn about anything in the world), at a certain point I feel like: AND?

…an addiction to good works, open-handedness, a sanguine temper, and confidence in the affection of my friends.

Sevvy…Russ? Marcus’ brother was big on helping people out and being useful, being generous, not flipping out about everything little thing and knowing your friends had your back.

This is the only section of this piece that would apply specifically to s-types. Being of service, being generous and maintaining an even temper.

He sounds all right to me, really. The sort of person you’d enjoy spending time with who’d make you want to be a better person. I still wouldn’t name my kid after him. It’s an awkward name. (Though it was one of Marcus’ names at birth.)

I remember, too, his forthrightness with those who came under his censure, and his way of leaving his friends in no doubt of his likes and dislikes, but of telling them plainly.

Severus was also a straightforward person. The stoics valued straightforwardness in general and this guy had it in spades. If he rebuked you he told you exactly why and if you were friends you knew where he stood on all things. He was confident in his opinions and shared them easily.

*I say we don’t need to concern ourselves with the people Marcus mentions, because Meditations was written for himself—it was called To Myself—and wasn’t intended for public consumption. When he included names, it would have been to remind himself of connections between people like a diary—an audience wouldn’t be expected to know who those mentioned were.

Also, many of these people have been lost to antiquity and we wouldn’t know who they were anyway. (Not that I wouldn’t love a deluxe edition of this book with links to everyone they could find information on.)

For more information on this series, please see this post.

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The Meditation for April is all-round good advice and completely straightforward, as well.

(For less-than-straightforward, but no less useful entries in this series, start here.)

This is from Book One, Number Ten

The Maxwell Stanisforth translation in full:

It was the critic Alexander who put me on my guard against unnecessary fault-finding. People should not be sharply corrected for bad grammar, provincialisms, or mispronunciations; it is better to suggest the proper expression by tactfully introducing it oneself in, say, one’s reply to a question or one’s acquiescence in their sentiments, or into a friendly discussion of the topic itself (not of the diction), or by some other suitable form of reminder.

This is always necessary advice to us pedants. No one likes an overly-fussy submissive. Or Dominant, for that matter. Be polite, basically.

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This month’s Meditation has advice for both D-types and s-types.

Please see the first post in the series for an introduction to this feature.

This is Book One, Number Nine.

The Maxwell Stanisforth translation:

My debts to Sextus include kindliness, how to rule a household with paternal authority, the real meaning of the Natural Life, an unselfconscious dignity, an intuitive concern for the interests of one’s friends, and a good-natured patience with amateurs and visionaries. The aptness of his courtesy to each individual lent a charm to his society more potent than any flattery, yet at the same time it enacted the complete respect of all present. … Never displaying a sign of anger nor any kind of emotion, he was at once entirely imperturbable and yet full of kindly affection. His approval was always quietly and undemonstratively expressed, and he never paraded his encyclopaedic learning.

Let’s take it a bit at a time.

My debts to Sextus include kindliness, how to rule a household with paternal authority,

Once again, it doesn’t matter who Sextus was. He was kind and was apparently a paragon of other admirable qualities and that’s what we’re here for—to pilfer his admirable qualities for our nefarious purposes.

Good ol’ Sexy knew how to—not run—but ‘rule’ a household, which is rather Dominant. The word used is ‘paternal’ authority, but it’s difficult to believe there were no houses in Rome where the women were in charge.

the real meaning of the Natural Life,

I don’t know enough about Stoicism to properly interpret this, though the Stoics believed everyone was part of nature/the natural plan and this may refer to that. Your mileage may vary on this phrase depending on your personal philosophy on that topic. (If I’m even interpreting that correctly.)

an unselfconscious dignity, an intuitive concern for the interests of one’s friends, and a good-natured patience with amateurs and visionaries.

I’m not sure if a self-conscious person can have dignity, but the point is Sexy had it in spades. Which is one of those traits people on both sides of the slash should have. An inherent concern for your friends’ interests (what’s best for them in life—not their hobbies) is a mark of a decent human being.

Possessing not only patience, but good-natured patience with amateurs and visionaries is useful today in the kink scene for both sides of the slash.

‘My, yes, you are Lord Master Domly Dragon Cock. It’s exciting you’re finally old enough to drink, as well.’

The Stoics are like immortals—they take the very long view. Absolutely nothing is new. Humans have been doing the same things, for good or ill, since time immemorial so getting riled up about it is a waste of time and energy. It’s best to use your time and energy to control the things you can and to make the world a better place for those around you because all anyone has is this very moment and we’re all in this together.

In the kink scene, as long as no one is in danger then that brand new twenty year old Master on the scene will get over it and improve. Deal with them with good-natured patience or they’ll never learn.

The aptness of his courtesy to each individual lent a charm to his society more potent than any flattery, yet at the same time it enacted the complete respect of all present.

Basically, people can be suspicious of flattery. All you have to do is be genuinely nice. Simple courtesy makes people like and respect you. This works for all humans—not just kinky people.

Never displaying a sign of anger nor any kind of emotion, he was at once entirely imperturbable and yet full of kindly affection. His approval was always quietly and undemonstratively expressed, and he never paraded his encyclopaedic learning.

Stoics highly valued moderation in all things, particularly displays of emotion, even when in physical pain, no matter what is happening. Certain sorts of both D and s-types also place a high value on the control of extreme emotion as a sign of mastery of self or respect, depending on the side of slash the person resides on. Being imperturbable no matter the situation is a mark of a person prepared for anything—also highly valuable in either a D or s-type.

Sextus not only didn’t give over to flattery, but he was also quiet in his approval, which must have made it that much more valuable. This may or may not work for a D-type, in that some s-types want lots of praise, others only want it when they’ve felt they’ve earned it.

And finally, he was a smart guy but didn’t make people feel badly about not being as smart as he was. That’s just basic human decency. No one wants to serve a braggart and no one wants to own a braggart. Being around a pompous ass is no fun as a human being, either.

In short: Sextus was a super chill guy knew how to keep his subs in line.

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This post guest-stars Epictetus! Bonus! (source)

For an introduction to this series, please see the first post.

Unlike some selections in this series, this is the entire segment.

Book One, Entry Seven.

From the Stanisforth translation:

From Rusticus I derived the notion that my character needed training and care, and that I must not allow myself to be led astray into a sophist’s enthusiasm for concocting speculative treatises, edifying homilies, or imaginary sketches of The Ascetic or The Altruist. He also taught me to avoid rhetoric, poetry and verbal conceits, affectations of dress at home, and other such lapses of taste, and to imitate the easy epistolary style of his own letter written at Sinuessa to my mother. If anyone, after falling out with me in a moment of temper, showed signs of wanting to make peace again, I was to be ready at once to meet them half-way. Also I was to be accurate in my reading, and not content with a mere general idea of the meaning; and not let myself be too quickly convinced by a glib tongue. Through him, too, I came to know Epictetus’s Dissertations, of which he gave me a copy from his library.

There’s much to discuss here but we’ll take it bit-by-bit.

First, with any of Marcus’ writing (yes, that’s what people call him, I know it sounds like I’m being overly familiar—it feels weird), don’t get hung up on names of people or places that mean nothing to you. Rusticus sounds like a great name for a Rottweiler or a Pomeranian to me, for example, and I haven’t the foggiest clue what his letter written at Sinuessa was like. That’s not important most of the time. We’re looking for the overall meaning.

The take-aways from this one:

Your character needs training and care.

Well. I should think so. If anyone can understand needing training and care it’s an s-type. If you’re not with a D-type you should be improving (training) yourself in order to make yourself worth owning.

Then he goes on a run:

I must not allow myself to be led astray into a sophist’s enthusiasm for concocting speculative treatises, edifying homilies, or imaginary sketches of The Ascetic or The Altruist.

Short version: Don’t be distracted by the unattainable or practically impossible. A sophist is a philosopher and, yes, Marcus was a Stoic philosopher, but Stoicism is a philosophy that can be practiced rather than only discussed. It’s not practical for most people to be ascetic (avoiding physical pleasure) or completely altruistic (entirely unselfish).

Stoicism was about moderation in all things and recognised human nature for what it was and the need to help our fellow man and forgive him for being human.

Next up!

He also taught me to avoid rhetoric, poetry and verbal conceits, affectations of dress at home, and other such lapses of taste, and to imitate the easy epistolary style of his own letter written at Sinuessa to my mother.

We’ve covered the letter part—I suppose Rusticus wrote great letters? No clue. This sentence is about what the French would call ‘farting higher than your ass‘ or being pretentious. This goes back to moderation in all things.

Boy, ol’ Rusty taught Marcus a lot. Next on the scroll:

If anyone, after falling out with me in a moment of temper, showed signs of wanting to make peace again, I was to be ready at once to meet them half-way.

I admit, this is one I struggle with. No one is saying any of these things is easy and I’m certainly not saying I achieve these every day, but they’re attributes and actions I strive for and believe make better s-types and D-types.

This one is pretty self-explanatory, I think.

Also I was to be accurate in my reading, and not content with a mere general idea of the meaning; and not let myself be too quickly convinced by a glib tongue.

At first glance, this looks like it’s two separate thoughts separated by a semicolon, but they’re both about looking beneath the surface. Check the methodology. Ask who funded the study. Read more than the headline. Be aware of confirmation bias. Apparently they had fake news 2,000 years ago.

We made it! We finally made it!

Through him, too, I came to know Epictetus’s Dissertations, of which he gave me a copy from his library.

Epictetus was also a Stoic philosopher. I admit I have not read his work, spending most of my time luxuriating in Meditations. Only fragments of Dissertations remain—his most well-known and available works are Discourses and Enchiridion.

From Wikipedia:

Epictetus taught that philosophy is a way of life and not just a theoretical discipline. To Epictetus, all external events are beyond our control; we should accept calmly and dispassionately whatever happens. However, individuals are responsible for their own actions, which they can examine and control through rigorous self-discipline.

That’s a core tenet of Stoicism, along with the other things I’ve mentioned.

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I’m reviving this feature for 2017 as a way to help re-focus myself on my own submission. On the first Sunday of each month I’ll post an entry from Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations that would make for a good journal prompt for s-types. If not a journal prompt then just sound advice for all people interested in living a more balanced life.

For an in-depth explanation of this type of post and why I chose this book, see the first post. Others in the series are here and here.

When appropriate, I omit references that are specific to the time period (prior to the year 200) and would have no meaning or use to anyone except scholars, keeping only the lessons that are applicable today.

This month’s entry is part of Book One, Entry Six.

From the Penguin Great Ideas (Maxwell Stanisforth) translation:

…I learned not to be absorbed in trivial pursuits; to be sceptical of wizards and wonder-workers with their tales of spells, exorcisms, and the like; to eschew cockfighting and other such distractions; not to resent outspokenness…

In short, focus on what’s important (stop fiddling with your phone), don’t be taken in by con-men, are sports really that important? and don’t get upset with people who say what they think. Some of them have podcasts, after all.

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This month’s Meditation comes from Book One, Entry Five.

From the Stanisforth translation:

It was my tutor who dissuaded me from patronizing Green or Blue* at the races, or Light or Heavy^ in the ring, and encouraged me not to be afraid of work, to be sparing in my wants, attend to my own needs, mind my own business, and never listen to gossip.

*The colours of the rival charioteers in the Circus. Roman enthusiasm for these races was unbounded; successful drivers earned large fortunes and became popular idols.
^In one form of gladiatorial combat (the ‘Thracian’) the opponents were armed with light rounds bucklers; in another (the ‘Samnite’) they carried heavy oblong shields.

[Those notes also came from the Stanisforth translation in the Penguin Great Ideas edition of Meditations.]

Much of the Stoic philosophy has to do with simplicity in all things and remaining focused on what’s most important. That was the theme of the selection for the first month, as well.

The difference is this quote is also about not allowing outside influences and trivialities to distract you from tasks and responsibilities.

s-types who are self sufficient in terms of their own needs, as well as being hard workers and who don’t make unnecessary requests will be more highly valued than those who are lazy, demanding and expect their D-type to do everything for them.

(This doesn’t mean to keep difficulties in the relationship to yourself in order not to make a fuss for your D-type–this is more concerning day-to-day practicalities.)

When I use this one I leave it as is and keep the intention in mind, but if you’d like to turn this one into something to use to regain your focus during the day, in the mornings or moments when you find yourself distracted you could substitute names of the things that draw your focus from what’s important. Following sports, television, video games—anything that takes more time than is healthy.

‘It was my tutor’ would be replaced with ‘it is my D-type’ who dissuades me from [time wasting activity 1] or [time wasting activity 2] and encourages me not to be afraid of work, to be sparing in my wants, attend to my own needs, mind my own business, and never listen to gossip.

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Like the first month, this month’s Meditations for submissives also comes from the second book of Meditations and it’s my second favourite piece. (After this one they sort of shake out evenly so I promise the next one won’t be from book two.)

As the previous month, this could be used as a journal prompt or a morning/daily meditation.

The Stanisforth translation original in full:

Begin each day by telling yourself: Today I shall be meeting with interference, ingratitude, insolence, disloyalty, ill-will, and selfishness — all of them due to the offenders’ ignorance of what is good or evil. But for my part I have long perceived the nature of good and its nobility, the nature of evil and its meanness, and also the nature of the culprit himself, which is my brother (not in the physical self sense, but as a fellow creature similarly endowed with reason and a share of the divine); therefore none of those things can injure me, for nobody can implicate me in what is degrading. Neither can I be angry with my brother or fall foul of him; for he and I were born to work together, like a man’s two hands, feet, or eyelids, or like the upper and lower rows of his teeth. To obstruct each other is against Nature’s law — and what is irritation or aversion but obstruction?

It’s good to know everyone has to deal with morons. Even emperors of Rome.

This is another good one to start your day with. You’re basically saying:

Okay, self. Today we’re going to have to deal with some idiots. Accept that right off. If we don’t then it’s a plus.
But. Those idiots most likely aren’t trying to be annoying. They just don’t know any better. And even if they are trying, you do know better, so don’t stoop to their level. You know being a good person is excellent and being a jerkface is asshatted behaviour. And after all, we’re all human and have our own difficulties. Another fallible human I give no shits about can’t really hurt me without my permission (sup, Eleanor Roosevelt!)
We’re all together on this wacky ride called Planet Earth so it’s easier to help each other out than be all up in one another’s way.

This one has kept me out of Facebook arguments before. It’s useful.

When I memorised it I only did this bit, as it gets to the heart of the matter:

Begin each day by telling yourself: Today I shall be meeting with interference, ingratitude, insolence, disloyalty, ill-will, and selfishness — all of them due to the offenders’ ignorance of what is good or evil. But for my part I have long perceived the nature of good and its nobility, the nature of evil and its meanness, and also the nature of the culprit himself…

‘The nature of the culprit himself’ could be anything from someone who enjoys stirring up drama, to someone who doesn’t fully understand the situation, to a miserable person who enjoys making others miserable.

Unlike last month, there isn’t much to change about this one in order to make it more lifestyle-friendly. It’s useful in an all-round sort-of way for D-types and s-types.

Haters gonna hate by their very nature. Don’t let them bring you down–you’re better than that. –Marcus Aurelius (paraphrased by Paige La Marchand)

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Marcus Aurelius was the Emperor of Rome (twice) way back during the early triple digits of the common era (before the year 200). He was a Stoic and wrote a collection of thoughts that were originally titled ‘To Myself’ and are now called Meditations. Some of these would be very useful to submissives.

The first Sunday of each month I shall be posting quotes from the book that s-types may find helpful. They could be used as writing prompts or ways to centre yourself in the morning, evening or when you need a break.

I’m using the Penguin Great Ideas edition, which I highly recommend. I’ve looked at other translations and Maxwell Stanisforth’s is the most accessible and poetic. The Penguin edition is only around 13USD and 5GBP.

Marcus Aurelius was Roman but wrote in Greek because they were more...cultured. (credit)

Marcus Aurelius was Roman but wrote in Greek because they were more…cultured. And limber.

I’m going to start the series off with one of my favourite quotes. It was the first one I memorized. This is from Book Two, number five.

The original (Stanisforth’s) version:

Hour by hour resolve firmly, like a Roman and a man, to do what comes to hand with correct and natural dignity, and with humanity, independence and justice. Allow your mind freedom from all other considerations. This you can do if you will approach each action as though it were your last, dismissing the wayward thought, the emotional recoil from the commands of reason, the desire to create an impression, the admiration of self, the discontent with your lot. See how little a man needs to master for his days to flow on in quietness and piety; he has but to observe these few counsels, and the gods will ask nothing more.

Overall, it’s apt for submissives–particularly service-oriented subs who may have to get on with chores when they aren’t feeling much like it. It advocates for humility and focus and gratitude for what you have rather than what you don’t.

The advice to go about each task as though it were to be the final thing you’d do is a good one. ‘If this was the last thing I did for my Dominant would they view it with pride?’ (The Stoics believed the only moment any person had was the one occurring just then so this line makes sense within that context. You should live your life so you’d be at peace with dying at any moment, basically, but that’s for another day.)

The quote could be adapted for subs (or any s-types) for a morning meditation thusly:

Hour by hour I resolve firmly, as a submissive and a woman (girl/boy/etc), to do what comes to hand with correct and natural dignity, and with humanity, obedience and justice. I shall allow my mind freedom from all other thoughts. This I will do by approaching each action as though it was my last, dismissing the wayward thought, the admiration of self, the discontent with my lot. I see how little I need to master for my day to flow on in quietness and peace. I need but observe these few counsels and my [D-type] will ask nothing more.

This is just a suggestion and it could be altered in other ways, but the general idea of the quote is what got my attention.