August 30, 2017

The other day I realized there's a weird parallel between stoicism and its concept of "attend to that which you have control over, and ignore the rest" and some types of eating disorders, where people curtail their eating as being an exercise in something they can control.

A few weeks ago I snagged this link about the "voices in our head", the parts of us that are us, but separate from our main, self-narrative-constructing selves. "To achieve their goals they lie like crazy. They know you -- have been around you a long, long time." Mine seem to be the form of inner-children, loving sweets and creamy textures and demanding to be shown how they're just the smartest, most-creative beings in the world, and pushing me away from tasks that are might reveal my need to grind stuff out.

Combining these concepts: having control of stuff appeals to young children, who live in a world where they have relatively little agency, and are generally at the whim of the grownups. I wonder if the rational me can get more desireable results over these inner-children -- the indefatigable-snacker me and the angsting away from doing productive-but-not-ego-affirming work me -- by showing these toddler how this IS something we can have control over, that we have great (if incomplete) power over these parts of the world. They can be in their glory like the little 4 year old waving an imaginary baton to conduct the actual band, and I can get some damn work done.
You can't do much carpentry with your bare hands and you can't do much thinking with your bare brain.