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No Suspicion Nor Hatred

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“For it is in our power, as I said, to get out of the way, and to have no suspicion nor hatred.” – Marcus Aurelius

Photo by Piotr Usewicz on Unsplash

Suspicion is an interesting emotion.

It is defined in two ways.

  1. a feeling or thought that something is possible, likely, or true.
  2. cautious distrust.

As the election is (kind of) wrapping up in the U.S., the suspicion a lot of people are feeling is palpable.

We’ve heard over and over about how “divided” the country is.


The Perfect Tool

Suspicion is the perfect tool of tribalism, and tribalism is a deeply imbedded primal behavior. Nature knows that grouping together can increase chances of survival. 

Grouping creates organization out of what could be chaotic. You can observe this on a cellular level in your body. It’s important for cells to group off into different types that support important functions.

Getting grouped into a tribe of molecules is what shapes our physical world. It creates separation where needed.

Because of our emotional nature as humans, this separation can be perceived as both good and bad. 


The Good and Bad

What makes me feel included can make you feel excluded, and vice versa. 

And exclusion can make us feel suspicious of one another. When we’re not part of the group, we know we’re missing out on information and can’t share our input. And brains don’t really like that. Brains want all the information they can get so they can look out for danger.

But as pointed out by the Roman ruler and philosopher Marcus Aurelius, “it is in our power to have no suspicion or hatred.” This comes from the highest capacity of our human thinking, which is usually at odds with the primal drives that come from our less evolved past.


Check your thinking

Feeling suspicious comes from suspicious thinking. Feeling hateful comes from hateful thinking.

Feeling trust comes from trustful thinking. Feeling love come from loving thinking.

It is in our power to choose. If this seems like too monumental of a task to tackle on your own, as a coach this is what I help people do.

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