My dear readers, I warmly welcome you all. Today, I have a great enthusiasm to be with you again. Today I’m going to tell you about a very, very important person in the history of cognitive therapy. While this person was a slave working in the fields, he was Epictetus himself, who later became a philosopher. He has a documentary called Epictetus from Slavery to Philosopher. Definitely watch it, I highly recommend it. Recently, during a therapy session with a good client, I told him the story of Epictetus’ injury. That client was very impressed with this story and asked me to write this story. I told him that one day I would write, publish and share this story. At the moment, I am experiencing the happiness of telling the story of Epictetus and the happiness of keeping the promise I made to my client, and I am also happy when I share this emotional state with you, my esteemed readers. After sharing these feelings and thoughts with you, I say let’s start the story of Epictetus without wasting time.
Epictetus made an incredible contribution to cognitive therapy and is even considered the ancestor of cognitive therapy. According to Epictetus, happiness and freedom lie in the distinction of what we can or cannot control. Individual this truth; that is, if the individual accepts that life consists of elements that are under his control or not, and if he continues his life with this acceptance, peace and happiness will be realized in the individual. According to Epictetus, there is essentially no possibility of external objects harming us. Our own behavior or beliefs or attitudes harm us. What affects people is through the meanings they give to situations, people or events. These interpretations of people are actually a kind of interpretation of events. According to Epictetus, these comments seriously affect the mental health of the person. Both positive and negative moods are formed by the meanings that people give to “things”, not by the “things” themselves.
Epictetus, one of the slaves working in the fields, was born in the Phrygian region of Anatolia. You also know very well that; slaves also had their owners, their masters. These masters used to tie shackles (chains) to their feet so that the slaves would not escape. One day, while Epictetus was working in the field, his master Epaphroditus came to check. He sees that Epictetus’ shackles have been loosened. Thereupon, he decided to tighten Epictetus’ tyranny. Epictetus; He told his master that there was no need for this, that he would not run away anyway, and that if the shackles were tightened, his foot might be hurt. But the master Epaphroditus did not listen to his slave Epictetus. Before long, the master Epaphroditus received word that one of the slaves had broken his leg. He gets up and goes to the field. It looks like everyone has gathered. Breaking through the crowd, he meets Epictetus in the circle, looks at his foot, and his foot is broken. But it is very interesting that there is no crying, shouting or any similar reaction from Epictetus. This situation went to the strangeness of the master Epaphroditus. Then he asks Epictetus, “How come you don’t give any reaction even though your foot is broken?” Epictetus gives his famous answer. He says, “My foot is already broken, no matter how much I cry or shout, will my broken foot not be broken?” Impressed by this answer, the master Epaphroditus freed his slave Epictetus. Thus, a philosopher’s way was cleared. Epictetus also developed with an incredible desire to learn. And he finally succeeded in laying the foundations of current cognitive therapy.
Epictetus says: The world is a mirror and what we think is outside, in the world, we see and experience it. It’s not the load you carry that bends your back, it’s how you carry it. In another sentence of Epictetus, we see again how important our point of view is. He says; It is not the events themselves that disturb people, it is the person’s perspective on these events. There is no just right and wrong. Looking at life only from the point of view of right and wrong leads to shame, guilt, anxiety and depression, as well as hostile feelings. I think these sentences of Epictetus convey to us the following: There are two colors in life, black and white. But do you think that life consists only of these two colors? Why do we deprive ourselves of the other colors of life? Is life all or nothing? Can’t it be both this and that? Why don’t we offer ourselves a third option? Why do we always treat ourselves cruelly?
According to Epictetus, he argues that the sole goal, aim and purpose of the individual is to be the master of his life. I really think we should all think about this thought a lot. Unfortunately, most of us are not masters of our lives. And again, unfortunately, the masters of our lives are others, and moreover, we have allowed these others. To me, this is our failure, not their success. Because if we do not allow them to do so, they will never be masters of our lives. They can never have control over our lives. They will never find the courage to judge our lives. When will we stop encouraging them? So when do we encourage ourselves? If we are to return to ourselves and be master of this life and yours, it is you and it must be you. Never, ever give a voice to anyone else. Because this right of speech forms a habit in them. You have to be careful.
Epictetus says ask yourself what will happen, what could happen, and then do what you have to do. Here, Epictetus suggests that one should make an accounting with his inner voice. Of course, this inner voice should be calm and reasonable. Because an anxious inner voice can take a person to different places. Again, he says, “You say you’ll be a different person tomorrow, so why don’t you start today?” The human being is a creature that loves procrastination and laziness in general. However, there is no time to waste. The person should start the change as soon as possible. At the very least, he should take steps to change. It would be better if he made the change he was thinking of making with a psychologist. Because this idea of change is difficult and difficult. A person can deviate from this path at any time. This idea can feel like a grind after a while. Never give up for him. Be with people who will motivate you. Make sure you open up with people who will give you negative energy. Open it so that this change process can proceed in a healthy way. As you get to know Epictetus and learn his point of view, I think you will love his words, my dear readers.
Dear readers, I have unfortunately come to the end of an article. There is a sadness in me, but this is not permanent. Because the enthusiasm and hope that we will meet again soon saves me from this sadness. If there is something you want me to write about, please send me a message. Treat yourself well and nicely. Do not neglect yourself. Protect yourself from yourself.