Surrounding myself with a pleasant work environment last year, I came to understand a fundamental truth- When the external sources of suffering come to a halt, the inner sources awaken.
I worked at an organic farm, as a farm laborer, often working for hours alone in a high tunnel with hundreds of plants around me. Green was my environment, and I was immersed in life, a non-hostile source of life that beckoned to be noticed, apprectiated for its beauty.
These pleasant hours alone were eventually replaced with misery as negative, brooding thoughts would come to the surface of my mind and dominate a once-peaceful state of mind. There was no evading the misery that these thoughts produced, and one thought would trigger a memory or similarly-toned thought, and a cascade of self-inflicted gloom would result. Only becoming aware of such cascades and negativity allowed myself to become strong in the face of my own psyche, and then I understood that misery can come from the inside just as easily as from the outside, if not aware and on guard.
In the end, it is all internal, as internal and external sources of pain and suffering only do damage when allowed to do so. It is all internal.
These ups and downs of solitary work did not last forever, for as soon as I had come to terms with the nature of a potentially-negative mindset, I was thrown back to the wolves, working alongside others once again, at times being mistreated, harassed, and disrespected. The lesson of solitary work served me well then too, for I knew that in the end, it is up to me if I allow my mindset to crumble or remain solid. It is up to me if I am going to have a pleasant or unpleasant day- regardless of what thoughts emerge from my subconscious, and regardless of how others choose to treat me. It is all up to how I choose to respond internally to it all.
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