Why, exactly, would you have to rule over yourself?
A king decides what happens in the kingdom and what not, he is adviced often, but the ultimate word is his, our inner world works much like this, much more like a kingdom than a united entity.
Stoicism aims for control over ourselves, control over emotions, desires and actions. We do not aim to supress this altogether, but we aim to manage it, to rule it and this is why we rule over ourselves.
I find this approach the more practical.
If we are to “rule over ourselves” we must use the phrase apporpriatley. When we say “control yourself” all the weight and magnificence of your inner power is diminished. “Ruling over ourselves” gives the phrase back his magnificence and royalty.
Try to imagine yourself as an ancient realm, an ancient realm of magnificent power, a true empire. The realm is composed of your consciousness, the great king. Every king has a courtwhich gives advice to the king. The court of course is very useful, kings, as presidents and leaders today, do not take action or decisions of his own accord, they most listen to the expereinced court, or gabinet that will help them better the empire or realm. Every emotion is part of your court, they advise you as to what is better for the realm. Every member of the court has to be properly addressed, fear, sadness, joy, curiosity, every one of them is valuable as in they have something to communicate to the king about its kingdom.
When the king wants to be good and great all the time or just wants to hear good news, the kingdom can suffer. If there is a war going on and the king cannot make calls or lets fear rule instead of him or madness or greediness, the empire will soon be lost to his inability to rule, everything most be assesed by the king as he has final word.
what does ruling over onself really mean. i believe it has to do with control, to be the ruler is to be skeptic about our reactions, mostly impulsive behavior.