LET not the general representation unto thyself of the wretchedness of this our mortal life, trouble thee. Let not thy mind wander up and down, and heap together in her thoughts, the many troubles and grievous calamities which thou art as subject unto as any other. But as everything in particular doth happen, put this question unto thyself, and say ; What is it that in this present matter, seems unto thee so intolerable? For thou wilt be ashamed to confess it. Then upon this presently call to mind, that neither that which is future, nor that which is past can hurt thee; but that only which is present. (And that also is much lessened, if thou dost rightly circumscribe it!) and then check thy mind if for so little a while, (a mere instant) it cannot hold out with patience.
MARCUS AURELIUS. MEDITATIONS. Book viii. 34.
Patience, to endure for just one more moment. Brilliant.ReplyDelete
The future and the past cannot hurt you; only this moment. Can you hold out with patience for a mere instant as the moment passes? from the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius 7.34ReplyDelete
Be cautious, think, plan, prepare. And when you have done all that you can do, release the concern. For the present is all you have, and each moment spent in regret or fear, is a moment lost to a death that is not yet yours. Have an eye to the future, based on visions of the past, but do not be blind to the present in doing so.
The past must be learned from, but not lived in. We tend to do this is three ways. We fill the present with regret and resentment over past hurts, we fill the present with regret and resentment over the loss of past benefits, and we fill the present with fear of returning hurts. The Stoic approach: Past hurts - learn, redress, release. Past benefits - recognize, be grateful, release. Returning hurts - learn, prepare, release.