I’ve referred to Stoicism several times on this page. I consider myself a student of the philosophy; I don’t think anyone ever has it “mastered”. Life throws too many curveballs for that to occur. And I’m very much a work in progress.
What Does it Mean to be a Stoic?
Stoicism isn’t a religion. There’s nothing to join, no one to donate money to, no community that looks upon you with disdain if you don’t follow it to the letter.
Rather, it’s a lens through which you can choose to view the world and the people in it. In broad strokes, it’s accepting your circumstances, behaving honorably, taking responsibility for your actions, and being patient and tolerant of others.
That’s about it. It centers on taking things as they come and not wishing them away. Dealing with them directly. And understanding that there are buckets of crap (and people who are crappy) to get through. Nothing is perfect, nor can it be. Life has ups and downs. A Stoic tries to stay stable in rough waters and doesn’t have expectations that everything will always run smoothly.
Finding Like-Minded People
I was thrilled when The Mindful Word agreed to allow me to contribute essays about becoming a Stoic. I’ve called my series Stoic in Training, and I’m aiming to put up a new post every week. My goal isn’t to recruit – again, this isn’t a religion – but to explain what it means to be stoic. Not the literal definition you’ll find in the dictionary. That leads people to believe that Stoics are emotionless robots. It’s just not true.
As for mindfulness, that’s just slowing down enough to notice the moment. To not let your life rush past you. So, you try to notice your thoughts and feelings rather than automatically getting caught up in them. It takes a lifetime of practice.
My first post is here: Stoic in Training. (The second post is HERE) And if you’re not interested, that’s fine too! After all, Stoics are only concerned with what they can control: their own behavior. You do you. 😊