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Remind Yourself Of This

Remind Yourself Of This

Update: 2024-02-21


It doesn’t always feel like it. Not when you’re regularly screwing up. Not when you keep losing your temper, not when you’re not as patient as you should be with people. Not when you keep doing selfish things. Not when you’re still dealing with scripts from your childhood. Not when you hear the things your ex says about you. Not when you compare yourself against the greatness of the people you admire—be it a mentor or some historical figure, a Cato or a Marcus Aurelius.

But it’s true.

You are good inside.

Even if you have done bad things. Even if you have drifted off the path. Marcus Aurelius tried to remind himself that there was a spring of goodness inside of him and that no matter what he or anyone shoveled on some of it, it was still there, still fresh and new and ever-flowing.

The Stoics did not believe in original sin. They did not think we were hopelessly broken. They believed that being who we were—living well, living as our nature intended us to live—was always possible. You might be low and awful right now, Marcus Aurelius writes in Meditations, but in just a few days you can be worthy of being seen as a god. He was telling himself he just had to go back to the teachings, go back to his principles, go back to the spring.

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Remind Yourself Of This

Remind Yourself Of This