“Stoicism is not resignation. It is, in fact, a philosophy that shines brightest when the outlook is darkest.”
This was one of the lines in the Daily Stoic email newsletter from November 18, 2019. It’s one of the reasons stoicism draws me in.
In the hardest of times, in the most stressful of times, my practice of stoicism has helped to remind me that as long as there is hope, I can find the strength to keep going.
That as long as there is something I can do about a situation, all I have to do, is do something.
This issue of the newsletter highlighted the Spartans, during a moment when King Phillip of Macedon threatened to attack. He demanded their submission, saying that: “If I conquer your city, I will destroy you all.”
The Spartans refused to submit anyway, because the one word they heard was “If”.
“They weren’t going to lay down their arms without a fight—you were going to have to come and take them,” says the Daily Stoic.
There are times in my life when everything feels bleak, when it feels like I’ve fought as hard as I can and am still fighting. There are times when I’m tired — not just physically, but mentally and emotionally.
Stoicism reminds me to “focus 100% of our energy on what is in our control”.
It reminds me to stay alive, to keep fighting.