Circumstance, Meaning, Mind, Virtue

We Endure

“One can do nothing better than endure what cannot be cured…”

Seneca, Letters from a Stoic, 63-65 AD, Letter CVII

There are times that we must simply endure.

We will all experience times when there’s no bright side, no silver lining. Things may appear grim or difficult, and in reality, they may be so! We’re forced to simply sit and bathe in confusion, sadness, pain, and heartache. When we’re being hit by storm-force winds, the best thing we can do is bunker down. Close your eyes, clench your fists and brace yourself for impact. Repeat over and over again-endure until the storm clouds break.

“Human life suffers steep inclines on the way through the world. If you don’t keep “endurance” as your watchword as go along, how will you tolerate the thorny undergrowth and the pits and ditches.”

Hong Zicheng (1572-1620), in “Wisdom for the Soul: Five Millennia of Prescriptions for Spiritual Healing”, p. 224

It may not seem it, but this ability to dig our heels in and take a hit is highly productive.

With every storm we endure, we grow an extra layer of skin. With this, our capacity for endurance grows, and not every trouble feels like such a wicked blow. When you can’t find any light in the present, or there’s seemingly no divine wisdom to be extracted from your situation, it may be one of those times you must simply endure; simply survive. Have fate that every storm, no matter how brutal, must pass.

“Endure the hardships of your present state,
Live, and reserve yourselves for better fate.”

Virgil, Aeneid, 29-19 BC, Book I, l. 207
Thomas Moran, 1906, Sunset at Sea
Thomas Moran, 1906, Sunset at Sea
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