Stoicism and Living in the Present

I have been blogging a lot recently about CBT. CBT is modeled, to a large extent, on Ancient Stoicism. I wanted to write about living in the present today.

I have alluded to living too much in the past or too much in the future in previous posts, but I didn’t go into detail about it. Living in the present moment can be traced back, indeed, to Ancient Stoics:

In this quote, Stoic Marcus Aurelius tells us not to concern ourselves too much with the future. We will meet the future with whatever “weapons of reason” we have in the present.

Many times, concerning ourselves with the future brings about anxiety, fear, and worry. That is why many therapists will suggest to you and practice with you living in the present moment.

It occurs to me that failing to live in the present moment can make one miss out on important and valuable times. If you are always concerned with the future, for example, you may miss out on enjoying your daughter’s birthday party, a special holiday, or even savoring the small moments in life.

It can be difficult to learn how to practice living in the present moment, but it is very much worth it. For my own part, I have tried to learn how to live “just enough” in the past and “just enough” in the future so that I can reflect a bit (on the past) or prepare (for the future). But I frequently live in the present moment. This takes enormous burdens off a person.

If you are having trouble focusing too much on the past or future, I am not suggesting anything from myself. One must see a professional about these things, after all. I simply thought today I would start the day with a Stoic meditation on living in the present.


Author: Jennifer Lawson

Philosopher. That is all.

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