Somebody once offered up in conversation that I was “Stoic”. As a guy who considers himself well-versed in language, context, and vocabulary I took it to mean that I have a rather stone-faced demeanor. That is to say that the initial interpretation of the face I presented to the world was indifferent and void of emotion. As it turns out, I wasn’t far off in my understanding of “stoic”. After some research I was then happy to learn that “Stoic” has more than one meaning,
1) A member of the ancient philosophical school of Stoicism.
2) A person who can endure pain or hardship without showing their feelings or complaining. To possess toughness and quiet endurance.
Interesting…I may have been onto something there.

A member of the ancient philosophical school of Stoicism.
I took an interest in Stoicism. I did some more reading and, like everything else in my life pre the great collapse of 2016, I moved on. It didn’t fit my lifestyle at the time. I recently revisited it after reading a fellow blogger. It is now apparent that it aligns perfectly with my current approach to existence. By aligned I mean it was a sledgehammer to the forehead.

A person who can endure pain or hardship without showing their feelings or complaining. To possess toughness and quiet endurance.
If you know me at all, pain and hardship have been omnipresent in my life. I have done my best to roll with it all and to try to convert it into self-improvement and motivation to inspire and help others. I have never complained, I have references. It doesn’t help anything, and nobody gives a shit. But it definitely shows on my face. I can’t count how many times it’s been said to me some variation of,
“when I first saw you I thought you were a jerk. But then I got to know you and you’re actually a good guy.”
I’ve also been told by employers and well-meaning coworkers that my facial expression, gone unchecked, was the male equivalent of Resting Bitch Face. I took it under advisement and made a conscious effort to be aware of it. But the nuts and bolts of it were that my face was saying, Don’t fuck with me, I have had enough and I am not going to give you a chance to hurt or reject me.
That was who and what I had become.
But the result, the fortunate side effect is, and I need to take a temporary break from my adherence to humility is;  yes, I am tough, I have endured a lot of shit and I am stronger for it and ready for more. Bring it the fuck on. So it logically follows that my face, as the window to my wounded soul, will reflect. To reluctantly but necessarily put a smile on it is to embrace the Shakespearian notion of Masks. Everyone, not just thespians, wears a mask to conceal who they really are and try to be someone else.

Stoicism is the approach from which I am existing. It is validating and empowering, more so with every page that I read. It is in synch with my new attitude of minimalism, simplicity, positivity, and adherence to values. It confirms my desire to no longer be the person I once was. At one time I was full of hubris. I wanted to run with the beautiful people. I wanted wealth and influence. I was not ruthless, but I wasn’t a man of true character. I cared less about virtue, empathy, compassion, and benevolence, opting instead for callousness and relative morality. I needed to make a change in order to sleep at night. If you believe that it is never too late to make a change, then change is not only possible but also achievable.

It is not possible if I am to keep your interest, to list all of the tenets and principles that appeal to me about Stoicism but I’ll offer 10 key principles.
Live in agreement with nature.
Live by virtue.
Focus on what you can control.
Distinguish between good, bad, and indifferent.
Take action.
Practice misfortune.
Add a reserve clause to your plan.
Love everything that happens.
Perception is key.
Be mindful.

As an aside, I find it significant and amusing that Stoicism is sometimes referred to as “Supermanism”, considering I have written over 300 posts under the moniker of Superman.

14 thoughts on “Stoic”

    1. you expect mishaps and use them as opportunities for self-improvement. Take an example of an unfortunate situation and then try to visualize any good that could come out of it. And I’m glad you found it interesting. I loved writing this post

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I can believe that. I have also found that I have a lot of the foundation as part of my mindset, and in some cases I am on my way. The challenge therein is for me to be consistent

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Hi Billy, good to see a post from you. How are you doing?
    I can certainly identify with some of this post, hiding behind a mask rather than let my hurt and insecurities show, pretending to be something/someone I’m not. Glad to say all that is behind me now and what you see is what you get. Take care.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m doing great. Thank you for checking in. I have been away, dealing with a lot of difficult matters and some personal turmoil. I’m in a good place now and I plan on writing a lot going forward. I’m glad you enjoyed reading this post, I really enjoyed writing it!


  2. Interesting. A high school football doctor described me as stoic. Then an eye surgeon when my brain had enough on the operating table and shut my heart off. Spoiler alert, they brought me back with little drama. The attending nurse applying a cold, damp towel to the bottom of my foot. Yes, I heard the flat line alarm as well as my doctor’s swearing. I had two more surgeries to go through after that and medication was arranged that would let my brain ignore them. It worked.
    I’m not dead yet. That was nearly forty years ago.

    I’m no superman.


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