The gods have released you from accountability for your parents, your siblings, your body, your possessions – for death and for life itself. They made you responsible only for what is in your power – the proper use of impressions. So why take on the burden of matters which you cannot answer for? You are only making unnecessary problems for yourself.” ~Epictetus
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Hi there REBT Mates!
In developing REBT, Dr. Ellis took inspiration from a number of sources including the Greek Stoic philosophers such as Epictetus and the Roman Emperor, Marcus Aurelius. The quote above could easily be taken directly from basic REBT texts. The same idea is also expressed in the Serenity Prayer written by an American theologian, Reinhold Niebuhras, and popularized by Alcoholics Anonymous.
- God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
- The courage to change the things I can,
- And wisdom to know the difference.”
Precursors also appear in Buddhist, Jewish and other traditions as well.
To me, the he principle and sentiment expressed would seem to be universal, and clearly strikes an intuitive resonance for many who come in contact with it. The real challenge however, is not simply to fawn over how “cool” it is. The real challenge is to apply it in one’s life on a daily basis.
Learning and being engaged with REBT-CBT is one obvious way. Mindfulness meditation and practice is another. Neither are the only ways, not hardly, but they are readily available and do not have a steep learning curve compared to some other disciplines and practices.
Let’s get started today, shall we?
And for a great place to being discovering Stoic philosophy
“Meditations of Marcus Aurelius: A New Translation” (Modern Library)
© 2017, Rex Alexander. All rights reserved.
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Originally posted 2017-07-12 00:14:10.