Seneca’s Wisdom On Groundless Fears
This has to be one of the most profound paragraphs I have ever read:
There are more things, Lucilius, likely to frighten us that there are to crush us; we suffer more often in imaigination than in reality. I am not speaking with you in the the Stoic strain but in my milder style. For it is our Stoic fashion to speak of all those things which provoke cries and groans, an unimportant and beneath notice; but you and I must drop such great-sounding words, although, heaven knows, they are true enough. What I advise you to do is, not be unhappy before the crisis comes; since it may be that the dangers before which you paled as if they were threatening you, will never come upon you; they certainly have not yet come. Accordingly, some things torment us more than they ought; and some torment us when they ought not to torment us at all. We are in the habit of exaggerating, or imagining, or anticipating, sorrow.
Seneca’s Letter to Lucilius, Letter XIII — On Groundless Fears