Change, impermanence and the ever evolving life
Updated: Jun 24, 2019
This too shall pass !
A line, that one of my colleagues wrote on her office desk wall and I just stopped when I read it. Seeing my obvious pensive mood and expression she offered help and assured that she was there to help whenever I might need. I was going through a hell of sorts and really needed someone to shake me up and take me out of my dilemmas and fears. I was afraid, I was full of doubts, I was deeply saddened by people’s behaviors and felt extremely alone. Those words were like a ringing bell in my ears. This is not permanent! This too shall pass.
However this is such a powerful fact of life that we disregard and overlook completely. We tend to get into a mode where we attach too much importance to our present moment and situation. As if it is a permanent one and will never change. Long back almost 10 years ago when I lost my beloved Aai (mother) I thought that my life had entered a mode of a lifelong grief. I will never be able to smile ever again with conviction. I was distraught and broken beyond words. However, when someone told me that my mother would never have liked to look at a miserable child of hers and that even when she looks at me from the realms beyond she would like to see a happy girl that I always was, it shook me up. No one and nothing can replace a mother in your life because she is the greatest impact on your life. But even the grief, as great as of losing her, turns into a living memory of hers with time. Of course the pain never leaves you but you definitely know how to handle it and still smile. It taught me to be way more empathetic and considerate of grief in others too. Believe me this is what I have experienced.
So then what is it that constantly makes us feel that we are stuck in a situation when things go wrong? Any negative happenings make us believe very quickly that “This is it”. I am not going to come out of this. We panic and go in an autopilot mode where either our actions are dominated by our fear or anger. Both of which often leave us feeling even more horrible. The fact is that situations, feelings, emotions, people and even our own attitudes only have one thing in common. They change.
We MUST remember this, at all times.
Another typical trait of us all is that we associate this permanence with only bad situations and seldom do we think like this about the happy times. On the contrary we always fear good times to fly away too quickly and hence always pray for them to last longer. Is it that we believe more in bad things rather than good ones? What is it? A thought, worth pondering upon. When we do this we put the burden of our happiness and actions upon something else other than us. We conveniently play the blame game.
First things first; we need to accept and acknowledge that these things do happen to us. That is the very first step. Once we know what the problem is only then we know what solutions to find. It is very normal to be stuck in a situation and think that we can never be out of this. Every experience in our lives changes us. It offers us an opportunity to look at things differently. Although it may seem that, ‘now I can never think in a certain way ever again’, we must try to disassociate with an event by reminding ourselves that one event cannot take over our entire life. E.g. when you break up with a long time love of your life or a friend turns away from you or a well settled career comes to an abrupt end it is very obvious that you will be disturbed and angry. It will form a deep impact on your life and you will never believe people, circumstances and even feelings for that matter. However the realisation that you always have a CHOICE of how to feel can be very empowering here. It’s of course difficult to think about it this way though.
You must allow yourself to grieve and feel bad. But always keep reminding that this is not permanent. That the only truth about life is that it changes all the time. Although you may not get rid of memories completely, you may definitely learn to be at peace with them. It is very important at times to just observe things as they go on in your life. Be passive and do not react to anything as if it’s a movie going on in front of you. Many times when you look at things from outside is when you stumble upon solutions that might not occur to you otherwise. We realize that we have an option to not keep thinking about it all the time. We can make place for things we love instead. Like a hobby or meeting up with long lost friends or just investing in learning a new art form or anything else.
Happiness and sadness are all a part of us. They are not our whole being. We are just playing our part by living these emotions when they come to us. So next time when you happen to be in another such phase of life just breathe and let go! Don’t forget that this is not permanent and just enjoy the show of life. Be with loved ones, those who always welcome you, come what may. Think about only the things that truly matter in life and remember that no one or no single incident can change your innate nature and soul.
I feel being spiritually inclined can help us here. Being in perfect communion with the almighty reminds us of our futilities and rests us in that higher consciousness where we put all our fears at the feet of GOD. SHE is nothing but an inner guiding light and intuitions that steer us on our paths.