Why Understanding The Law of Impermanence Helps In Tough Times
The Law of Impermanence states that all relationships will end via death or separation.
Awesome. What a cheery way to start an article. Let me sit down, drink my cup of coffee and think about how everything good in my life is going to go away at some point. Color me with the happy crayon. Maybe next week we can all sit in broken glass together.
Let’s think about this law and how it affects our lives in a positive way though. There’s a flip side to every coin. Thus the law of impermanence can also ease us through times of transition, and pain. The better we understand it, the better understanding we’ll have of the world we live in and the situations we find ourselves walking and working through.
This Too Shall Pass
How does the law of impermanence speak to you? Does it scare you? Depress you? Or free you? I like to couple it with the line, “This too shall pass.”
All relationships will end via death or separation. This too shall pass.
We all have that friend who’s read a bit of Ekhart Tolle or watched Lord Oprah and offers us this phrase when the shit hits the fan. “This too shall pass.” Thanks, douche.
It will pass. As will the good times. As will the bad times. As will the businesses that you build, the friendships you form, the marriages, and the relationships with your children. All of it. All of it at some point will cease to exist as you either cease to exist or situations evolve.
A deep understanding of this law, one taken in fully without fear, frees us from attachments. If we deeply understand that all relationships must end, then when one does we also know the pain of the loss too must come to an end in given time. We know that when one door closes, as they all must do at some point, another one must open.
By understanding the law has to work both ways, we can take solace in the fact that the relationship with the pain we may be feeling today also must end. It cannot live inside of us forever. It will change. We will change. Our circumstances will change. Life will bring us new experiences, new relationships, and new sets of impermanence.
Change Is Inevitable
Our external worlds will always be in a state of flux. Friends move, jobs dissolve, and people come and go. The closest of relationships can transform into the deepest of animosity. The house we grew up in will have to be left. The neighborhood just isn’t what it used to be.
Some say death and taxes are our only guarantees, but I’ll throw “change” into that mix as well. Change is inevitable. We can embrace it, breathe into it, and allow it to be. Or we can fight it. We can become rigid against it, angry at it, or broken by it. Change is not concerned with how it affects us any more than the ocean concerns itself with the day to day feelings of the rocks it crashes into. It just crashes. Wave after wave. Day after day.
Universal laws are pretty sociopathic that way. They do their thing and leave us to work our lives around them. Understanding them and embracing them will let us control the only part of our lives that we ever can – ourselves and the attitude with which we bring as the focus of our experience.
The law of impermanence should bring you comfort, it should allow you to breathe deeper into your belly knowing that everything must come to pass, including yourself. Getting stronger is not all about meeting life with force, but sometimes leaning the other way. Letting life work her magic even if it is painful to us in the moment.
How do you see the law of impermanence working in your favor? How can embracing it help you to be one day stronger?