The comfort of impermanence

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Nothing is forever.

"Impermanence is one of the essential doctrines or three marks of existence in Buddhism. The term expresses the Buddhist notion that all of conditioned existence, without exception, is in a constant state of flux... human life embodies this flux in the aging process, the cycle of birth and rebirth, and in any experience of loss... because conditioned phenomena are impermanent, attachment to them becomes the cause for future suffering... The contemplation of impermanence refers to seeing conditioned phenomena arising and passing away while observing their individual characteristics." [Wikipedia]

I've been struggling so long with learning how to accept things. Accept my imperfections and limitations. Accept plans that don't go right. Accept other peoples' decisions. Accept challenges. Accept loss.

I think this was always so hard because I wasn't sure what I had without these struggles, these plans, this health, this body, losses in my life.

But when it comes down to it, it's obvious that nothing is certain. Nothing lasts forever. Something or someone you can depend on one day can be pulled out from under your feet the next. Sometimes a whole bunch at once. It's hard to master that magic trick where the tablecloth gets yanked out from under this careful arrangement you've worked on, without much more than a jostle.

I've been working on something new. Instead of accepting and letting go and accepting and letting go... just making peace with the constant of impermanence. Practicing the belief that I can cope with any change or loss that I'm faced with, at least with the support of whoever is willing and able to give it. (I'm sure something will come along to totally challenge this sentiment, but it's what I'm working with right now.)

The last few months have held some of the best moments and successes I've had in a long time. There have also been some losses and changes that I've been confronted with. And they're no easier to deal with than any previous ones, but I am definitely dealing with them differently.

Having faith in myself, and in the rest of the universe to balance out, to keep moving on as it does is serving me well. I no longer feel I have to justify myself infinitely, defend myself against judgment, or waste my energy on battles I don't feel I should have to fight. I'm okay with myself and my world, and whoever or whatever has intentions on being a part of it.

On the cusp of a new adventure, I've had some people warn me not to move too fast. Not to get ahead of myself. I know that these warnings are signs of other histories, and gladly, of care for my wellbeing. But something deep inside me tells me that all I need to do is trust myself, trust my gut, and act accordingly. Trust that if I hold back, the possibilities are limited, and if I don't, then they are infinite.

Time and feelings are all relative. Something you've known for years can be an illusion. Something you've known for days can be the most real thing you know.

Nothing is certain. Nothing is forever. But every loss opens up space for some new thing, however (im)permanent it may be. And amazing things can happen if you are open to them. 

I've got some better things to accept now. That I'm here. That I'm okay. That I can adapt. That I'm happy. That I'm loved...

It took so long to get here, but it sure does feel good. (And of course, if I've learned anything, that feeling will be impermanent too...) ;)