On transience: This too shall pass.

Once in boarding school, we were served spaghetti and meatballs for dinner. I popped one meatball into my mouth and it was awful. I knew I would not be able to chew it any further, and as I was on a table filled with people, I became quite perplexed on what to do. I told myself something along the lines of “Don’t worry, soon it will be tomorrow and you will have overcome this somehow.” It was unlikely that I would still be debating over what to do with the meatball the next day, so somehow I would have to get over it. Eventually I covertly spit it out into a tissue and lived happily ever after.

The thought that uncomfortable, awkward situations are not permanent, and that by tomorrow I would have overcome them somehow, became one of my guiding mottos. I would find my self in a weird situation and think “well this situation will have to resolve itself somehow, it is unlikely I will still be here tomorrow.” It was not until a few years later, that I found an already existing saying that captured this perfectly “This too shall pass.”

Difficult situations are inevitable, and some have them more than others. We will find ourselves in situations far worse than a nasty meatball, situations which persist for more than a day. I believe that the reason we are so consumed by bad moments is that we are unable to see past them. In that moment, that is all that matters, and we fail to see that they are temporary. I do believe that if we knew for sure that a certain situation would last for say, three weeks, and then everything will be fine, we would be less affected by said situation.

A good example is people who harm/kill themselves after a breakup. (Here, I am not referring to those who suffer from depression or mental illness.) These people are unable to see past their current grief, to them the world has ended and there is no respite. But that is not true. How many times have we been in situations that seemed so awful at the time, but that we look back on and laugh at how inconsequential they really were? How many times have we thought the world had ended, only to realise it hadn’t even begun?

It is so important to realise that this too shall pass. It may take a while, but eventually it will. Realise that you will in fact get over whatever it is, and you will heal and feel better. Good times will come, bad times will come. C’est la vie. That’s the transience of life. Do not make rash decisions over temporary circumstances. Go through bad times, always remembering that this too shall pass.

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