Almost a decade ago when I took my first Buddhism course in India, the concept of impermanence startled me.
Although impermanence was obviously everywhere around me, I understated it. Maybe, for a second, I thought I could do something about it, but mostly, I thought I should ignore it.
Not only did I ignore it, I also moved on with my life in the hope that nothing would have to end ever again. So I held on even more tightly to people. I held on to places, memories, and things. I refused to let go of what was obviously ending because in my own mind it wasn’t supposed to end.
Slowly, I started understanding more and more the Buddhist concept of impermanence. I could clearly see that most things are not meant to stay where they are, and the more I opposed it, the more I struggled—emotionally, mentally, and physically.
Even now when I have fully comprehended the transient nature of life, I still not want it sometimes. I still want some moments or people to stay right where they are until further notice. I want life to go on as if it will never surprise me with the inevitable.
However, on the days when I make peace with it—total peace—I feel at ease. I feel happy. Comfortable. Okay.
I feel like I’m moving with life, not against it. I let it flow through me in all its uncertainty and (maybe ugly) surprises.
“Everything that has a beginning has an ending. Make your peace with that and all will be well.” ~ Jack Kornfield
During that course in India, the buddhist monk advised us to meditate on death every now and then—the death of our pets, family, and friends. At first, I didn’t understand why someone would want to hurt themselves by imagining the people they love gone. But when I started meditating on it, I realized that not familiarizing myself with the idea of loss is even more hurtful than loss itself.
Nothing (including all the meditations we know) could ever prepare us for losing something or someone we love; that’s for sure. However, realizing that there’s an ending and a beginning might slightly change our attitude and way of thinking.
Ask yourself today:
Am I aware that what begins today might end tomorrow?
Do I understand that this concept is universal?
How do I react to physical and emotional loss?
Do I also understand that there’s another beginning after the ending?
Am I prepared?
Do I realize that my happiness is highly linked to my perception of death?
Let’s make peace with the inevitable instead of fighting it. Wanting to live life without losing anything at all is a losing game.
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