Embracing Impermanence

. What does it mean? "...the state of not lasting for ever or not lasting for a long time." Just saying the word can bring unsettled emotions or thoughts of bad omens for the future. Thinking about impermanence can bring a sense of fragility as well. If you find yourself in a constant state of worry about how nothing will last, it can take you down the dark rabbit hole of depression.

We are brought up to want to buy a home, put down roots, immerse ourselves in a group of lifetime friends, find a job we will work until retirement, and embrace a safe life we can trust to stay with us. We've arrived when we have a home, money, family, the ability to travel, solid goals, great health, and a good job or retirement fund.

Unfortunately, the more years that have passed, the more I see the illusion of everything staying safe, of a life without drastic change. Permanence is an illusion. If there is one thing you can be sure of, it is change will happen, and probably on a regular basis. It can come in thousands of ways. The most common is probably loss - a partner, a child, a friend, a home, a job, life direction, mobility, health, security, safety.

Some changes are
deeply disturbing and can make it hard to navigate the months ahead. Others can bring blessings, new directions or connections that take us to places we have never dreamed of. When we let go of holding onto our safe world so tightly, we can lift our eyes to see what was hidden before.  There are untold opportunities on the horizon, new connections to be made, perhaps a change of career or a move to a new location. It's all there just waiting for you, and it's up to you whether you say yes. 

I don't want to ever downplay the impact of difficult times. You can't just smile the dark moments away. As I age, it has been hard to say goodbye to others not blessed to live a long life. Last year I, I knew of many who passed from the tender age of 17, to a dear friend in her late 70's. I was profoundly affected by each. I also have many in my world dealing with health challenges, dealing with daily pain, loss and financial insecurity. Despite the challenge of this time, I believe we also  have the ability to lift our eyes high, to see the positive around us as well.

This subject is wider that how we react to live, it also encompasses the fear many feel when simply thinking about change and impermanence. One can get lost in the what-ifs, dreaded scenarios playing out in our head that can have a profound effect on both our emotions and the choices we make. Feelings of dread that have no basis in fact become swirling wisps our the mind, and distracting us from living in the moment. Being trapped in a state of fear can suck the joy from your life by keeping you focused on possibilities that may never happen.  


There is also
something to be said about stepping back and thinking of the Circle of Life. We are born, we grow, we create, we have families, we age and then at some point, we let this world go.  Where ever you are on this circle, try to fully embrace the beauty and joy this time can offer.  For me, I found writing when I already had grown kids. I began at the beginning at the age others were just winding down, and I am keeping my eyes wide open to see if there is another new direction just waiting for me to say yes. Looking forward is my perfect anecdote to worry. 

Take a few minutes today to check in with yourself.  What are you sensing in the background? Is there worry? Are you holding too tightly to this life, with no room for change?  Life will continue to shift, your reality will alter, whether you want it to or not. Figuring out how to ride the wave and reach for the gifts awaiting is within your power.