There’s deep and undeniable truth to the expression, “This too shall pass.” All forms — and by extension, all moments and experiences in form and time — are temporary, fleeting, continually changing.
If we keep sight of this obvious truth, it’s easier to allow change, loss and hardship (as well as not to get too attached to the things and experiences we like.)
Oftentimes, though, the truth of this expression can get distorted into “When will this pass?” or, as you may have spotted in the small print on the image below, “I hope this too shall pass.”
It will pass, of course. But when we get impatient and start wondering when or hoping that some unwanted situation will just magically and instantly disappear, we’re no longer imbibing the state of surrender that the quote stands to impart.
Often when we tell ourselves or others, “This too shall pass,” there’s a waiting, a wanting of something other than whatever is here.
It’s that very waiting or wanting for something other than what’s currently happening that brings on the real pain and difficulty in life.
“Be here now.”
How often do we hear that one? How often do we quote it? And yet, how often do we run like hell when we don’t like what’s here?
If we’re squirming, waiting, hoping something will pass, we’re no longer here in this moment. We’re in our mind thinking, plotting, trying to figure out how to change the moment.
Perhaps rather than “This too shall pass,” a more ideal reminder is “This too is fine.”
I’m not implying that anyone should stop taking steps towards changing something, that it’s somehow “unenlightened” to strive for change. No, that would be absurd.
What I am saying is that even while taking these steps, we can learn to be okay with whichever phase of that change we happen to be in. Even if there are heavy emotions coming up in a moment, we can be okay with those emotions.
And sometimes, we can and must make peace with the fact that a situation is never going to change. It often is totally out of our hands to do anything about it. That’s just one of those life realities.
We can still learn to be okay with the fact that a situation is never going to change, even if we hate the situation itself.
If we can remember that, no matter what’s happening, “This too is fine,” (at least for the moment) maybe we’ll find that we allow ourselves to stay with the moment we’re in, rather than retreating to the mind in escape.
Doing so allows us to stay present to what is happening. Staying present to what is happening means we’re being here, now, in the moment. And being here, now, in the moment means we are truly alive and awake.
Even if it hurts, that’s actually okay. It will pass, after all.
Everything is really fine. We just have to remember that it is. Really. It is. It always is, even if we can’t fathom it in a given moment.