The Natural Beauty of Impermanence

Nothing lasts forever.  Things change, coming and going from our lives.  Every day, we gain and lose, sometimes for what feels like the better, sometimes for what feels to be worse.

Change is scary, for some.  It goes hand in hand with the unknown, with instability and discomfort.  It plucks you from your secure and quiet zone and drops you into… what?  You never know, but by the time you adjust to the idea, it, too, is fading into the shadow of the past.

Without the darkness, you don’t appreciate the light.  Without hunger, there is no taste for food.  Without the deafening and meaningless wall of noise we live through every day, we never truly embrace the moments of solitary silence that are so few and far between.

There are people out there, surrounding you every day, that have things that you want, that you envy.  Money, comfortable jobs, nice things, happy relationships, friends.  There are people that would trade all but the next twenty four hours to have just what you have; their lives have become that empty and haunted.  And both of those groups have things that you and everyone else wants or wishes were gone from their lives for ever; egocentrism keeps us from seeing that, but it’s true across the board.

Everything you have today may drift or be ripped away from you tomorrow morning, next week, next year.  It might be replaced with something you want more; it might leave nothing but what feels like a charred and smoking ruin.  None of this is any better or worse than you perceive it to be.

In the here and now, though, keep that thought in mind as you walk through the days. As you look at your paycheck and wish it were more, know that it could be gone at a moments notice.  While you survey your material goods, imagine them all going up in flames, or washing away in a flood, or being stolen while you are away. As you are talking to your parents and siblings on the phone, or having a beer with your friends, or kissing your significant other good night, keep in mind that human beings are fragile, at the core, and the bonds that keep us together even more so.

But don’t dwell on what might happen tomorrow.  Tomorrow comes as it will, and nothing you do today will affect that at all.  Instead, enjoy your big television or your new car, revel in the company of your pets or family or friends, appreciate that you can pay whatever bills you can, and drink in the moments of happiness that you find in solace, or the arms of another, or the bottom of a bottle.

Impermanence is the source of the importance of everything in our lives.  Remembering that it is there can help you live like life is meant to be.

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