Nothing Lasts Forever... The Law of Impermanence
"Nothing we can do can stop time's unfolding."
~William Stafford- Author
You only have to turn on the television or click on the Internet to be infected with our culture’s obsession for eternal youth, the perfect partner, self-improvement or abundant wealth.
There’s that saying: “Let the good times roll…” We can become seduced by the message that everything will be amazing from NOW onwards provided that you follow a set of rules, buy a program or use the anti-wrinkle cream!
I’m not being pessimistic here at all. The truth is that nothing lasts forever and that life is a rich blend of good and bad experiences as we transition through our days. This is what life is all about.
As we get to the end of the year, you can’t help reflecting back and somehow weighing up whether it in fact was a good or bad one.
Let me give you an example using 2011 for me…
I’m a totally different person at the end of 2011 to the Elaine who showed up a little scared and hesitant at the beginning of the year. I’ve had a wonderful year of business prosperity, despite there being a recession. I’ve learned so much and applied it directly to my business and my life.
This year is also one of loss. First the passing of my kitty cat Charlie and then my Father three weeks later. I had to say goodbye to some of those I dearly love. It’s easy to become focused on the losses rather than the gains and write the year off as a ‘bad one.’
What DID happen, was just life…
It’s easy to reflect on the last twelve months from either of two different perspectives: a glass half full or one half empty.
How do you view yours?
Here’s how I really see it…
Every life is full of moments.
Moments happen, you can’t always control them: Sometimes they are planned and inevitable, sometimes they are completely unexpected, uninvited and can create a ripple in the fabric of your world that changes your direction forever.
Some moments are magical and others are painful: Finding your perfect partner or a reversal of fortune (getting laid off for example).
Here’s what I’ve come to realize – this is the way things are.
So you can have a prosperous year and at the same time experience death of someone who was deeply connected to you.
People and things are always in transition – moving and changing. Everything dies. This is just how it is. Buddha calls this the Law of Impermanence. Nothing lasts forever.
It’s like the seasons, things begin to die back in the Autumn and then Winter gets it’s hold, only to be followed by the newness and growth in Spring and the warm radiant, energetic days of Summer.
…And it’s perfectly okay. It really is!
New things are being born and others dying every single day. Not just people, animals and plants, but ideas, dreams, plans, careers, wealth, businesses and friendships.
Here’s how I see it…
Life’s moments are balanced because after every loss there are moments of unexpected joy, healing, success, love, beauty and grace. There’s always a time for things to be born. Some dreams come true others don’t. Friends and family come in and out of our lives. Jobs come and go. It’s all a little like the tide on the beach ebbing and flowing. The tide removes, replaces and renews with each turn.
So what choice do we have?
You can’t always control things but you ALWAYS get to choose HOW you interpret the loss. Here are the choices:
1. Negative and Destructive - You might feel bitter and angry because you were laid off work. It was unfair and unjust. You might feel punished or your heart torn apart forever. You feel empty and lonely. Maybe your heart feels shredded and laid bare. You withdraw and end up sleepwalking through the rest of your life. You close your heart down so you never have to feel pain.
2. Opportunity – You reach through to a deeper level of openness where your heart is tender and passionate. There’s a beauty in vulnerability. Being open to fully experiencing what you are feeling and working then through it allows you to heal the pain and really live your life. You experience the real joy and sorrow of your awesome existence. Here you get to live your life wide awake.
We truly are amazing beings travelling on a journey through an abundant landscape, that is YOUR life. The path winds and twists and you can lose your footing from time to time.
There’s a difference between living wide awake or sleepwalking through life allowing yourself to be pummeled by the impermanence of things.
Welcome to your life… It’s messy, extremely beautiful and at times, we don’t always know what going to happen next.
Fully embrace the path before you and it will lead you through uncharted territory that it full of kindness, loss, beauty, heartbreak and abundance. There are surprises and miracles in every moment and out of any darkness comes the light. You just have to look for it.
What an amazing existence life truly is… Don’t sleepwalk through and miss it!
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Elaine Bailey is devoted to coaching successful women and men into their best lives. She mentors busy people to move away from the chaos and overwhelm of settling and surviving by offering them a whole new approach to productivity, business and lifestyle. Her weekly eZine WorkBrilliant™ goes out every Thursday and is full of practical tips and techniques to move from misery to mastery EVERY single day! You can sign up for a F.R.E.E. subscription to WorkBrilliant™ at http://www.elainebaileyinternational.com.
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