Nothing lasts forever. We know this but we find it very difficult to accept. We tend to get caught up in whatever is happening in that exact moment and let it overwhelm us. We can become prisoners to our own feelings and insecurities and think our whole world is imploding. Soon this feeling has passed and we don’t give it another thought, our thoughts instead cling to another drama that fills our time and energy.
When we look at this idea of impermanence, the idea that life is fleeting and passing us swiftly, we can start to live in a totally different way - life becomes more real and we have a greater sense of freedom. No longer do we get caught up in anger and envy as we can see clearly that their causes will not be around in the future and we can easily let it go for what it is, a fleeting moment that is vanishing quickly and not a permanent indictment. This gives us the chance to be freer and a chance to break our shackles from past failings and an opportunity to simply move forward.
The habit of being stuck in past regrets sucks the life out of you. It is the plant from which negativity sprouts and it changes your entire outlook on life.
It prevents us from moving forward because we are always looking back, wasting our energy on past mistakes and missed opportunities and living with this mindset only ensures more missed opportunities and only more mistakes. Being aware that life is fleeting allows you to untangle yourself from past worries and appreciate what you have right here and right now.
You see that your relationships with loved ones don’t last forever so we start to value them as if they are about to board a boat and sail away from the harbour, we cherish them and live with them more intensely in the present moment. Having this awareness in our daily lives we can create a more positive and loving relationship with ourselves and everyone around us.
Life’s volatility opens up doors upon doors and behind every single one is a chance for change, emancipation and liberation.
With a permanent view of life things become boring and tiresome, we go for a run around the park like we did yesterday and take it for granted, thinking it’s the same old park, with the same trees, and the same familiar faces. Then we fall over and break our back and can’t run again, and all we wish is that we could run around the park one more time. What if every time we ran around that park we did so thinking this could be the last time I ever run again? Would we stay inside our head thinking how boring this was or would we have a new found energy and appreciate the trees, the flowers, the sunshine or the rain, the familiar faces?
We really need to be consciously aware that this moment is never the same as the next moment so we better try to find the beauty in that moment before it vanishes forever. Imagine a life that was like this - it would be pretty nice wouldn't it?
The Buddha told us to use impermanence “as a tool to help us penetrate deeply into reality and obtain liberating insight.”
If we can use this tool and take it with us every day our lives will be more enriching, our relationships more fulfilling and our moments more gratifying. We can learn to enjoy the lake of life in each and every moment with the understanding that it may dry up and be gone at any moment.