I’m sure many of you have heard the phrase “this too shall pass.” In fact, you’ve probably heard it so many times that it just sounds like some biblical cliche or platitude. I know I have. In fact, I just assumed it was a verse from the bible when, actually, it appears to be of Persian Sufi origin.
Wherever the saying comes from, it’s true. And it can be a beautiful teaching and powerful message to remember – in good times and bad.
Yesterday, I had definitely had some lows and some highs. Taking time this morning to reflect on what I experienced yesterday and how differently I feel today, I thought of this phrase. It’s a phrase that really gained traction for me when I attended a 10 day silent meditation course about 5 years ago.
One of the main teachings of Vipassana meditation is the concept of impermanence. No matter what you are experiencing in this moment, the only thing you can be sure of is that it will not last. It will always change in some way. Like a river, life is constantly flowing, therefore every moment is new and different, in obvious or subtle ways. You can never step in the same river twice.
So, yesterday, when I was feeling unexpectedly low and fatigued, I reminded myself that it was okay. It was temporary and eventually would pass. And it did.
And when I went out to celebrate my friend’s birthday and got to have a wonderful time connecting with a bunch of people I love, I reminded myself to enjoy the moment while it was happening, and also to not become attached to it. Not to be sad or upset when those joyful, external circumstances where no longer present. To know that it is natural for them to come and go and come again.
So, however you want to phrase it, I hope you remember that whatever you are experiencing in this moment, whether joyful or difficult, it too will pass. And that’s a beautiful thing.