Everything is Temporary And I'm Not Mad About It
Lately, I've been meditating on the fact that everything is temporary. At first, it can seem a little depressing. We don't like to think of ourselves as temporary or the things and people we love as temporary, but the truth is that the only thing permanent is change. What does this mean for me? I can tell you that meditating on this the last couple of weeks has helped me keep perspective in a way that I never have been able to before. Obviously, I've known this to be true, but never really focused on it and reminded myself of it regularly.
While it's true that this means that laughter, love, relationships, sunsets, summer, the stage where your kids want to sit on your lap and even who you are at this very moment are all temporary things. Life is constantly changing and we are constantly changing. Even as you read each of these words you are changing. As disconcerting and even sad as it can be to think of the good being temporary, it also creates a perspective that allows us to be more present and to be more grateful. To soak up those temporary moments and to be thankful and to take the extra time to notice things, to laugh more and to appreciate and be content with who we are and what we've been blessed with in this very moment because it is just that...a moment, here and then gone.
On the flip side of the coin, everything negative is also temporary. I remind the kids that I teach of this during strength and conditioning because often we get so focused on our current state of pain, fear or even self-loathing that we forget that it is temporary. We are never really stuck. Change is inevitable and it's up to us how we change. Recently I had to have a tooth pulled. The pain leading up to my emergency dental visit was like nothing I've ever felt. It was worse than childbirth. I kept reminding myself that the pain was temporary. What I didn't expect was that after I had it pulled and went home to rest and the physical pain was so much better, I was overcome with a sense of sadness and loneliness. I'm not sure where it was coming from, maybe the pain pills, but as I reminded myself that this pain was also temporary, I realized that I'm much better at believing myself about the physical pain than I am about the emotional pain. It was easier for me to believe my toothache was temporary than for me to believe that my current state of loneliness was also temporary. Sometimes emotional pain can feel like it is going to last forever; like it's quicksand just sucking us down and we don't have the energy to fight, but the truth is that even the worst of emotional pain is TEMPORARY. It has to work both ways. Happiness can't be temporary without sadness also being temporary. It's important to remind ourselves of that. Whether you feel like you are stuck or like you're running on a treadmill of emotional monotony or just like nothing is going right for you...It is all temporary.
Keeping this meditation in my mind has also helped change my perspective on risk. It's easy to play things safe and I am guilty of that without a doubt. I'm the girl that wants to touch the water first to see how cold it is and then maybe put my foot in. Then 25 minutes later I'm finally chest-deep in the water. I've always wanted to be one of those people who can just dive in without even knowing fully what they're getting themselves into. It's easy to dip your toes in the water of life, it's much scarier to just dive in. But when I come at it with the perspective that everything is temporary, it suddenly empowers me to dive in. It may hurt, I may feel pain, but those things are temporary and if I get to feel those feelings of exhilaration, joy, excitement and pride, then it's worth it because those are also fleeting. Risking failure or even heartbreak in exchange for knowing that I have the courage and strength to do so is suddenly worth it.
So I will continue to remind myself that the negative is temporary and continue to focus on acknowledging and cherishing the positive because it is also temporary. I've found that it lends a sort of simplicity to my life and helps me find peace in the madness. It brings me comfort and at the same time lights a fire inside my soul.