This Too Shall Pass

It doesn’t resonate for me the way that it once did.  I remember it being a revelation, that everything bad, and everything good, never came to stay, it always came to pass.  Feelings and emotions also.  It was comforting, at one time, to understand for the first time that this state I’m living in right now will not always be the way I live.  This feeling I’m feeling right now won’t always be the way I feel.

I’m sure that for me, my waning comfort has to do with aging.  I am, we are, all more vulnerable than I ever realized.  We’ll all suffer, we’ll all die.  Sure, suffering isn’t my normal state, but big bad things do loom on the horizon for me.  I think, for example, that if something awful happened to my children, I wouldn’t be able to cope.  In some ways I’d never be happy again.  The experience of knowing people who this has actually happened to confirms it for me.  Having had my little dog killed while I walked her confirms this for me.  I remember, shortly after that happened, someone at work asked me about something else that had gone my way, not related to the dog.  “Happy?” she asked.  “I don’t think I’ll ever be happy again,” I answered.  I do remember that.  In some ways it is true.  That is a shadow I can’t imagine ever getting away from, ever again.  Not ever.

The acute pain passes, though it comes back, and life is well worth living anyway.  The experience with the dog, taken as an extreme example, makes me anxious and glad to go on and treasure the dog I have now, as well a future dogs I might have.  And of course really grasping that present happiness will pass, and grabbing it, and experiencing it without being maudlin that it too shall pass is one of the best lessons of life to learn, and one I will always struggle with.

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