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The Healing Effects of Impermanence

January 6, 2022, Author: Toni

As we enter into 2022,, I invite you to ponder the word “Impermanence” and how the concept relates to your life. Why do I invite this meditative activity? If, like me, your own emotions and thoughts caused you to suffer in 2021? Or, if you have the opinion that 2021 was the worst year ever or you experienced grief, for any reason, and were or are bogged down in it then perhaps there’s release to be found in thinking about impermanence.

I found myself feeling a lot of sadness, bitterness, and anger at people whom I cherish the most. I felt forgotten, under valued, and marginalized from their life. I didn’t know how to get back what I thought that I had lost. I thought it necessary, and didn’t know how, to be in the forefront of loved ones’ radar screen and time. I cried. I moped. I rebelled and I was aware that I held myself back from verbally expressing my bitterness.  Even the thought of feeling this way made me feel worse.  I spent time praying and meditating. I dug deep and then I read this quote by Thich Nhat Hanh.

It is not impermanence

that makes us suffer.

What makes us suffer is wanting,

things to be permanent,

when they are not.

The impact of reading this quote hit me between the eyes. What I was experiencing was grief at finding that circumstances and quality of some relationships had changed. I and we were in transition. I had thoroughly relished what had transpired and I wanted to experience it again. I was attached to what was. What I did not do was fully appreciate what it was and let it go. I share Thich Nhat Hanh’s quote, the concept of Impermanence, and the poem below because they opened the door to choices and new experiences once I let go to what once was.  Allow the reality of impermanence into your awareness and give it reign to vibrate through your core.

As long as there is attachment to things that are
unstable, unreliable, changing and impermanent,
there will be suffering –
when they change, when they cease to be
what we want them to be.
(…)
If craving is the cause of suffering, then the cessation
of suffering will surely follow from ‘the complete
fading away and ceasing of that very craving’:
its abandoning, relinquishing, releasing, letting go.   – Rupert Gethin, Four Noble Truths

Let understanding light it’s way through your circumstances, relationships, values, and, ultimately choices. Contemplating impermanence provided me understanding of what I was experiencing and framework to let go. This understanding allowed me to let go of what I had been struggling with and then to move into a freedom to create new possibilities. Letting go has allowed me to purge items and make room for new items. For me, the impact impermanence has:

  • lifted the burden of mental energy expended on how to get circumstances back to the way they were.
  • Freed me to forgive.
  • Appreciated memories and avenues to savor them. I bought an Aura frame, a digital frame that holds a plethora of photos.
  • Renewed hope for new interactions and experiences.
  • Created new opportunities to connect with loved ones.
  • Flipped how I thought about dreaded tasks to perceiving the tasks as time limited that something I could lean into and enjoy.
  • Given away of items that someone else can appreciate. My god mother crocheted a few Christmas doilies for me. She has passed for quite a few years now and I have the pleasure of getting to know her granddaughter. I gave one of the doilies to her so she can have a piece of her grandmother.
  • Cleared clutter. (My husband thinks I need to clear more).
  • Simplification of what I use and do.

If contemplating the transient nature of things. objects, and people resonates with you and has made an impact; please share. If it has lifted you out of a funk, I’d love to know. DM me. Here’s to not getting bogged down to making situations, relationships, and circumstances as they were before! Cheers and Happy New Year!

I am available for a free discovery call on how to start meditating, how to set up your own meditation practice, etc. Simply follow the link to schedule and choose a time in Calendly.

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