The notion of impermanence can be hugely impactful and even transformative. Buddhism highlights impermanence or change as one of three facts about our existence. In our modern times, people often work hard to maintain the status quo or become overly caught up in pursuing the next big accomplishment. In some ways, such efforts could be seen as working against impermanence.
In Buddhism, the denial of impermanence is seen as self-deception and a basic cause of suffering. Therefore, it is through acceptance of change and the impermanent nature of all things that freedom is possible.
Impermanence provides two essential things. First, when we acknowledge impermanence, we are able to recognize and more deeply appreciate our positive experiences, such as happiness and joy, knowing that these will come to an end. Second, we may discover greater resolve knowing that difficult times or difficult emotions will change and eventually pass. Both the good and the bad are impermanent. If you look closely, everything around us is always changing. We are always in a state of arrival as we move into each new moment.
Everyone experiences difficult periods, such as a loss or major transition. Sometimes daily life can be full of minor frustrations and setbacks. Many of us also struggle when we are alone or feeling bored. The pandemic itself has presented a major challenge for us all. At such times, large or small, it can be useful to remind ourselves that nothing is truly permanent. Whether you are enjoying the sun or waiting out the storm. All things shall pass.
Dr. Thomas Lindquist, Psy.D.
Licensed Clinical Psychologist
Visit us at lindquistpsych.com
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