“This too shall pass”
I’m sure we’ve all heard this phrase; whether it be from a book, a song, or a loved one reminding us to keep our head up in trying times. It’s a healing expression that tells us that we have to trust the ebb and flow of life and know that it will get better. In truth, it does.
“You have survived 100% of your worst days, you’re doing great!”
Think back to your worst day. The absolute worst one. You may have lost a loved one, been crushed by the love of your life, or been fired from your dream job. If that’s your worst day, literally every single day since has been better than that one. There will always be better days ahead even when you feel like it’s impossible to go on. What you have to be careful of, though, is letting the day pass, but bringing your emotions of that day with you. Be present in that hurt, that grief, or that anger, but the sooner you make the decision to let those emotions go, the sooner you can get back to better days. That day will pass just like every other 24 hour period you’ve spent on this earth.
A similar thing can be said about your best day. Think of the most amazing day that you’ve ever experienced. Maybe it’s the birth of your first child, your wedding day, or an incredible vacation. All of those days seem euphoric in our mind, and we’d relive them day after day if we could. But we can’t. It’s impossible, and for good reason. The best thing that we can do is be as present in that day and all of its wonderful emotions. Experience them as fully and truly as possible on that day. Then move on.
The thing is, you have to trust the ebb and flow of life. There are guaranteed ups, and then downs that are certain. They are unavoidable, yet fluid moments that are impossible to hang on to.
For every amazing moment of bliss, there will be moments of grief.
For every joyful experience, there will be one that leaves you frustrated and miserable.
“Hey man, this seems like a pretty cynical view!!”
See, I don’t think so. All I’m suggesting is that by increasing your awareness of the natural highs and lows of life, you will be far more appreciative of them and present with them as they occur.
Again, this awareness of the ebb and flow of life helps in both your highest moments and your lowest.
Take my wedding, for instance. BY FAR my favorite day I’ve had the privilege of experiencing. By being aware that most days are not going to be as unimaginable as that day, I soaked in as much as I could. I took note of all of the intricate details, drank in every word of Christina’s vows and relished in the moments dancing with family and friends.
It’s not as if I looked at it like “Maaaaaaan, this sucks that I’ll never get to experience a day like this ever again”. THAT is cynical. My perspective was more along the lines of “Oh my god, I know that I may never have a day quite this amazing again. I am going to soak it all in as best I can”. By acknowledging the fact that I was at my highest high, I could be grateful for everything that came our way that day.
On the flip side, there are the bad days. I can’t quite pinpoint a “worst day” for me, but there’s been plenty of bad days. In those moments, though, it’s equally important to understand that the moment and events are fleeting. There might be a lesson to be learned in those terrible moments, too. It’s important to search for objectivity and attempt to find the lesson in the darkness.
Just as much as someone can appreciate a euphoric, joyful moment for occurring in the first place, they can be equally grateful that a moment of grief, sorrow or anger will pass by in the same amount of time.
We need to appreciate the great moments for what they are and appreciate the terrible moments for their impermanence.
“The only thing constant is change” -Heraclitus
Ironic, but true. My buddy Heraclitus hit it on the head. The only thing that will never change is the occurrence of change itself. Be aware of it and use that awareness to appreciate the hell out of each moment of life.
“This too shall pass”
Keep this in mind in good days and in bad. You’ll be better off on both ends of the spectrum.