Impermanence

Many people feel that they are victims in the world, that life is unfair, and everything seems to be working against them. They feel that life is happening to them, and they are at the mercy of this often cruel and unjust phenomenon called life. This is the victim mindset, and it is characterized by feelings of self-pity and blame.

If we are oriented to reality in this way, then we are certain to suffer mentally and emotionally. Simply because from this perspective everything is seen as an enemy, and we view ourselves as helpless victims. People feel this way because they resist taking responsibility for themselves. It is easier to blame others or blame life, than it is to acknowledge one’s excuses and put in the effort required for self-responsibility.

The idea that we are victims of life is simply not true. Nothing is happening to you, everything is just happening, and we are involved in this vast, interconnected, phenomenon called life. This phenomenon of life is always changing. Nothing remains the same for even a second. Every moment particles are dancing around, cells are living and dying, hearts are beating, vibrations are flooding our senses, etc. everything is constantly moving, dancing, and changing. Nothing is static, permanent, and unchanging. Indeed everything is impermanent.

Contemplating the impermanence of life, the impermanence of this “poor me” that is perceived as a victim, the impermanence of our friends and family, and of the things we cherish and take for granted, shifts something deep within us. If we can really touch the impermanence of life, we see just how fragile and precious everything is. We see that one day we will pass, as will everyone we know and love. This may be sad or challenging for some to consider, but it is the truth. If we acknowledge and accept this truth, and feel that initial sadness that accompanies this recognition, it makes our hearts tender, and it shifts our focus from ourselves—our worries, our fears, our desires and our problems—to what is right before our eyes, because we see now that this moment is temporary, and so with understanding we hold this moment and all beings in it with compassion.

There is beauty in impermanence; without it nothing could be as it is. All things come into being because of change, and go out of being because of change. The same change we admire in growth, is the same change we fear in decay. Impermanence allows things to keep flowing, keep changing, and keep living.

We suffer when we resist the change of life, but when we accept it we can flow with it, and we then move with grace, ease, and simplicity, as we see nothing is really as serious as most people make things out to be. During times of pain, of challenge, or of discomfort, we can relax, knowing that the sensations are temporary, and will pass with time. During times of pleasure, of peace, and of joy, we can be grateful, knowing that the experience is temporary, and will pass with time.

Accepting the impermanence of life brings us deep peace, if we can accept it. It lifts the weights of struggle, it teaches us compassion and appreciation, and it allows us to enjoy each moment. Truly impermanence is a teaching that brings lightness and tenderness to the heart. When we mistake things to be permanent, and perceive ourselves as victims, then suffering is inevitable. But when we awaken to the truth that everything is temporary, we realize that we are privileged to be alive, and we cherish each and every moment.

May we awaken to the preciousness of life, may we see that our problems originate in the mind, and may we free our minds by filling our hearts with gratitude and compassion.

I wish you nothing but love, peace, and happiness.