June 2

Today's quotation:

You do not suffer because things are impermanent.
You suffer because things are impermanent
and you think they are permanent.

Thich Nhat Hanh

Today's Meditation:

So that relationship that you thought would last forever has come to an end.  That super-comfortable pair of shoes is now in the trash.  Your favorite coffee mug fell to the floor last week and broke into a hundred pieces.  You thought you'd be doing the same job for the next thirty years, but the company just went bankrupt.  Things happen, things pass, and time and life move on.  These are facts, yet somehow these completely objective facts of life make us feel pain.

Nothing lasts forever--we learn that at a very early age.  Somehow, though, when we become attached to things we start to believe that those things will be around forever.  And when they end up not being so, it's our attachment that makes us feel hurt--we've fooled ourselves into thinking that we wouldn't lose something, yet that very thing is now gone.

So much of our hurt in life comes because of our own perspective--because of the way that we see certain things and the ways that we make ourselves believe about them.  If I know that one day I'll lose something I may feel the hurt of loss, but I won't suffer the pain of a broken attachment.  It simply takes a more practical and realistic view of the world--things come to an end, no matter how much we like or love them, and it's important that we allow those things to end.  And then we can move on with our own lives.

There's nothing wrong with mourning a loss.  But the pain is magnified immensely when we've allowed ourselves to believe that a loss will not happen--nothing is permanent, not even our own stay on this planet, and we're doing ourselves a great disservice when we fool ourselves that something will be around forever.

Questions to consider:

How realistic is it to "be sure" that something in our lives is in our lives for good?

What kinds of things have you seen today that illustrate to you the fact that things come to an end?

Why do we tend to become attached to certain things or aspects of our lives?

For further thought:

Loss is nothing else but change, and change is Nature's delight.

Marcus Aurelius


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