by Angela Clark
We hear it all the time. This too shall change, nothing is constant, everything is impermanent. And occasionally we agree. Sometimes we want to agree. Other times we don’t want it to be true. Or we indulge in flat-out denial.
But then something happens that shifts our perspective and wha-la! We find our self at the very center of truth. Slapped in the face with impermanence. If we wanted the shift, say getting a new job, we might feel some relief; some sense that something better is coming our way. If we weren’t expecting it (like Sandy the super storm) or did not want it (like a broken heart) then dealing with those changes can feel devastating.
One key factor is to not deny your feelings. Give yourself permission to be where you are. Be hurt, be angry, be upset – what arises needs to arise. It should not be shoved down into the stomach pit of despair. The trickier bit is not to take the uneasiness or fear you are feeling out on others. We’ve all been there, it does happen. We are only human. But it is one of the reasons we practice. To build our inner strength, to understand what scares us, and what makes us feel better. To not snap at someone who is perhaps being helpful the only way they know how.
We breathe in and we breathe out, the ultimate symbol of dissolution.
We can feel so much loss in times of change that often we miss what is gained – empathy for others, compassion, love, gratitude for support (from anywhere). If we can brave the pain, and we can, we will also find a wealth of wisdom inside ourselves, courage to move into the present moment no matter how much we don’t want to be there.
So we breathe in and we breathe out.
When we are in pain, we can feel very alone. Can we trust that we are not alone? Or that we do not have to be? Can we be brave enough to reach out to friend, a colleague, a family member or even a stranger? Can we trust enough that we to reach out in a few different directions before we find someone who can empathize with our pain? And then can we, once again, give ourselves permission to be where we are at. Let the emotions and feelings run through us not fill us.
So we continue to breathe in and we breathe out.