The Gift Of Impermanence…

The Gift Of Impermanence

Everything dies. Nothing ever stays the same. Life is about changes…we’ve heard all these sayings…all our lives.

But have we ever really stopped to think about the magnitude of those words?

We’ve all had pets die. We’ve all had family die…even friends.

Wear out your clothes? Shoes?

Have your pets broken items in your home? Mine have. I’ve lost count of how many “irreplaceable” items mine have taken out; knocked off shelves, brought the entire shelf crashing down, ripped up furniture…the list is endless.

I have eight cats; one very destructive. He doesn’t mean to be…he’s just a loveable lug that is as clumsy as he is sweet.

In my fifty years of being on this planet, I’ve lost many things, many people, many loved pieces of my life, but I never really understood the concept of impermanence until I got a house full of rescue cats.

I very quickly learned that nothing lasts forever.

Plates, bottles, coffee cups, collectibles, clothing. I’ve learned that none of it, no matter how much I’ve loved it, was important; I couldn’t allow it to be, as I’d have been upset, literally, almost daily.

As a Buddhist would say…’it was never really mine to begin with.’

And they’d be right. We might take custody of something for a while, but that doesn’t mean we own it. Just because we become the caretaker of something, doesn’t make it “ours.”

We’re just that…a custodian until our time is done.

That’s why we should never be upset at losing anything or anyone.

Nothing belongs to us, no one belongs to us…we only take care of things or people, for a little while.

When we realize this, it makes dealing with any type of loss, easier to bear.

It’s not an easy lesson to learn, it’s not an easy life path to walk (and don’t let anyone tell you that it is. We’re simply, as humans, not wired that way) but, if you can change your mindset, if you can embrace this gift of freedom, materialism…possessions…things will no longer be important.

The loss of those we love won’t ever get any easier…at least not for most of us, but there’s a lesson to be learned in that, too.

Each of us are here only for a little while. I’d like to think that we have a job to do…no matter how brief.

Once that job is complete…so is our circle.

When we lose an item, an item breaks or wears out, its “life” too, is done. It served its purpose.

Maybe, the term “the circle of life” doesn’t just apply to humans. It’s that sense of lasting only a little while, that helps keep us grounded to our own true purpose…and that we have only a short time to complete it.



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Andrea Van Scoyoc

Taoist Yogini and Zen Meditation devotee. Buddhism scholar living the Tao and adhering to a disciplined life of compassion, giving…

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