“This too shall pass.”

When we are in the dumps, we’ve all heard this advice from someone: hang on, don’t worry, this too shall pass.

We don’t seem to realize that nothing is permanent. When we are young and entering adulthood we stupidly think we are invincible, that endings and death do not affect us. So we go ahead with our lives assuming that tomorrow and the future will be pretty much like today.

You are probably thinking, “what a downer”. Why think about endings and impermanence? Why not look at the bright side or look at the glass as half-full, rather than half-empty? Don’t be so negative. Thinking about endings is going to put a negative pall over the moment.

But that’s not the case at all. By understanding that our life, health, status, career, friends, and family, as well as our personal achievements and failures are impermanent, we will then really appreciate and value them.

Impermanence awakens us to life and to the people we love. It alerts us to the beauty of life and nature. If we know that someday we too shall pass, then we are moved not to take things for granted. We take notice of our loved ones and what they bring to our lives. We realize the urgency to tell them as often as we can that we love and appreciate them.

Impermanence pushes us out of our stupor of looking only to the future and its possibilities, and causes us to realize the value of every moment. Living life to the fullest does not mean creating a strategic plan for our lives that will unfold over the next 25 years. It really means “sucking the marrow out of the bone” of each moment, experience, and relationship.

The fact that nothing lasts forever should allow us to appreciate the beauty of our existence, nature and surroundings. Because we know things will end, we should enjoy every second and not be thrown into a fit of depression. Our lives are amazing journeys and every segment of our trip with its ups and downs should be accepted as part of the natural order of things.

Life. We do not know when or how it ends. But we do know that enjoying and feeling every particle of our venture should free us to be ourselves, pursue our passion, and find peace in knowing we lived with our unique zest and energy. Accepting the impermanence allows us to savor the ride the best we can so that we don’t live with regret or worse indifference.