By Justin Cude
“This too shall pass.”
At the onset of any new change, the moment you realize that of which is upon you, far before your understanding of its presence begins to even attempt, before you allow yourself to succumb to the brutality of what is to come… pause for a second, and remind yourself of the saying above, recite it even, over and over again, and then again:
“This too shall pass.”
It hasn’t started yet, the changes to come truly unknown, the challenges, the good, the bad, the new to come and those of old to fade away. You don’t really know what’s ahead, so don’t fool yourself, but remain hopeful, because faith in this hope is enough, even of the slightest degree, no matter how hard or how impossible this seems. No matter how heavy or how dark either. Everything in this world passes on. The good, the bad, the new, the old, and us; you and I and everyone else.
But, stop, and remind yourself of this statement, this truth rather: “This too shall pass.”
Then step forward, into the abyss of uncertainty, no matter the length of your first stride, because failure to do so, inaction upon this demand, halts the process of nature, not that of the whole, but of your own nature’s sustain within the grander. You can’t simply exist. Either way, action or inaction, you are subjected to stressors of this life. Both can be powerful, however. Action or inaction. That’s for us to decide.
“This too shall pass”, yes, but not without your involvement.
I have found this to be a very helpful belief to mediate upon and to act along with, though it has not always come easy for me; for many of us the same, I’m willing.
Many times in my life I have not believed this, sometimes desperately believed against it even, definitively convinced myself that my current lot, my current experience, was to remain, and I myself, weakened by circumstance, stuck within the amber of this pathetically defeated existence.
I was wrong. Many times I still am wrong. It was me all long.
No matter the magnitude of the alarming change brought upon us, it is hard to stop, hard to slow down, to think nonetheless upon anything. But we must, if we want to move forward with any sense of self, any belief in progressing past this, any faith in survival beyond this.
To believe against this, though easy and justified the same, I understand, truly I do, however, is corruption of the mind, a corruption we have choice over. Believe this, put your faith into it…
“Because the corruption of the mind is much more a plague than any such contaminating change in the surrounding air we breath. The latter infects animate creatures in their animate nature; the former infects human beings in their humanity.” — Marcus Aurelius
I have been there, we all have been there, and we all have choice to whether we remain there, stuck at the beginning. I was there not too long ago, during a very difficult time in my life, thrown into a change I wanted nothing to do with, no want or deserve even I thought to be apart of, but that is not how it works; life happens. Many times I still find myself revisiting this moment in my life, others before it the same, others past this, those will come. Again, life happens.
Circumstance provided me with this new context, but it was up to me, and with choice in moving forward the same, whether or not to believe in its eventual passing and to move on along with it anyway. For a long time though, I was unable to act upon either, I told myself. And I believed this, so I didn’t.
During this time however, thrilled at the opportunity to attend the book launch of one of my favorite authors new works, Tim Ferriss’ release of ‘The Tools of Titans’, a perspective was carefully shared by Tim in response to a confidently convinced onlookers questioning from the audience. Though I do not recall exactly the individuals question, I do however strongly remember it having to deal with the nature of being stuck and debilitated by circumstance, by fate. And with proper time taken to consider the question asked and the response to come, Tim shared the following:
“For anyone who thinks they are disadvantaged, set back, unprivileged, or so on, it will always become a self-inflicted prophecy. We all have demons.”
Simply put, powerful and true, and relevant to any situation, no matter your contemplate, especially when faced with the inevitable changes of life. We all face them, no matter their degree, no matter their magnitude, we all feel them.
With understanding, and sometimes without, many times these changes are not what we bargained for, not what we prayed towards, and in no shape or form what we believe we deserve. This change upon you is simply what is. It is fact, it is occurring, and it is your life. What benefit is found in plea for an alternative? It is your life, and your life is now, and this now includes all this, so accept it’s presence and proceed.
That is something we sometimes forget in these moments of uncertainty, but, it is something of deep importance of which we must understand; that this is your life. Accept it, accept the changes of now and of to come, for they are apart of the context of your life, and your acceptance and understanding of them is crucial towards your overcoming them, and your key to releasing your chained and bound attachment to that which at once wasn’t and at another won’t be again.
This isn’t made up. In fact, it is excruciatingly real, and it is upon you. But, always remember, like everything else in nature, “This too shall pass.”
This change, like every other act of transition seen and unseen in nature, is short lived, relativity of course apart of the equation. This short life can last a lifetime though if we allow it.
With this, however, understand though that your feelings towards this moment are justified; they too are real and should not be shamed nor made to feel inadequate, your being and your life the same. I believe this to be important to acknowledge; vital even. We are worthy of our struggles, and we are righteous in our enduring them and in our sustained attempts to overcome them. But, in accordance, the change upon you deserves the same, for it too is real, the demands of its asking and the acknowledgment and acceptance of its purpose.
You are prepared for this, mind and body alike, you are built for this.
Think of the changes you have already faced, the many challenges life has presented you, the stressors you have already adapted to… and here you are, and here you remain, intact and built mightier to move forward, to confront again yet another change, though you may not believe this, though you many not yet feel this… again, here you are.
Powerful. Hopeful. Prepared. Adapted.
If examples are needed for your belief towards this truth, look at nature:
The day succumbs to night, but returns to reveal the beauty of another day, no matter the life of the one before it.
The storm drains itself of rain to allow the sun, and brings with it life, no matter the ferociousness of the storm passed.
The dead of winter succumbs to the coming of spring, allowing it its place, its life, winter however leaving all stronger for having endured its subtle asking to rest, no matter seasons length, its cast, nor its unpredictability. No matter either the time passed before this new strength is realized.
You are no different to this, and neither is this change upon you, this stress. It is here now, but it will not remain. Of nature, nothing can, nothing will, and nothing has.
Will change repeat? Yes. But you will be ready. Innately you already are. Again, you are prepared for this, mind and body alike, you are built for this.
And in this short lived state, all this moment is asking of you, all this moment suggests of your being, is to allow fully your innate ability of meeting the requirements of this situation its role, to live accordingly with the nature presented, and to have faith in your eventual adaptation to such.
Remember, believe wholeheartedly, and turn to nature if for needed reference, of the body and of the universe; “This too shall pass.”