In this Moment, Everything is Permanent
No man ever steps in the same river twice,
for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.
Everything we have, everything we know, and everyone we love will someday be gone. We will all be gone someday too.
Permanence is a delusion, and although the idea of permanence can sometimes be comfortable—making us feel secure and stable—it can also make us unprepared for the changes in our lives.
If we feel we can maintain our lives just the way they are in any given moment, we will invariably be frustrated and disappointed.
You may be saying to yourself at this point, “Thanks, Downer Dan—you’re making me feel really good right now.” The message here is very positive—but only if we can embrace change.
If we look at our lives from the perspective of impermanence, every moment holds the potential for something new, interesting, and exciting that we may not have had in the previous moment. If we look at change as being a positive element in our lives, each experience can be seen with fresh eyes and a hopeful perspective.
Make the most of what you have when you have it.
We will always mourn the passing of the people we love, but that mourning can turn into a positive change based on that person’s influence.
My dad died some time ago now, but I know he lives on through his influence on me. I always tried to make the most of our time together, and he influenced my thinking, my attitudes, and the direction my life has taken. I still miss him, but I am very happy to have known him. I try to focus on the happiness.
A healthy sense of the temporary can also help us to not take life too seriously. I’m in this moment now, and then I’m in another moment and that moment is gone too—I’m not going to dwell on it. We always have the opportunity to live this moment to its fullest extent, so any mistake or missed opportunity you might have had in the past is gone; it’s over. Now, you are in this moment—focus on it, not on the past.
Does this mean that our connections to people can’t be strong? Does this mean we should treat all of our relationships as transitory?
To me, the opposite is true. We must treat all of our time with those we love as if that moment with them is the only moment we have. We must throw the full weight of our emotions into each moment we have with them. Impermanence doesn’t imply meaningless.
Eke all you can out of the moment and the people in it.
Part of making life fulfilling is making the most of what you have in the moment.
Yes, everything is temporary, but here and now—in this moment—everything is permanent.