One of the core tenets of Buddhism is that we must embrace change.
Or we can suffer. And I don’t like to suffer, and I’m sure you don’t either.
Everything in life changes, it is the essence of growth. We were once babies. Trees were once seeds. Tigers were once cubs.
As everything in this life is transient, the act of not wanting to let go is foolish as it will only bring misery. As hard as it is to do, and it may feel bad for a few days, when change happens we must embrace it. Let it in, allow it to happen. Once we embrace it, we find that things are actually better, the change was necessary to weed out the old and bring in the new. It’s not bad.
I remember growing up I would always cling to my possessions, cling to my current experiences. After a while, after much suffering, I would learn to fully embrace it. And once I embraced it, life would present me with things which bring much more joy to my life. When one door closes, you can then go through other doors. Doors with better, newer and more nourishing experiences.
A few times per year I would go on holiday with my family to Thailand, my home country. Everything there was better. The food, the people, the experiences. I had freedom there, where when I would come back to Australia (where I live) I would have to go to school, stay home most of the time, and have a miserable time.
I would suffer, as I would wish that I was back in Thailand, I wished I didn’t have to go to school. But as I grew up, and many hard lessons later, I came to accept it. I said to myself that I would just let it be, it is what it is. Embrace it.
I would very gradually feel okay with it, I was fine. I didn’t long to go back any more. I did miss it, but I didn’t allow to get to me and wish I had what I had, and not enjoy what I had now. I told myself, “Okay, you’re here now, you won’t be back for a while, enjoy it, and everything in the end would be fine.” And it was always was. I would start to find fun things to do in Australia. But that couldn’t happen if I whined and moaned about the situation I was in. You can’t allow yourself to enjoy where present situation if you’re always stuck living in the past.
As Paulo Coelho says, “Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.” This inspiring quote comes with it a good mindset in tackling change. If you just lost your job, had your car stolen, or whatever, then remember that it will be okay in the end. And the definition of okay is really up to you, and it will be determined by you, no matter what chaotic the moment seems to be you’ll develop new perceptions to the make world okay again.
The proverb “This too shall pass” indicates that all situations and things, whether good or bad, will pass.
So what do we do from understanding this?
Sometimes in the midst of chaos, we forget. Often times you’ll find yourself in grief, in misery and suffering about what ever loss you just experienced. That is fine. Feel the emotions feel the anger, feel the grief.
But there comes a time that we must take action, we must follow through with our lives. That is to truly embrace something. Hold change closely in your arms, squeeze it, it is what it is.
Remember also that having good experiences all the time isn’t realistic. Life will present you with situations that will make you furious, make you miserable, make you ecstatic, and the trick to is fully embrace every single one of them.
If you get angry, get fully angry. Let it all out, because if you keep it in it’ll come out later. It’ll manifest into nasty and unwanted situations in times you wouldn’t want it to arise. Depression and anxiety are one manifestation of unreleased anger. Anger is okay for a while, until it becomes denial.
“Experience life in all possible ways — good-bad, bitter-sweet, dark-light, summer-winter. Experience all the dualities. Don’t be afraid of experience, because the more experience you have, the more mature you become.” ― Osho
Embrace the change, and you will find your anger, misery and suffering suddenly drops.
It’ll be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.
Sadness gives depth. Happiness gives height. Sadness gives roots. Happiness gives branches. Happiness is like a tree going into the sky, and sadness is like the roots going down into the womb of the earth. Both are needed, and the higher a tree goes, the deeper it goes, simultaneously. The bigger the tree, the bigger will be its roots. In fact, it is always in proportion. That’s its balance. – Osho