Friday, March 1, 2013

Impermanence Is Here to Stay

There are times we wish for change and times we dread it. To paraphrase the truth-filled saying, the only constant in life is change.

Our ego-aspect fools itself by believing what we have will always be there, will never change. It’s like a form of temporary amnesia or a dream-state we walk around in, whether this is about a change we would welcome or one we wouldn’t. The ego-aspect wants to believe the dream-state, more often than not, so it can feel secure and comfortable. But everything changes, doesn’t it, either by improving or by diminishing, until it’s a memory only. So, we can say there are two types of impermanence, as far as our ego-aspect is concerned: what is not our choice and what is.

We don’t like to feel uncomfortable or unsure. In fact, we often take it as a personal affront when something happens that causes us to have changes in our life that we (our ego-aspect that is) don’t desire.

But, family and friends move away or pass on; jobs change by our design or someone else’s; children are born and the family expands, as does its needs; the weather and even the planet bring about gradual or immediate changes: the list is endless because everything changes. Everything changes because we (and our planet) mature and age, and our needs and wants change through the years.

We are meant to be of service, in ways appropriate for us; meant to learn, evolve, and create betterment for ourselves and others. Some of the most significant innovations, inventions, and services might not be around today, were it not for necessity brought on by change being the “mother of invention.”

We are also meant to enjoy and appreciate what we have, while we have it. And when we see the signs of impending change, either from within or outside of us or both, we are meant to prepare ourselves for it. The first preparations should take place at the inner level. The next preparations should address anything at the outer level that we know we must do, are inspired to do, or that we intuit should be done, including right timing about these.

Sometimes change happens suddenly, and we feel shaken somewhat or to our core by it, even if we mentally, emotionally, or physically prepared a bit or a lot. But this is when the strength of our spiritual foundation and our relationship with Source can assist us, and is why we are meant to develop and strengthen these at all times. A true feeling of security comes from trust in Source, and self-trust; and the former supplies and nurtures the latter.

Awareness of impermanence – gentle awareness, not dwelling on it – can assist the quality of our experiences. When we’re in the dream-state, where everything we are happy about or comfortable with or at the very least feel “sure” of “stays the same,” we tend to miss or ignore how precious and special people and moments and experiences are. This kind of awareness or consciousness happens in the Now, and can only happen in the Now. The dream-state of “permanence” has us volleying back and forth between past and future; two moments we are never actually in. We are always in the Now. We are always in a state of impermanence. If you’re really brave – or have expanded or embraced conscious awareness at a certain level, you could say we’re always in a state of Divine Impermanence.

The dream-state can and does keep us out of appreciation. There’s a wonderful quote by Meister Eckhart that says, “If the only prayer you ever say in your whole life is ‘thank you,’ that would suffice.” When ANY change happens, we could use this quote as a power statement to help us navigate our feelings, our fears, our strength, and our trust in Source.

Appreciation is best expressed as often as possible and as soon as we can enter that state of mind and being, rather than just when the ego-aspect believes a moment is worthy of it. To the ego-aspect, this differentiation of worthy or unworthy makes sense or seems logical and appropriate. Our spirit-aspect knows every moment is worthy of appreciation. Albert Einstein understood this when he said, “You either live as if everything is a miracle or nothing is a miracle.” Nicely said. Not always so easy to live up to; but we can aim ourselves in this direction and benefit by it.

Einstein’s statement reminds me of a powerful question you’ve possibly seen or heard before: Do you believe the Universe is friendly or unfriendly? Your response has ALL to do with your experience while here. And if your response is a result of what you learned in your formative years, you can either change your beliefs or enhance them, and do so in your favor. You are not locked into negative or non-beneficial beliefs. Remember, nothing but Source is permanent. Beliefs always change; real Truths never do. One of the most profound journeys you can ever make is the one that leads you to Truths that are permanent.

Begin to pay attention to what and who you appreciate (and what and who you don’t apply this practice to). Ask if your appreciation is as present and deep as you’d like as a means to enhance your experience of joy, love, fulfillment, curiosity, illumination, and becoming the person you intend to be. Or as Patti Davis wrote, “I’m learning how, at age 60, to become the person I want to leave behind on this earth.” It’s a good practice, one you’ll appreciate.     

Practice makes progress.
© Joyce Shafer

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