That word gets tossed around a lot but I’m not sure we can really wrap our brains around what it means most of the time. I think we stop at the end of our lives but that isn’t forever. That isn’t everlasting. I’ve been thinking about what lasts forever recently because there has been change in my life. I’m starting to feel like I’m getting somewhere.
We talk in terms of forever all the time which is interesting since nothing really lasts forever. Or at least that was what had been stuck in my head for the last several months. When you go through transition, particularly transition you didn’t want to go through and didn’t expect, you tend to view the world a little more negatively. I mean, who feels good about losing a job, a loved one, an opportunity? So you feel crummy and that the world is out of to get you, or at least I do. And I somehow got into this very defeated mindset like, why bother…everything ends.
Most people want some sort of stability and just when it feels like we have it something comes along and knocks us over again. It is possible to get caught in that and fall into a ‘what’s the point’ attitude. Why work so hard to just get to the next problem, the next issue, the next crappy situation, the next change? So I decided to really explore that. I’ve been doing this very Zen thing – be with the pain, take care of the pain, explore the pain. And I discovered something.
I read in a book (can’t remember name of it now) by Deepak Chopra that talked about seeing eternity in a grain of sand as referenced in the poem by William Blake. That if you could imagine in your mind time stretched out on either side of that grain of sand and be aware that everything that made that sand has already been and everything it will transform into is what is to come you could look at the sand and see that time doesn’t really exist. Everything is already in that grain of sand. It sort of twists my head and he actually explained it very well. 🙂
While pondering that life sucks because nothing lasts I remembered this explanation about time and the world in a grain of sand. That all of time is in everything around us because nothing can be created and nothing can be destroyed. I mean at the subatomic level everything is the same and just changes from one thing into something else. Then I stumbled across something from Thich Naht Hanh that talked about how a cloud can never die…it can only become something else. I wasn’t feeling like this very practical. I mean its great in theory but I needed some help with how to deal with daily struggles quickly without needing to put my brain into quantum physics mode. Plus I was still negative and was so not interested in eternity. I just wanted my life to not be so crazy…my life doesn’t last forever. Oh! what an interesting thought, my life doesn’t last forever. And with that I started to try and figure out what would last my whole life…I came up with my body. I mean as long as I’m alive my body needs to be working, otherwise I’m not alive. My breath, my heart beat…
So I guess “they” (there are too many theys to mention here) are right – the breath is constant. Always there, something to rely on.
Somehow that thought was comforting. I felt like I had something I could really count on to always be there and in a unique turn of empowerment I realized I have some pretty serious control over that. I can decide how to breath in each moment. That thought got me into a better frame of mind. A place where I could begin to think of what does last forever.
And God does…Universal Law, the Tao, Divine Spirit. I don’t think it matters what you call it or how you label it. But there is this something that is always happening. Always working. Always there.
Those two thoughts really helped me. There really is something to rely on. In a bad moment I can take a breath – something I have control over – and then remember that God is the constant. All is well.