Tuesday, June 21, 2011

This Too Shall Pass

My dad used to always say, “This too shall pass.”

He said it lightly, when my sister and I were frustrated with something.  He also said it when our hearts were heavy.  He said it quite often.  And he meant it.

Because of these words, I grew up believing that the only thing we can truly count on in this life is that things will change.  Clouds will overshadow our sun, at times, but they too shall pass.  Nothing in life ever stays the same.  I found comfort in knowing that, for better or worse, life will change.  It will stay in motion.  And we must do our best to evolve in light of the changes we encounter. 

But what about when something happens that may not “pass”?  What about when a life-changing event occurs and things will never quite be the same?  Perhaps a something unexpected happens, a life stage is completed or about to begin, a relationship has ended, or a loved one has died.  What do we do with the things in life that may “pass” but are life-changing in their very essence?

What do we do with the finality of such things?  Do we grieve, and mourn the loss of times gone past?  Do we let go of the life we had before in hopes of something better?  Do we hang on to what still remains, finding joy in the glimpses of what used to be?  Do we move on, when doing so seems impossible?  Do we reject what has happened, or accept what life has in store? Do we remain true to everything we know, or adopt new perspectives entirely?

Perhaps there may be no correct answers to these questions. Perhaps, if there are answers to these questions, they are different shades or right.  Maybe, regardless of how we adapt to life's events, we must remember that they are temporary in some way.  Perhaps, even when things seem so final, they too shall pass.  Because nothing in life ever remains just as it is.  Nothing stays the same. 

Some things simply never go away, nor will the impact that was made.  But the feelings surrounding them, the thoughts they inspire, the way we relate to such experiences will change as we do.  The pain will fade away.  Wounds will heal, and become cherished scars on our hearts.  We will find joy that we may not have known had such things not happened.  They shall pass in their own unique way, without ever entirely leaving us.

Even the life changes that cannot be undone, the changes that will leave a mark on our hearts and souls for the rest of our life, they too shall pass.  And they shall pass, because at some point, we will realize that we have allowed them to evolve just as we have.  They shall pass because were able to find the dawn at the end of the night.  Because we were able to change with our experiences and not be reduced by them.  Because we allowed those experiences to become a part of who we are, without being consumed by that experience. 

And so, my precious birds, remember these words, "This too shall pass".  Remember, when life seems to be crashing down all around you, that it is temporary in some very important way.  When you are surrounded by chaos, or crumbling to your knees, do not give up hope.  Know that morning will come, and the sun shall rise to a new day.  Believe that there will be peace.  That you will have your time to sing, to dance, to fly.


Ellie Otteson
Wings of Hope


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