Understand that things change, drop the struggle

The line from the Dhammapada, a compilation of sayings attributed to the Buddha, that seems the best expression of wisdom, is: “Anyone who understands impermanence, ceases to be contentious.”

Does that make sense to you on as many levels as it does to me? I understand it, primarily, as meaning “I have only a certain span of life allotted to me, so I don’t want to waste a single moment of it fighting.” Other times, if I catch myself on the brink of contention, the instruction reminds me, “Whatever is happening will change, and what I add to this situation is part of the change. Agonizing makes it worse.” And sometimes, if I remember that whatever is happening will cause results that I really cannot anticipate (although I often do and worry needlessly), I say to myself, “I have no idea whether this changed circumstance, which I resent, is actually a good or a bad thing in the long run. I can wait to see.”

Sylvia Boorstein, Happiness is an Inside Job

3 thoughts on “Understand that things change, drop the struggle

  1. I needed to read this, and I need to be reminded of it daily! I waste precious moments in arguments, sarcasm and worry, even as I feel I’m doing so well.

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