The Power of Joy
Time casts a spell on you
The best part of your teenager getting her wisdom teeth out, is that when the anesthesia starts wearing off, they forget they aren’t little kids anymore. But you remember. Over the holiday break, my 18-year-old discovered this rite of passage so many kids do now. I guess it’s a generational thing. I never had my wisdom teeth out, although I wish I had when the dentist reminds me that I have to get the floss, “way back there.”
After the surgery, they called my husband and I back into the recovery room where my Grace was happily singing, Silver Springs, by Fleetwood Mac. “Time cast a spell on you, but you won’t forget me.” She garbled through her gauze stuffed mouth. But I sure did not forget that little girl who still lurks in this precious young woman. I swooped right in and held her hand, and stroked her face, and tucked a loose strand of hair behind her ear-all the things that used to be so easy when she was little, that come with so much caution now. And because the anesthesia obliterated any age appropriate guard she usually has up, she reached right back for me. She smiled and gazed dreamily at me.
“It’s over? It went okay?”
“Yes, my darling, my love, my sweet girl.”
I hung on desperately to these precious moments that I knew would end in a few minutes when she predictably said, “My tummy doesn’t feel so good.”
Later at home, when she felt so yucky with her mouth so sore, I reminded her that time will pass, that the pain will be less, that “next week at this time you’ll be eating whatever you want.”
Time passes. It always does. Time helps you forget and it shows you how you remember. It gives and it takes. This understanding I think, is a huge part of resiliency. This knowing that life is a constant state of morphing and changing and wishing and hoping.
And so a week later as my Grace raced off to get some pizza with her friends, I drank in that precious time too. She is okay. She’s back to normal, living her life with teenage gusto. I paused for a moment, remembered that time. Breathed in being 18 again. Time cast a spell on me. It always does.
The Power of Why
This too shall pass
As the saying goes, “nothing lasts forever!” This simple reminder of the impermanence of all things can either create peace or cause pain. When we find ourselves in the midst of a challenging situation or overwhelmed by an uncomfortable feeling, knowing that it won’t last forever is comforting. However, when we are experiencing something pleasurable or enjoying a particular stage in your life (or the lives of your children), it can be upsetting to recognize that change is inevitable.
According to Buddhist teachings, The Law of Impermanence states that “everything in material or relative existence has a beginning, a middle, and, most definitively, an ending. Life is perpetually in flux and change is an inevitable constant.” This concept is important to understand because embracing the impermanence of all things can help us to be more mindful and savor each and every moment.
When we move through life with mindful awareness, we recognize the transient nature of objects, situations, people, and relationships. We realize that each moment is fleeting and will never be exactly the same again. Living mindfully can help us deeply appreciate and treasure the unique beauty and miracle that our lives represent. When we know that this moment (and all moments) are impermanent, we can intentionally live our lives with joy, gratitude, and freedom from regret.
It doesn’t matter whether it’s people, relationships, experiences, things, or life in general. If you know something really good won’t last forever then it makes sense to enjoy it and make the most of it while you have it because: this too shall pass.