Becoming aware of the fleetingness of every situation
This last week I’ve been re-reading Eckhart Tolle’s book ‘A New Earth.’ I’m a big fan of his work, and the wisdom that he shares is incredibly eye-opening.
In one of the chapters, Tolle tells an ancient Sufi story about a king who was continuously torn between happiness and despondency. The king got tired of life and wanted to find peace and happiness, thus he sent for a wise man who was known for being enlightened.
The wise man gave the king a ring which had the words ‘This, too, will pass’ inscribed, and told him:
“Wear this ring always. Whatever happens, before you call it good or bad, touch this ring and read the inscription. That way, you will always be at peace.“
You might’ve heard this phrase in different variations, such as ‘nothing lasts forever’ or ‘everything is temporary.’ These words might be useful and bring a sense of relief when we are faced with a difficult situation, but what about when we are having the time of our lives?
At first, you’d think that this phrase might diminish joy — reminding you that the wonderful experience you’re having will come to an end sooner or later. However, when you really sit with the words and get to the core of what this phrase is trying to teach us, you will realize that they have the ability to enhance our happiness.
“These words inscribed on the ring are not telling you that you should not enjoy the good in your life, nor are they merely meant to provide some comfort in times of suffering. They have a deeper purpose: to make you aware of the fleetingness of every situation.”
I look back at the time when I was a teenager — going to school, living at home, and seeing my mom every single day. It was just regular, ordinary, everyday life.
However, I only started to realize how precious all of this was when I had only a few months left before my move halfway across the world.
Sometimes I dream about being 16 again, back in Europe, living with my mom. The only thing to worry about would be doing my homework and wondering if that cute boy from my geography class liked me back. What seemed like the boring everyday life then, now makes me wish I had appreciated it…