This too shall pass…

Have you ever felt the pain of a particular moment to be so intense that you wished you could just wake up one day and not feel it anymore? Or have you ever felt so happy that you wished you could freeze time at that spot and have your life be exactly as it was then?

In this Tuesday’s article, let me share a short story with you…

According to an old Sufi fable, there was once a king in the Middle East who was constantly torn between happiness and despair. The slightest thing would provoke a strong reaction in him. When he felt happiness, it would swiftly turn into disappointment or hopelessness.

The king eventually became so tired of this that he decided to call for help. He was notified of a man in his kingdom who was said to be enlightened. The king pleaded for the wise man’s help. When the wise man arrived to see the king, the latter said: “I want to be as you are. I want balance and clarity in my life – and I will pay you any price you demand for that insight.”

The wise man responded: “I might be able to help you, but this insight is so valuable that the entirety of your kingdom would not be enough to pay for it. That’s why I will give it to you as a gift, if you will honour it.”

The king agreed, and the wise man went on his way.

Weeks later, the wise man returned to the king, bringing with him a golden ring with these words inscribed on it: “This too shall pass.”

“What is the meaning of this?” the king asked, baffled. The wise man told him to always carry this ring on him and to look at it before he judged any situation again. “Do this and peace will be with you always,” the wise man said.

So, this too shall pass… Every thought, form, feeling and situation in life is temporary. Isn’t it comforting to know that your sadness will have an end? Yes, this too shall pass, just as other sad moments in the past have done. And isn’t it a treasure to learn to appreciate that every single moment of happiness is precious? This awareness of knowing that all things have an end – that no matter the situation, it will pass – gives us both the strength to carry on and the wisdom to enjoy what we have.

What do you think about this story? Has the thought that this too shall pass helped you coped with any difficult situations? Or do you have a story from which you have a learned a lot? We would love to hear from you – just leave a comment below!

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© Vivian Chiona


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