It is both reassuring and tragic to know that things end. Reassuring for the painful moments. Tragic for the good moments. We never know when it will happen. We will never be prepared, no matter how much we plan and dream or how hard we worry. We cannot predict how much joy or pain the end will bring. And the end is not the end, it just another beginning – it is the passing from one moment into another. It is the merging of two moments until the first disappears and the second takes over. But there is definitely a point, although barely noticed, when the suffering or joy ends.
In good times, we know that the joy we feel is fleeting. We think, “This is too good to be true!” so it can’t be true, or it can’t stay true. We feel that we are on the precipice of bliss – one step further and we will fall. We hold our breath as if that could change anything. We try not to move. But we have no choice, we must move forward. We cannot stand still and enjoy the moment indefinitely. It becomes stale quickly.
In bad times, we search for the light at the end of the tunnel. We focus on it. We aim for it. We do everything we can to move towards it. And when we can do nothing, we wait for it to come to us as we tread water in our puddle of misery. Time is our savior. Every second brings the smallest change and every change to the current state of affairs is welcome, even if it makes things worse. Being stuck with unchanging pain is more unbearable than living with evolving pain.
We need the change to appreciate the good moments and endure the bad. Remove change, remove evolution and even good times turn bad. We cannot dwell in the highs of life – we must ride the rollercoaster to the end and then get on the next one.
I thought about calling this post “This Too Shall Pass” but the word “pass” didn’t suit my purposes. Passing is a slow drawn out process and I wanted to focus on the termination, on the moment when it really is over and is no longer coming to a close.