The Buddhist notion of impermanence is usually associated with the notion of death–everything that presently exists will die and, in geologic time, in a blink of an eye.
Now how does that notion make anyone feel? Hardly what would be considered to be healing, I might imagine. Yet the beauty of the notion of impermanence is it’s power to heal our lives in the present moment. After all, that is all that truly exists. The past is gone, the future uncertain. The present moment, however fleeting, is where we exist and it is impermanent.
What that means is this–there are continuous opportunities for change and transformation. It means we are no longer held victims by our past–issues with our parents, our upbringing, events in our lives. Of course we are all formed by our past experiences. No one can question that assertion. But if we ponder the impermanence of all things, even the past loses its grip on us.
Likewise we are not bound by our mistakes. We are imperfect beings in a process of evolving. The course of our evolution is a matter of our choice. We need to realize that fact. No one is diminishing the difficulty of making such a choice–otherwise no one would get ‘stuck’ in habits of negativity and depression.
In fact our habitual behavior, the source of much of our suffering, is also impermanent. But we don’t realize it! We are victims of the illusion that everything remains the same–including our own suffering.
Embracing impermanence will liberate us from the suffering of our present states of minds in our present lives. It will direct us away from worrying about the future, about our own death and the death of loved-ones. That is the law of nature and we are all bound by it. Accepting impermanence rather than trying to deny it will allow us to deal with death when it’s time is here.
The truth that everything changes, nothing stays the same, empowers each and everyone of us to make the changes we know we need to do–and to stop fearing impermanence even though it leads to physical death. It impels us to live in the present and to be healed by that awareness.