A lot has been written about the ephemeral nature of life and everything in it.
To live without being affected by this truth of life, comes easily to us, at least in the early years and such ignorance is blissful, as otherwise we will lead a life full of stress and ambiguity, with no eagerness, interest, hope or meaning.
As otherwise everything that comes up before us, be it an opportunity or chance, will incite only one feeling – what’s the point? It won’t last.
A lot depends on, how we view this unchanging reality of life. Some believe it makes our life hopeless, and some think it’s the same thing that makes it magical.
Nothing lasts, but it also means nothing remains. If we think deeply, it may mean many things – Nothing remains, everything changes, everything transforms or evolves, pain ends and pleasure returns, so on and so forth.
What do you think about this unchangeable truth? Does it scare you or does it motivate you?
Either ways, we don’t have much of a choice, as life moves on and we move on with it.
The question however is, how often do we think in these terms about life, and can such a consideration transform our lives for the better.
Here are some quotes that may start such an inquiry within us.
They will force us to dig deeper in our psyche, to understand what we think about this unchanging truth of our lives.
1. “The bad news; nothing lasts forever and the good news; nothing lasts forever”
The things that mean a lot to us eventually cease to exist. The people in our lives, however dear, depart one day, and the precise moment when it would happen is also unknown to us. Who knows, we may leave before they do.
Youth fades, beauty is replaced, feelings change, and the list is endless. Deeply scary, isn’t it?
Is there a brighter side to this?
Change is something that keeps things from becoming dull, or repetitive. There is so much beauty in everything, but if we are continuously exposed to it, then the appreciation of everything will end and repulsion will take its place.
Also the fixation with the past can minimize your zest for life. For example, how about seeing the grace that comes with old age and experience, rather than fretting over wrinkles?
As far as people are concerned, surely this kind of a mystery can be only solved after meeting death itself, but one can be sure that the final revelation of this mystery will not be bleak, as nothing is absolute in life and every mystery ends in a climax that is both, light and dark.
2. “Nothing endures but change.” ― Heraclitus
Change is the only constant in life.
Things cease to be in their present form, take a new form. Old gives way to new.
Stagnancy can appear peaceful but growth is the nature of nature. What may look like decay, end, or let’s say death, is only a transformation.
Surprisingly even in stagnancy, saturation, rest, or peace, things are constantly changing on a deeper level, as we know, everything is energy and energy always changes forms.
It is nothing but change, that makes everything eternal, but as the bigger picture does not reveal itself immediately, we get unsettled.
3. This too shall pass
This age old truth can bring such a relief in time of distress.
Life can bring a lot of pain at times. Even on a day to day basis we go through so much irritation, anger, fear, guilt, or insecurity. Despite the fact that our feelings, moods, and thoughts keep changing, we keep vacillating throughout the day. Sometimes from one extreme to another.
It’s useful to remember that, getting lost to the negative feelings repeatedly, can make things go out of proportion.
So it pays to be patient when things get tough, as they too shall pass like everything else.
4. “We have nothing that is really our own; we hold everything as a loan.” ― Nicolas Poussin
Absolute attachment towards possessions and the continuous desire to accumulate and acquire more and more can become a serious impediment in life.
An obsessive need to get more can only get us less.
Although how much one should possess can be quite subjective, one should be careful not to be greedy.
Why not share some of our gifts with others? They need not always be of material importance, but even the gift of attention, advice, a friendly push, can be useful, if given at the right time.
There is only so much time, so why not be selective about things. For what you may have today, will change ownership someday.
Enjoy the gifts that every moment may bring to you, as your time is limited.
5. “No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.” ― Heraclitus
Every profound experience is sure to change us profoundly.
What about little things, do they change us?
As long as we continue to observe everything around us, we are sure to come across a newer perspective, a different take or a fresh attitude even on little things. So yes, little things also change us. But sometimes the changes do not become apparent to us immediately and are revealed only in times of real need.
It pays to be open and fluid like water, because life will change no matter what and we will change with it.
It all depends on how closely we observe our own mind and actions. As only then we can witness this continuous phenomenon of growth and diminution within ourselves.
6. “The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough.” ― Rabindranath Tagore
Unlike us, animals and plants are not lost to an internal mental dialogue. They don’t have watches either and are not measuring time. They live life so simply, from one moment to another.
Even death can look graceful if you have such an attitude.
How are we supposed to enjoy the timelessness of every moment when we are constantly running?
Nothing lasts, but if the concept of time if altered, which in fact is our own creation, then everything can seem timeless.
So let’s just slow down and try to be simple, naïve and gay, for life will wait if you will not run after it.
7. “Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise” – Victor Hugo (Les Miserables)
If you have read Les Miserables, you would first remember the ordeals of the central character. The painful experiences he goes through.
Life will throw challenges in front of you, but be sure that the strength to overcome them will also be given to you.
Remember that, once the challenge is accepted without resistance, strength is showered and wisdom shall be supplied and in the end, rest awaits you.
8. “Grief after all is the price we pay for love” – David Malham
Love is beautiful and transformative.
Everything comes alive and becomes vibrant with it. Although temporarily, mundane things become exciting. Worldly pursuits seem secondary, with love around the corner.
Time flies, when the magic of love is experienced.
Such a beautiful thing brings so much grief, whether the loss or separation is temporary or permanent. When there is intense involvement, pain follows. It is a reality that is both hard to accept and grasp.
What happens after death?
Does a human being cease to exist or whether we come back again. One cannot find definitive answers to these questions. Thus handling grief will always be difficult.
Let us remember this ultimate reality of life and try to make our life more beautiful by making our relationships more meaningful and deeper.
Yes, our time is limited, but why not spend it by doing things that give us lasting happiness with people that really matter to us.
9. “Many have died; you also will die. The drum of death is being beaten. The world has fallen in love with a dream. Only sayings of the wise will remain.” ― Kabir, The Bijak of Kabir
Let’s not sugarcoat it, as we all will die at some point. All the running, wanting, chasing and stressing will end.
Let’s stop for a moment and ask ourselves, what we really want in terms of experiences in life. What really matters to us, what we’ll remember on our death beds, what could be our regrets if we continue to live the same hurried and unconscious way. Is it really worth it?
It’s better not to shun such topics on account of morbidity, but a rational approach is needed. Pondering over such questions can potentially improve the quality of our lives.
Take account of immortality and try to remember the things that we hold dear in our hearts and lives.
10. “Nothing in the world is permanent, and we’re foolish when we ask anything to last, but surely we’re still more foolish not to take delight in it while we have it.” ― W. Somerset Maugham
It’s really that simple, isn’t it?
If it’s not permanent, then let’s at least value it when it is with us, be it people, relationships, material possessions or time.
It was fun while it lasted. To be able to be grateful, is one of best qualities on can possess or acquire.
Gratefulness not only paves the way for a relatively stress-free life but also attracts more positive experiences to us.
Let’s count our blessings, and be grateful.
It’s wise, to be free of bitterness and resentment, when things come to an end. Focusing on the happier times will simply bring more happy times.
11. “Nothing lasts forever, so live it up, drink it down, laugh it off, avoid the drama, take chances & never have regrets, because at one point everything you did was exactly what you wanted.” – Marilyn Monroe
Marilyn Monroe lived an enchanting life with a fair share of gloom.
She inherently had a childlike attitude towards life. This quote shows that she believed in the beauty of life.
Such an easy and light attitude is not really, a careless attitude, but is one of simplicity. It will surely help, if one cuts unnecessary drama in life, and accepts the harsh truths with grace.
If we remember our state of mind which was responsible for the definitive decisions in our lives, regret is out of the question.
So let’s stop judging ourselves by the so-called mistakes or setbacks of the past, lets own it up and try again.
12. “Be nice to everyone, always smile, and appreciate things because it could all be gone tomorrow.” ― Ed Sheeran
When was the last time you looked in the mirror and smiled?
Let’s no forget that each one of us is unique. We come here only once and are a complete original. Isn’t that enough to make us feel great?
How we perceive others is defined by how we perceive our own selves. If we don’t treat ourselves well, we cannot truly appreciate the beauty in others.
Being human, it isn’t possible for us to like everyone, but we can be respectful. If all else fails, being neutral is the right approach.
A little smile makes all the difference in the world, not just to you, but to anyone who is receptive of positive energy.
Every time we buy something, we can say a small thank you, or give a friendly smile. This might brighten up their day and yours.
We need not categorize every action in terms of business and personal. Let’s be positive and spread cheer around. There is no need to fake it and force oneself.
Remember that we are all connected.
Let’s make all our connections meaningful, even if they are momentary. Let’s be nice to our fellow passengers on this journey called life.
“You’re a miracle, Ronnie. We’re all miracles. You know why? Because as humans, everyday we go about our business, and all that time we know, we all know that the things we love, the people we love… at any time, it can all be taken away. We live knowing that and we keep going anyway. Animals don’t do that” – May McGorvey (from the movie little children.)
Lastly let’s watch this very moving clip from the movie “little children”.
It will surely make you think about the miraculous quality of little things in life and life itself.