When I find myself in times of trouble (and painful emotions), this story changes everythingOct 01, 2019
(By Eldad Ben-Moshe ✨ Reading Time: 2 minutes)
Loved ones ❤
The ups and downs of life are as inevitable as the changing of the seasons.
Ok, I know what you think...
“Great Eldad, you became a poet? how does that help me?”
Well obviously my ‘poetry’ can't help you...
But this story can.
It's so wise and on-point that many different traditions -
from Persian through Jewish to Buddhist -
share a version of it.
Even Abraham Lincoln referred to it.
I remembered it just a few days ago.
I was getting triggered by yet another inevitable ‘down’ of life,
but the memory of this story popped up in my head and helped
me deal with the situation in a mindful, healthy way,
So here it is. I like the Buddhist version the most, so I chose that one.
I first heard it from S. N. Goenka, a famous Burmese-Indian teacher
of Vipassana meditation.
A rich old man died leaving two sons.
They decided to divide all the properties between themselves equally.
After all the matters related to property were settled,
the two brothers came across a small packet carefully
hidden by the father.
It contained two rings –
one was an expensive diamond ring, and the other was
an ordinary silver ring costing only a few rupees.
Seeing the diamond ring,
the elder brother desired the ring for himself.
He explained to the younger brother:
‘This packet is obviously a family heirloom and not part
of the joint family property.
Our father evidently desired the diamond ring to be
passed on from generation to generation and stay
within the family.
Being the elder brother, I will take the diamond ring.
You had better take the silver one.’
The younger brother smiled and agreed.
The younger brother was curious as to why the father
had preserved the silver ring, which had very little value.
He took out the ring and examined it.
One the ring was written the words – ‘This too shall pass’.
The younger brother thought–
‘This was the motto of my father – This too shall pass.’
He then placed the ring on his finger.
Both brothers went through the ups and downs of life.
The elder brother used to get highly delighted when spring came,
and he was prosperous.
But he also lost his balance and developed greed and attachment.
When the good phase went away, and winter approached,
he became highly anxious.
He needed medication and sleeping pills to be able to sleep.
When that did not help, he completely lost his balance.
This was the brother with the diamond ring.
The younger brother, when spring came,
enjoyed it but remembered his father’s motto –
‘This too shall pass’.
He did not get attached to his circumstances but enjoyed
them while they lasted.
When spring passed he said to himself –
‘It was inevitably going to pass and now it has done so.
So what? Why should I be sad?’.
Similarly, when winter approached,
and circumstances became hard,
and he became agitated,
He looked at the ring and remembered -
‘This too shall pass’.
Thus he was able to preserve his sense of balance through
all the ups and downs of life and lived his life happily.
So there it is, and I hope this helps you in times of trouble
at least as much as it helps me.
When I remember that 'this (painful situation) too shall pass'
It's much easier to release my attachment to a specific desired result.
This reduced (and can even eliminate) the emotional suffering and the drama,
as they are not the result of what happened, but rather the result of
us wanting things to be different and our attachment to that desire.
In fact, this alone is so big that it's one of the essential doctrines
of Buddhism (called 'Anicca', which means impermanence),
Hinduism ('Anitya'), and western philosophy.
This doesn’t mean that you don't need to take action
to make things better.
It’s all about the mindset, the inside, not the outside.
You can still take the action you want to take.
But you can take the same action with an agitated,
angry, worried mind, or you can take it with a quiet,
The first one might feel more ‘justified’ and ‘gratifying.’
The 2nd one will feel better, bring better results, and
lead you to a happier, better life.
Isn’t that what you really want?
To your better life,
with tons of 💖
Founder, Teacher, and Coach
Better Life Awareness Center
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