My life has changed enormously in the past twelve months. Almost nothing has remained the same.
I’ve changed jobs. My parents separated. My social circle is entirely different. My fiancé was diagnosed with brain cancer. I shaved off all of my hair. Everything is different.
In the beginning, these changes were all really difficult to deal with — difficult because they caught me completely off guard. I’d expected to finish education, waltz into a job, marry, have children and live an ordinary life.
Instead, I changed my plans to go to university, took up freelancing and had to learn to cope with the most shocking news I’ve ever received, facing the prospect of something I’d never even dreamed would happen to me in my twenties.
The only way I’ve managed to stay sane along the way is by learning to accept the fact that everything changes. Nothing will stay the same, and that isn’t always a bad thing. Let me explain.
Attachment Often Leads to Misery
Moments come and go. Days pass, as do weeks, months and years. Everything about you and your life is constantly changing. Nothing is permanent.
When reading those words, you might naturally assume that they’re negative — and therein lies the root of the problem. We see impermanence as a bad thing, and so we wish to avoid or prevent it.
Our attitudes towards change are often the cause of our misery — sometimes even more than the occurrence itself. We become attached to things that will someday be taken from us, and in doing so, we cause ourselves a lot of pain.
In fact, you could even go so far as to say that all of our emotional suffering comes from attachment. Losing a partner, a job, our money — these things would be easier to deal with if we accepted that they were inevitable facts of life. But we don’t.
Instead, we cling. We hold onto things. We dread ever losing them and our fear forces us to tighten our grip, only worsening our pain when these things inevitably fade. The problem isn’t necessarily that they disappear, but…