Someone scolded me for stubbornly holding on to an emotion that was no longer serving me (obviously anger). I came to the realization that I was trying to make something from my past permanent, giving it a permanent place in my life instead of a fleeting part of it.
Nothing is permanent, and that’s a difficult thing to accept. We’re taught that permanent is special; therefore, we must do whatever we can to hold on to it.
Lifelong friends are true friends.
Some of my most real, most memorable friends have appeared in seasons.
A 200-year marriage is true love.
It better be if it’s 2 centuries.
Celebrating our parent’s 1000th wedding anniversary is romantic.
I celebrated my parent’s divorce when I was 21 because I hoped it would make them happier than their married lives did.
Having the same job for millennia is luck.
Having the same material objects for 500 generations makes the most precious of heirlooms.
Imagine if we placed that importance on breaking generational curses—how much better the world would be.
And when we “lose” these permanent moments, we feel guilty, saddened, and burdened that life is not fair, that we did something wrong, that we’re not living life correctly. And what we do to ourselves is punishment. We create anxiety by continuously trying to make everything last forever and control what permanent becomes.
The last few years have reinforced my life lesson to appreciate moments. Live in the present. Because that’s all that is real; the present moment.
Every second and any second can change the rest of one’s life, so why do we put so much pressure on permanency? Why do we try to control so much?
Even a simple thing like creating a new habit is something we believe should be permanent. But what if that new habit helps us make a positive change, then becomes irrelevant as we change? Should we not create or adjust the habit? Logically, yes, of course! Emotionally, are you kidding me? We worked so hard to form this new habit that it better last forever, even when it causes more frustration and annoyance than upliftment and betterment.
Or, remember that friendship that you hold onto because you’re either related (which means it was meant to be everlasting) or because you’ve shared a 75-year history, which automatically the connection is valid? By all means, I have friendships that I pray every day last as long as they have already, into the future. But I’ve also had connections that I question after every interaction. Why? Because I walk away feeling saddened that it’s “not what it used to be” or “something has changed” or “I miss what we used to have.”
What do we then do? We force it. We try to get back that initial feeling, that strong connection of before, instead of accepting that maybe, just maybe, the new connection is fit for now. The same can be said for relationships, which have a lot more pressure to ensure they work and require mountains more love because we’re bound to believe that the vows we said at 25 are still relevant when we’re 125.
I know I’m being drastic to try to get my point across.
And what is my point?
Maybe if we stopped putting so much pressure on ourselves to keep everything permanent, we’d understand and love life a lot more.
Maybe, we’d appreciate the reasoning behind a friendship that grew with us for 10 years instead of dwelling on a 40-year friendship that’s not authentic. Maybe we’d hold value in a 30-year marriage that could teach us more about who we are than a forced 80 year one because that’s what society values. Or we enjoy the stories about our great great great granny’s jewelry that no one wanted to wear because it is too bulky and flashy for the times now, and thank goodness it was lost because no one feels pressured to wear it or keep it under lock and key and preserve it for the next generation.
I have 30 (almost 40, gasp) year old friendships that I adore. I look back and think, damn, I’m lucky. I have a 15-year-old relationship that has been through the most (it’s called work). I have heirlooms that I never touch because I can never find them when I need them.
Will any of this last for the rest of my life?
I hope so. I pray so. And I’ll fight and love and treasure them, but let me be clear: I will no longer force anything.
Am I trying to control everything to be permanent?
Because I’m choosing to live in the present. And that means not trying to control the future. That also means understanding that nothing is permanent.
Life itself is temporary. It’s the one guarantee we have; this life we are granted is transient. And if this is the one guarantee we cannot argue against, how can anything else be forced to stay permanent?