“Thus shall you think of all this fleeting world:
A star at dawn, a bubble in a stream;
A flash of lightning in a summer cloud,
A flickering lamp, a phantom, and a dream.
Impermanence. Knowing, at your core, in the deepest part of your being, that everything is fleeting and there are absolutely, unequivocally, no guarantees. Of anything. Ever.
This is a terrifying prospect.
I think at the heart of every parents profound love for their child is the immense desire to see permanence in the child’s life. My parents want me to have a well-paying job with health insurance and stability. They also want me to find joy and fulfillment in my life so I am never tempted to take up my addiction to drugs and alcohol again.
My friends, both in and out of the Program, want me to believe in myself and continue with the optimistic and brutally honest approach I’ve come to apply to the life I’ve created for myself in sobriety and avoid the deep chasm of doubt and, thus, misery, that I indulged in the darkest days of my drinking and using.
For myself, I want the fledgling romance I have been nurturing for a little over a month (sometimes with a little too much sunlight and watering) to blossom into a radiant flower, strong and beautiful.
And all those things might happen.
And they might not.
And that is the scariest and most glorious of prospects.
Because while what is happening for me right now may get exponentially better.
It also may get worse.
I lost my job at the Humane Society last week. And it may be the great sense of inner peace I have found in regular meditation and study of Buddhism. Or it may be the unity and security I feel with my new friends in the Program; the feeling of camaraderie and identification with friends I haven’t felt in two decades. It may be that giddy anticipation I feel every day at the possibility that I might get a few moments to talk or text with her and laugh and smile. It’s all of these things, and more.
It’s taking solace in the impermanence of this life. Not being afraid of it but celebrating it. Being thankful that I might get the chance to help someone or make them laugh. Sending thank you cards to the people that gave me a chance. Being filled with the child-like joy that I will see her again and talk with her and hug her.
I strive to live in the joy and happiness that the Universe has given me. In this moment and all moments. The joy that is Now, for the Now is my joy.
And it is fleeting.