I know a number of people who find comfort in the phrase “This too shall pass.” I appreciate the idea behind it; I think it’s beautiful. Yet, it never rang true for me. I can’t forge a connection with the saying because it doesn’t line-up with my experience very well.
Perhaps I’m impatient. I feel like many things in my life don’t really pass, but maybe I’ve just not waited long enough. I’ll be the first to admit that my level of patience really depends on how long I have to wait!
But then I think of my dysthymia – my chronic depression. Will it, too, pass? Maybe. Maybe if I wait long enough. But maybe not, too. Maybe this shall not pass [insert your own Gandalf reference here]. So when people say “This too shall pass.”, I’m a bit skeptical.
Eventually I found my own phrase to use. Something I could find some comfort in. It is from a Robert Frost quote:
In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.
It goes on. That’s something that does line up with my experience. No matter what has happened in my life, whether it has passed or stuck around, life has gone on.
I suppose, in a certain light, it might sound terrible. If you are suffering incredibly, life carrying on might seem to prolong that pain. Wouldn’t you rather the pain pass rather than go on?
But, for me, it is also a reminder that life is bigger than me and my suffering. Despite suffering, life goes on around me. I think that’s part of the reason why the quote resonates with me; it pulls me from my self-involved misery and reminds me of the world.
It goes on. The world goes on. I go on.
What about you? Do you have a phrase or a motto that helps you? I’d love to hear it!