Are you having a Good Day? Bad? Neither Will Last.

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Photo courtesy Benjamin Kaufmann on Unsplash

(Listen to this story as a podcast above)

I’ve observed a constant truth at work and home — good and bad times alternate.

I used to feel frustrated and miffed on days when I had a tiff with someone close or things weren’t going the way I wanted. Over time, I observed that the next day would usually be the opposite somehow; the sun would shine, and the dark clouds would be gone.

I found something similar happening for good days. I used to think, “This is it; it’s the beginning of a golden period, the end of all bad days, the start of endless happiness.” But it never lasted long. Try as I might, something or other came along to spoil it. Either the imperfections in me and others or something amiss in the environment rained on my joy.

In time, and with some work on myself, I realised that being desperate to fix the bad or hold on to the good didn’t work.

I had to help Time, and let it do its work. And now I know most of Time’s benevolence has nothing to do with me. I can neither control it nor take credit for it. The less time I give Time by forcing a situation, feeling, or behaviour, the more time Time takes to help me.

This combination of good and bad periods makes a whole, like a Yin and Yang of existence, or a Shiva and Shakti. Both are necessary for equilibrium. Their tension and opposition are integral to our existence.

The nature of life and its Life Instinct make us problem-solving machines. When we have an issue, we move towards resolution, but when things are fine, we find or create challenges as our mental machinery is not used to continuous salubrity. This alternation of tension and release at the mundane level in our lives will always be there.

So is that it? Should we be stoic and accept things as they come? No, for that would be a robotic fatalism and cynicism, and we are capable of much more.

What we can do is cultivate the power of detached attachment to observe and accept the natural cycle of emotions in our days, to experience them without a ‘take-no-prisoners’ battle or false hope.

If you get there, you’ll —

Accept bad days with grace, for they’ll pass.

Treasure good days calmly, as they won’t last.

C’est la vie sage.

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