“This too shall pass”
Proverb from the medieval Levent (Persian, Hebrew and Turkey) around 1200AD.
I have found myself using this phrase many times over the years while raising my family. It was always the last phrase offered when you wanted your child to know that what was being experienced was not permanent but rather temporary. It relates to both to both the best of times and the worst of times. But I think that I only ever used it, when they felt that the bad time they were experiencing would never end.
I was reminded of this phrase this week, as I met a woman who was very down in the dumps. I sat with her and listened and then tried to offer her some hope. She was having none of it, so I found myself saying as a final parting gesture. “I really do think that this too shall pass, life is always changing”.
It was all I had to offer, and it felt empty.
The week felt as though I was a magnet for people who were having trouble seeing through to what the end looked like. I had many conversations with people who were troubled with something that was occurring in their life, and couldn’t see how things were going to play out. I was running on empty myself, as I started out the week with the flu and definitely was not on top of my game.
I must admit it was getting me a little down myself, not really seeing how things would end on a high note. But I kept chugging along, until I fell flat on my face. This is not an exaggeration; I was rushing around in my high heels on the slippery sidewalk and fell only to land miraculously on my lip. Nothing else was hurt, just a fat lip. I still have no idea how it happened, I didn’t even know I was going down and then there I was balancing on the cement on my lip.
I was stunned, until I realized the significance of it all. I had literally fallen flat on my face. I had obviously paid no attention to the first warning to slow down (the flu), so somehow life had planned to show me that if I didn’t heed this message I would be flat on my face. This time I got it!
And as life so often does, it offered me another lesson. I was blessed to end the week watching my daughter receive the Master of Science degree she had worked so very hard for. And as I sat at the university with tears of pride in my eyes, it all came together.
I was reminded of how many times over the course of her achievement, I had used the phrase “this too shall pass” when she felt overwhelmed and thought she couldn’t do it. And I realized that this is what we do best as parents, we keep offering the light at the end of the tunnel. We try to keep them focused on the end result, when things seem tough. We use every strategy we can think of to help them see that their problems are temporary, so that they can continue. It is what we do best. It is the best gift we have to offer, hope and faith and a sounding board so that they can continue.
And so I am ending the week on a high note, and a new found respect for the phrase “this too shall pass”, because it did and she successfully achieved the pot of gold at the end of the Rainbow.
May we support others through “this too shall pass”!