I just finished an enlightening book called " The Lotus Still Blooms: Sacred Buddhist Teachings for the Western Mind" and it has really made me look at things differently and opened up my spiritual journey. I have been reading this book for a little over a week and I feel like it's brought me such great insight and a new sense of peace. Anyway, one topic the book discusses a lot is impermanence, and it has really struck a cord (chord??) with me.

Impermanence is essentially the Buddhist view that nothing in this world is permanent. Anything that has form is impermanent. Your house, shoes, jewelry, etc. Even relationships aren't permanent. We aren't permanent. When we attach ourselves and cling on to things that are impermanent we create a personal suffering within ourselves. If I am so emotionally attached and clinging on to a friendship and that friendship ends I will become miserable. I will be clinging on to the past instead of appreciating the friendship for what it was and thinking about what I learned from it. Buddhism is all about getting rid of our attachments and desires in order to come to a place of happiness and peace.

It's kind of a scary topic to think about. Hey, that's my favorite pair of Jimmy Choos! What if I want to be attached to them! Then you think about the fact that if you lost your pair of Jimmy Choos (which will most likely happen aren't going to wear them when you are 90 years old) your whole world would go crashing down because you defined yourself by those designer heels. When we come to a place where we can appreciate the shoes without attachment that is a place of harmony.

However, what I've realized is there is a definite upside to impermanence that might not always be a person's first instinct to see. Because nothing is permanent it also means that the stuff we don't like (an annoying roomate, our weight, a toxic friendship, etc.) isn't permanent either. We ourselves have to take the initiative to get out of whatever that negative attachment is (yes, even if it's negative you can be attached to it!) and we find happiness again

This is how I come to the realization that happiness is a choice. My drama teacher in highschool used to say that to us all the time and I'd get so pissed off. I didn't get it. Now I see the truth in what he told us for so many years. We create and control our own happiness just like we create and control our own unhappiness. Happiness doesn't come to us easily, we have to work at it...just like you have to work at your own unhappiness

Elise :)