This too shall pass.
I was at the park the other day when a boy, about 11 years old came up to me with his dog. He seemed like he was looking to talk so I began to ask him about his dog. He started praising his dog, telling me how he was the best dog in the world, and he was the king of all dogs. I playfully asked him if his dog was his best friend and he responded “yes he is my best friend,” followed by, "because he is my only friend."
I paused for a moment, not sure how to respond to this space of vulnerability. This young boy was allowing me in for a moment, a total stranger and I was heart broken for his loneliness and touched by his innocent openness. I tried to make light of it, and said "dogs make better friends then people anyway and that my dog was my best friend too." What I wanted to say to him was “don’t worry kiddo, this too shall pass.” This moment of being young and trying to find yourself in the hardness of pre-adolescence, this loneliness that you feel, this will pass. Because everything passes in time. The pleasure and the challenge. The only thing consistent in life is change. But I said non of it, I just smiled and petted his dog and we spent a few moments in the park together.
I have been siting with this simple mantra for a while now - This too shall pass. We have all experienced moments in life where we feel that sense of loneliness. Some more then others and some more justifiable then others. But none the less, the experience of loneliness can be hard to overcome regardless. It is not a feeling you can talk yourself out of, it is not a feeling that often has a quick fix, but like all things in life, it will pass. You will either learn to live with it, or make the change necessary to shift it.
Using "This too shall pass" mantra seems like the perfect way to compassionately hold space for yourself as you wait for the tides to change. It acknowledges what we are feeling with a compassionate heart, and also reminds us not to spend too much time dwelling on it, because it will change. Whether your pain is big or small, whether your joy is exuberant or mellow, it will all always change. Stay fluid and allow the water of life to keep carrying you. A practice that helps make the change more graceful is to count your blessings, maybe even start a gratitude journal. Little steps to help you keep up through the change can be a game changer.
If you have a moment please send a wave of love to the little boy in the park and always remember "This too shall pass."