I heard a story recently about the fabled King Solomon. He had a boastful solider who announced that he could find anything that the King required, anywhere on earth. The King decided that the solider needed more humility so he thought of an impossible task. The King publicly challenged the solider to find him a magical ring ‘that can make a happy person sad and a sad person happy.’ The King gave the solider six months to find this magical ring.
The solider ventured forth, scouring the earth to find this magical ring, talking to every metalsmith and jeweler he could find. Nearing the end of his six month quest, he was discouraged and sat down on the side of a dusty road in a little town. He found one last metalsmith and asked the boy there about this ring. The boy went to get his grandfather and told him what the solider was looking for. The wise old grandfather knew just what the king was talking about and went and inscribed something into a plain, gold band.
When the solider read the inscription in the ‘magical’ ring, the he was dumbfounded. Then his sadness turned to joy because he suddenly saw the light and hurried home to the King.
Can you guess what the inscription read?
This Too Shall Pass. Only the ending of something good to a happy person could make him or her sad and the ending of something bad to a sad person could make him or her happy.
I remember long ago reading some sage wisdom along these same lines. The author indicated that we should not be too attached to anything that happens to us—the good or the bad–because everything changes. You may be in the best job or relationship or home of your life, and something will change it. You may be in the worst job, relationship or home of your life, and something will change it.
This Too Shall Pass is an oft quoted mantra and sorely needed in times like these when we feel challenged in all directions. You might be surprised how comforting this is especially when we are struggling, but also it can be very freeing when things are going well. We can truly live in the moment when we understand that this too shall pass. We can appreciate the good and let it in better when we know, yes, it will likely pass. And we can cope better with the ugly, frightening and unknown when we believe it will pass.
I didn’t take this seriously enough when I lived in the (up to then) best home of my life and now it’s gone for me. If I had, I would have spent more time on the deck. Now I live in a gorgeous spot overlooking another sacred mountain, and the moment I am done with the article I am going outside to play in the pool and sit in the sunshine, for this too shall pass.
What do you need to apply this phrase to today? Both the good and not good–global, local and personal? Try it and see what shifts. Reach out for help if you need it. I’m still available for online and phone coaching and counseling and there are other resources in the community we can get you connected with to help. Always, at least for now, you have the outdoors to be free in. Go play!