Everything ends as quickly and suddenly as it begins. All of a sudden, you hear a bird, and just as suddenly that ends—it's over. If you notice, this isn't only true of birds singing, but of most things: Something shows up, and just as suddenly it disappears. Life is coming and going quickly, cleanly, and sometimes without our even noticing it. Life happens, and it happens by suddenly showing up and just as suddenly disappearing.
Of course, some things that show up have a longer lifespan, but even those are in constant flux during their lifespan and eventually disappear. Experiences that last awhile never remain the same while they last: If you are watching the clouds, they are constantly shifting, and then they are gone. If you are watching a ballgame, every second is different, and then it's over. If you are eating a meal, every bite is different, and then it's gone. If you are in a relationship, every moment, day, week, and year is different. Nothing stays the same. Whether it comes and goes quickly or more slowly, nothing remains the same.
The mind doesn't like it when that fun, exciting, or pleasurable moment is over. It also doesn't like the deterioration of the body as it ages, which is a more long-term phenomenon. The body is a good example of something arising and beginning a course of constant change and eventual demise. The mind clings to events, experiences, or images that have passed away, or tries to, but it can never win that game. What's over is over and can't be regained. The mind tries to retain experiences and things through memory, but memory is a poor retaining device. Like a sieve, most of the experience is lost and what remains is a poor substitute for life.
The comings and goings in life are life. What is life, if not these comings and goings? Life, by definition, is alive, not static, and what makes it alive is this amazing parade of events and experiences coming into our awareness and passing out of our awareness. Change is what is most constant and reliable about life.
We can always trust life to change. What we can't trust is that something will remain the same. So when the ego wants and insists that things not change, it's a ridiculous demand, like a child throwing a tantrum at the sun for coming up or going down. The ego doesn't have an accurate sense of its own power, or lack of it. Like a spoiled child, it wants its way with life. The ego doesn't believe life should be any other way than its way, so it fights with life, resisting it at every turn. And at every turn, it meets change: death and birth happening in small ways and in bigger, more dramatic ways.
Once we have seen the truth about life—that everything is constantly dying or ending and giving way to something new—it becomes increasingly difficult to argue with life. The secret to making peace with life is being willing to see the truth about it. Instead of giving your attention to what your ego wants life to be, give your attention to life itself, and you will find yourself unable to struggle against it.
The truth about life is easy to accept once we abandon the ego's perspective. Once we drop out of our thoughts about life and into real life, all this coming and going is just fine. In fact, it's beautiful, interesting, exciting, mysterious, and amazing. Life is good just the way it is and always has been. How silly that the mind goes on so about it! All is well and always has been. It is as it is.
From Living in the Now: How to Live as the Spiritual Being That You Are by Gina Lake