This Toe Stubbing Shall Pass

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23Once, I was at a cabin with my kids and Jane, and I stubbed my toe three different times. (It was different toes, but a total of three times.) The bed, the chair, and the couch weren’t where I thought they would be, and I ended up stubbing my toe three times.
Here’s what I learned: The pain from stubbing your toe is excruciating. I went from being just fine (not feeling any pain) to suddenly being in extreme pain in an instant (like a 9 out of 10). This level of pain lasted only about a moment, then it quickly dissipated. It continued to go down – 7, 6, 5 – and then suddenly I was fine, just like that.
Of course, you know I’m not just talking about toe stubbing. This is what happens with all things in life.
Another example: I received a veterinarian bill that was way larger than I thought it should be. Once again, I was experiencing a level 8 on the pain scale, although this was not physical pain. The high number lingered. Then it dissipated, and with time, it went all the way down.
Isn’t the effect of time remarkable? – how it makes pain fade away? The pain is intense at first, then it fades. (Joyful experiences follow this path too.)
An apocryphal story tells us that King Solomon knew about a magic ring that would make sad people happy, and happy people sad. As the story goes, Solomon’s advisors went out, searched, and found a ring with the words Gam zeh ya’avor inscribed on it – which translates to: This too shall pass.
Gam zeh ya’avor.
(This too shall pass.)
One of the basic tenets of Buddhism reflects this same truth: it’s our attachment to things that causes us to suffer. If we apply the wisdom of Gam zeh ya’avor (this too shall pass) to everything in our lives, we will suffer less.
This week’s spiritual-religious advice:
Know that the feeling of pain will stay with you for a little while – but over time, it shall pass.
With love,
rabbi_brian_name_written

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