Impermanence of Life

How Impermanence Is Like That of a Cherry Blossom

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Life is impermanent. Impermanence is an undeniable and inescapable fact of human existence. No matter how much we protest, we have no say or control in it. None! Zippo! Life begins. Life ends. It’s a simple truth we can’t get around. Changes happen each moment.

It’s like that of a cherry blossom!

Author, Leo Babauta writes:

The cherry blossom falls after its short beautiful bloom.

It floats gently down to earth. Its life is over, but the limitedness of its existence is one of the biggest reasons the blossom is so gorgeous. If we knew that the blossom would last forever, it wouldn’t have the same poignant beauty, and we’d take it for granted.

The blossom’s impermanence, its fleetingness, its transience — this is why we appreciate it.

Our lives are like that. They are similarly short. We are here but a precious moment. Yet we forget the impermanence of life and often take it for granted. We waste the days away with meaningless tasks. Forgetting to cherish our loved ones and express gratitude for what we truly have.  

Impermanence causes suffering

It’s our struggle with this unrealistic expectation of permanence that causes so much suffering. It causes us to descend into the deep darkness of despair when we experience loss, especially when it’s someone or something we hold dear to us.

If we get really honest with ourselves, we know the truth. We are aware of how short life is. That at the next moment we may lose someone or something we love. We may lose our health, home, job, a friendship or a beloved pet. However, it’s something most of us don’t want to think about. As a result, we push it away as if we could somehow change it. Or not!

For this reason, we forget to be grateful, to tell people we love them. We ignore all of our blessings. Neglect to spend time with those we love. Say the things we wish to say. Do the things we wish to do. In reality, the past or future becomes our focus. Rather than the present. We don’t really fully live. Joy is an afterthought. Often, we merely just exist.

How truly sad! We miss out on so much!

What would life be like if we remembered the impermanence of it? What if we acted as though our next breath or our beloveds next breath may be the last? Held onto that fact that that job we hold so dear and break our butts for may be gone in an instant. Our dreams may fall apart. Or if we remind ourselves that a loved one may become terminally ill. A pet may grow old and die.

Further, how would life change for us? Would we act differently? Treat people differently? Would we live in the present? Cherish each moment?

Forever doesn’t exist.

Here’s the truth – We don’t have forever! Forever doesn’t exist. All things change. Realizing this truth and just how fragile existence leads to embracing the present. When we embrace a present situation, such as a change from loss, it will help us effectively deal with the change and move forward.

We have a stronger appreciation for the present. A calmness enters our life and we find courage. Courage to believe that change is no longer our enemy, but our teacher. Every experience is a learning if we let it be. Oh, how we grow even it the most difficult of times.

When we accept the truth of impermanence, the reality of this moment – when we embrace it like we do the cherry blossom, we will have real peace, understanding and less suffering.

What accepting the reality of the moment – the impermanence of life looks like for me:

My Mom has Alzheimer’s, which means I am losing a part of her every day. To be completely honest, it sucks. It fills much of my time and many of my thoughts with sorrow, sadness, and regret. But rather than focus on what I am losing and who she was, how about I focus on who she is at this moment. What if I focus on the beauty in the moments I still have with her and appreciate what she has already given me. Accepting life’s impermanence would mean I make the most out of the time I have left with her. Love who she is at this very moment and who she is becoming each day!

How do you think that would change my suffering after she leaves this beautiful earth? When God calls her home.

A peace that passes understanding – comes from accepting impermanence.

My husband has been gone for 9 years. Often, I still ache for his presence. For his touch. To hear his voice. I start to feel sad and lonely. Now, it’s ok to allow ourselves to feel and express the emotions. But, what if I then appreciate all the memories I have, the moments I did get to spend with him. Feel the love we had for one another and be grateful for the time he was in my life. Celebrate the blessing that God chose ME to be the person he was to spend the end of his life with. How much more can I honestly ask for? I am certain it will bring about a peace that passes understanding.

Will this always be easy? Nope. For even though it’s the truth of how life is, it’s definitely not always going to be easy. Yet, it’s necessary and possible.

Here are some ways that will help you to accept impermanence:
  • Embrace the moment. Cherish the joy in your life by making a conscious effort to fully experience each and every moment.
  • Be grateful for what is happening. Yes, this is a tough one since your possibly in the middle of tragic loss. But there is always something to be grateful for. Find it and appreciate it for what it is.
  • Know you will always have the memory. Memories last as long as we do. For that I am forever grateful.
  • Take time to capture moments. Write things down. Journal. Take photographs and videos of those special moments. This will help you preserve memories for as long as you like.
  • Live in the present! Notice things. Say what you mean to say and what you want to say in the moment. Do what you lights you on fire. Live for today! Don’t save it for ‘someday’. Someday may never come. But, you already know that.
  • Practise mindfulness and meditation. It’s how we learn to live in the present moment. That’s where life is. It’s NOW!

Life is a gift! So let’s be grateful for the painful beauty in this temporary existence!

So I ask you, what would be different in your life if you stepped out bravely and held the truth that everything changes? That life is impermanent? Suffering decreases as we learn to accept change and loss?

What Are Your Next Steps?


I can’t wait to hear your thoughts. How would your life change if you embraced the impermanence of it? Please comment below.


I would love to hop on a short 20-minute call to help you find strategies that will assist you in embracing the impermanence of life. Simply fill out this form to let me know and let’s chat. It’s free! No selling! No Obligation!


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Roxane Goss

All stories by: Roxane Goss

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