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This Too Will Pass

One of the most priceless of teachings that helps with depression, is also one of the simplest. But teachings that seem simple are easy to misunderstand. Only when we are finally delicious from depression can we claim to have truly understood the following story.

The new prisoner was afraid and very depressed. The stone walls of his cells soaked up any warmth; the hard iron bars sneered at all compassion; the jarring collision of steel, as many gates closed, locked hope beyond reach.

His heart sank as low as his sentence stretched long. On the wall, by the head of his folding bed, he saw scratched in the stone the following words : THIS TOO WILL PASS. These words pulled him through, as they must have supported the prisoner before him. No matter how hard it got, he would look at the inscription and remember, "This too will pass". On the day he was released, he knew the truth of those words. His time was completed; "Jail too had passed".


As he regained his life, he often thought about that message, writing it on bits of paper to leave by his bedside, in his car and at work. Even when times were bad, he never got depressed. He simply remembered, "This too will pass". And struggled on through. The bad times never seemed to last all that long. Then when good times came, he enjoyed them, but never too carelessly. Again he remembered, "This too will pass", and so carried on working at his life, taking nothing for granted. The good times always seemed to last uncommonly long.

Even when he got cancer, "This too will pass" gave him hope. Hope gave him strength and the positive attitude that beat the disease. One day the specialist confirmed that "The cancer too had passed". At the end of his days, on his death bed, he whispered to his loved one, "This too will pass", and settled easily into death. His words were his last gift of love to his family and friends. They learned from him that "Grief too will pass".

Depression is a prison that many of us pass through. "This too will pass" helps us pull through. It also avoids one of the great causes of depression, which is taking the happy times too much for granted.


An Excerpt from Ajahn Brahm’s Book, "Opening The Door of Your Heart", Chapter : Creating Happiness
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