“This, too, shall pass…” but only if you let it

If you’ve lived in Wisconsin for more than 5 minutes, you know that the weather here is wild and unpredictable at this time of year. Actually, that can be said about much of the year, here.

This last snowfall reminded me of a phrase I often heard when I was a young and sometimes overwhelmed mom of 4 preschool boys. The phrase, uttered by a very seasoned mother of nine, was “This, too, shall pass.”

Jan Kwiatkowski, LMFT, is a psychotherapist and mental health consultant for Aurora Family Service in Milwaukee, WI.

Jan Kwiatkowski, LMFT, is a psychotherapist and mental health consultant for Aurora Family Service in Milwaukee, WI.

In other words, whatever is happening right now, whether pleasant or distressing, desired or undesired, expected or unexpected does not last forever. This can be a helpful thing to remember, when it seems like long nights will never end, you may never again eat anything that is more interesting than macaroni and cheese, or that you may implode if you have to hear your child asking the question “why?” one more time.

“This, too shall pass” is sage wisdom for each of us, every day. Whatever the experience, it will not last forever. Struggles with relationships, jobs, finances, substances, abuse, grief, a new baby, a move, retirement…any of life’s challenges are ultimately, all passing. It is our response to a given situation, person or event that really matters.

We can choose:

  • to let go of or hold on to hurts,
  • take steps to change behaviors that are unhealthy or not
  • let anger, resentment and fear rule us or learn new responses\
  • take ourselves very seriously or learn to gently laugh at ourselves.

Working with families, one of the things I notice is that the situation that caused the original hurt has long passed, but family members have held on to the feelings, fears, stories, misinformation or misunderstanding for years, sometimes generations.

The “this” was never allowed to pass.

If you have a “this” that has not been allowed to pass, or something has gotten in the way of letting your “this” go, and you’d like to figure out your next steps,  give us a call at Aurora Family Service.

Aurora Family Service helps families overcome challenges, changes and crisis to live well again.

We achieve stability and strength for families through counseling, parenting, elder care, financial, career, health and community services.  For more information, visit our website, follow us on Facebook, or call 1-414-342-4560.

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2 Responses to “This, too, shall pass…” but only if you let it

  1. Robin Campbell says:

    Jan K. – this is a beautifully written piece & happened just to hit the spot for me this morning – thank you – my mother used to say this too – thank you for explicating it so well

  2. joe says:

    Also good advice for patients complaining about their colonoscopy prep

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