When I was in high school my mom used to say, "You should leave a party when you are still having fun."
I remember thinking, "Is she crazy? Why would I do that?"
Thirty five years later, I can understand the wisdom of her advice.
We are constantly taking in stimuli through or senses. We taste, hear, feel, smell, and see. Through the gift of our senses, we experience life. After each experience, our mind discerns whether it is/was pleasurable, painful, or neutral. According to yoga philosophy, it is this mind tendency that causes us to suffer.
Those things that our mind deems as pleasurable will attract us and we will want more.
Those things that our mind deems as painful we will push away or avoid.
Ultimately this habit of attraction and aversion in our minds is what drives us on a regular basis. You might say, "Well of course, why wouldn't I be drawn to things that cause me pleasure and push away things that cause me pain?"
Patanjali, the Buddha, and Shirley Sax were in agreement that all things come to an end eventually. If we are solely driven to hanging onto pleasurable experiences and pushing away painful ones, eventually, we will end up feeling the pain of attachment or aversion.
I vividly remember being at a high school party and having a great time with my friends. I didn't want the fun to end. Then as time went on, people began to get drunk, fights broke out, things got broken. What was a pleasurable experience quickly became painful.
In his translation of The Yoga Sutras by Patanjali, Swami Satchidananda says that "All experiences that come from the outside world are ultimately painful. They may give us temporary pleasure, but they always end in pain because we begin to fear their loss. It's alright to have and enjoy your pleasurable things, when they come to you, let them come; enjoy their presence. But when they go, enjoy their departure too."
It is very difficult to "enjoy the departure" of something or someone that you love. With that reality in mind, I offer some advice:
Enjoy your pleasurable moments fully. Love your children with all of your heart, appreciate a beautiful summer day, savor each bite of a delicious meal, be grateful for all the blessings in your life.
Stay fully present to the pleasurable moments, so that the fear of their ending can't turn your pleasure into pain before the time has come. When the time does come for them to end, allow yourself to feel the pain of their loss as fully as you felt the enjoyment of having them. Don't try to push away or avoid your pain for it will only lead to self destruction. When you have felt and acknowledged the pain of your loss, it can and will eventually fade away. Feeling and accepting our own pain gives us the ability to be compassionate and open to helping others who are suffering as well.
All Abhyasa Ahimsa Aparigraha Asmita-Ego Attachment Baron Baptiste Beginner's Mind Bramacharya Carl Jung Clear Seeing Colorless Comfortable Discomfort Creating Spaciousness In Mind And Body Cultivate The Opposite Deepak Chopra Dharma Empty Your Cup Enthusiasm Equanimity Family Fight Or Flight Great Vows Inner-awareness Inner Critic John Kabbatzinnb2faff332d Listening Mirrors To Ourselves Monkey Hunting Non Stealing Patanjali Pause Pillar Pleasure And Pain Posseses Us Practice Pratipaksa Bhavana Pratyahara Present Moment Present Moment Awareness Respond Instead Of React Samadhi Samskara Santosha Satya Sauca Sensual Pleasures Shadow Side Spirituality Steadiness And Ease Sthira And Sukha Strength Sustained Attention Svadhyaya There You Are Thich Nat Hahn This Too Shall Pass True Self Uncertainty Universal Truth What We Possess Wherever You Go Wisdom Yoga Philosophy Yoga Sutra 1. 14 Yoga Sutra 1.33 Yoga Sutra 2.33 Yoga Sutra 2 37cfe9965fa2 Yoga Sutra 2. 46 Yoga Sutras