I have come to see that this is one of the most ridiculous statements anyone of us can ever make. Not only ridiculous, but unwise, unrealistic, and a guaranteed cause of great suffering for yourself.
What in this World does not change every second of every day? Anicca, impermanence, is not just one of the Three Marks of Existence but also a scientific fact. Yet we can see how strongly most of us cling to a person or situation in the hope that it will remain the same, just because we are so pleased with it right now. But even if that person did not change, you will change. Your perspective, views, expectations, your mind will completely change in the next moment. And this powerful desire (tanha) to control our circumstances, and keep things a certain way only brings us to another mark of existence — dukkha!
Yes, suffering and dissatisfaction are always brought about by our desires, clinging, grasping and aversions. We easily become our own worst enemy.
But this practice is about becoming our own best friend. Learning to have unconditional loving friendliness toward the self, with complete acceptance and understanding. Seeing clearly the nature of our existence and the impermanence of it.
At 56 years old, I am finding that aging is a wonderful teacher. I can moan and grown all that I want, but I cannot stop this continual decay of my physical body. Which leaves me with a simple choice. Accept lovingly, the nature of my body, and treat it kindly and with gratitude. Or I can create torrents of disturbing emotions about my ultimate demise which cannot be stopped regardless of my thoughts or actions.
It becomes fairly easy to recognize that acceptance is a far more peaceful path. One which is humbling, compassionate, and even liberating to a certain degree. This too, I believe, offers a certain wisdom and skilfulness. So yes, I do see a joy to growing old.
I think you can begin to see that the idea for someone or something to never change is completely and totally an exercise in futility. Letting go of all expectations, and just enjoying this present moment for what it is, can be a huge step forward in your own liberation. And isn’t that truly the Noble path.
Right View is certainly a key component to how we experience this life. And we make a choice, millions of times each day, on whether or not we have that.
May each of you see more clearly, love more unconditionally, and accept more gratefully.
And may you be well, happy and peaceful.