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What Transience Can Teach You About Holding On

Photo of shopfront window notice saying "all things must pass" - part of a mental health blog post by therapist Gabrielle Gawne-Kelnar


On a day that started with torrential rain and umbrella wrestling (and weather forecasts of doom), it seemed almost miraculous to be able to stroll the street in a dry golden-blue-sky evening.

But that’s what happened. Unexpectedly. And it was exactly then that this notice on a shopfront window caught my eye (you can see it in the photo, above):


“All things must pass.”


(And they certainly seem to).

Sometimes this apparent truth about the world feels confronting. Unfair, even. Because these “things which must pass” inevitably include the things we love, and the things we celebrate. The things we might want to hold on to and never let go.

But they’re not the only things that this saying is on about…

And so this transient world which holds us so lightly, and whose only stability is change, can still offer us comfort.

For it is living proof – with infinite reminders – that all things move on somehow. (Not just the “good” ones). That they’ll all evolve in some way or other. That they can only stay stuck for so long.

Even the pain.
Even the sorrow.
Even the torrential rain.

So, sometimes, if you’re in the middle of a really hard time, that ephemeral transience, itself, can suddenly become a very solid thing to hold on to…



Text and photo copyright: Gabrielle Gawne-Kelnar
Gabrielle Gawne-Kelnar (Grad Dip Counselling & Psychotherapy) is a writer, blogger and Sydney psychotherapist in private practice at One Life Counselling & Psychotherapy. Gabrielle also facilitates telephone support groups for people who are living with cancer, for their carers, and for people who have been bereaved through a cancer experience. She provides regular therapeutic updates on facebook and Twitter @OneLifeTherapy.
What Transience Can Teach You About Holding On

Gabrielle Gawne-Kelnar

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APA Reference
Gawne-Kelnar, G. (2012). What Transience Can Teach You About Holding On. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 13, 2020, from


Last updated: 10 Mar 2012
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