When To Say "This Too Shall Pass"

The world is full of changes. Some are barely noticeable while others can have a huge impact on your life. And when things change for the worse, the right piece of wisdom can be a great comfort. The phrase "this too shall pass," has been helping people through tough times for centuries. Saying it at the right moment can make all the difference for a troubled friend or a loved one dealing with loss. This video was made with Ezvid Wikimaker.

When to Say "This Too Shall Pass"

  1. After a break-up or divorce
  2. During tough financial times
  3. When you're having trouble with your love life
  4. During times of grief
  5. When adjusting to any big change

History of "This Too Shall Pass"

The phrase is an old Persian adage first created by poets during the medieval period. It is often associated with a popular fable about a Persian king. In the story, the king assembles his wisest citizens and asks them to make him a ring that will make him happy when he is sad. The sages make a simple ring inscribed with the words "This too shall pass." The fable has since appeared in a collection of stories by the poet Edward Fitzgerald and a speech given by President Abraham Lincoln.

How to Deal With Change


Since medieval times, this expression has reminded us that misery is fleeting. Sometimes, when our problems overwhelm us, it can be hard to imagine a future where things get better. But in the end, time marches on and life continues to change. No matter what hardship you find yourself facing today, remember that it, too, shall pass.

In Depth

Life is full of ups and downs, and the one thing you can count on is change. In fact, a famous Greek philosopher once said that "change is the only constant in life". To put it another way, nothing lasts forever, and everything whether good or bad will eventually pass.

The phrase "This too shall pass" is said to have originated in ancient Persia. Today, it's most commonly used in situations where a person is enduring some type of negative circumstance. Telling someone "this too shall pass" is a way of comforting the other person, of letting them know that even if things seem hard right now, they will eventually get better.

Everyone goes through difficult circumstances at one point or another. This phrase can be very comforting and effective in giving people hope. This goes for you too. Remind others and remind yourself during times of stress that "this too shall pass".

This phrase can be very comforting and effective in giving people hope.

The following examples are common situations in which you might use this reassuring phrase.

#1. A break-up or divorce. Ending a relationship can be one of the most difficult experiences a person will face. Whether they've ended a one year relationship or a ten year marriage, they will likely be feeling all kinds of painful emotions.

They may have logistical problems to attend to, like figuring out a new place to live or who will get the cat. All of this can be overwhelming. By reminding this person "this too shall pass", you are helping them to see that their is a light at the end of the tunnel. While it may take some time, they won't always feel the way they feel in this moment. If you want, you can share examples of people you know who have successfully healed after a tough breakup.

While it may take some time, they won't always feel the way they feel in this moment.

#2. During a tough financial time or career slump. Everyone has highs and lows in their career and financial life. Companies downsize, customers might be scarce, or clients might be unreliable.

Perhaps your wife is a writer and usually has clients pouring in. Now she's going through a rough patch, where there seems to be no work around. It's completely natural to feel nervous or worried when you have fewer paying clients to work for.

This is a great time to offer your phrase of support. You can follow up by reminding her that she has been through ups and downs before. Giving examples of times when you or people you know got through similar circumstances is a good idea too. This can help motivate her to keep looking for clients, knowing that eventually the tide will turn.

Giving examples of times when you or people you know got through similar circumstances is a good idea too.

#3. When you've been single for a long time. Just like we have dry spells in our career life, we often get them in our romantic life too. While it may seem like the whole world is coupled up, the truth is that everyone has been single and searching at some point.

Let's say your best friend is feeling down because he went on another bad date. If he's been looking for the right lady for a while, he might feel frustrated and upset. Offering your phrase of support will remind him that whatever he is feeling will pass. Of course, you're not a fortune-teller. You don't know what his future prospects are. But by saying this phrase, you can help boost his confidence. And confidence is a great thing to have when looking for romance.

#4. During times of grief. Sadly, we all experience grief in our lives. This could be the loss of a loved one, a pet, or a friend. Loss is one of the biggest emotions we will ever feel, and there's no avoiding it. But no matter how much you're feeling in the moment, this moment will not be with you forever. Losses may not be regained, but emotions can improve. Offering this phrase to a loved one, or to yourself, is powerful during such a time. Of course, you might want to follow up with a big hug.

This could be the loss of a loved one, a pet, or a friend.

#5. During times of great change. Any type of big change is stressful, even if it's a change for the better. Moving to a new city, switching careers, or sending a child off to college are all cause for celebration. But they also bring up new feelings, circumstances, and challenges.

If you have a friend who is adjusting to a big change and finding it overwhelming, use your phrase to remind them that things will get easier. They will adapt to their new city, learn the skills they need for the job, or adjust to a shift in priorities. Eventually, life will seem stable again.

Just like seasons in nature, our lives are always changing. Sometimes we are in winter, and it feels like things are frozen or drying up. Other times, it's spring, and we are blessed with abundance, joy and opportunities. The phrase "this too shall pass" sums up this sentiment exactly. So go ahead and offer it to loved ones who could benefit from remembering this.