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It's Only a Matter of Time



Balanced Rock, Moab Utah


Balanced Rock, one of the most iconic features in the park, stands a staggering 128 feet (39m) tall. While this formation may appear to be an epic balancing act, it’s actually not balanced at all. The slick rock boulder of Entrada Sandstone sits attached to its eroding pedestal of Dewey Bridge mudstone. The exposure of these two rock strata layers are ideal for the formation of arches and balanced rocks.
Balanced Rock defies gravity but this won’t always be the case. Eventually, the 3,600 ton (over 4 million kg) boulder will come tumbling down as the erosional process continues to shape the landscape. In the winter of 1975-76, Balanced Rock’s smaller sibling “Chip-Off-the-Old-Block” collapsed (view Then and Now photos), proving that there is no better time than the present to see this awe-inspiring giant.

From the Arches National Park site.


When experiencing Balanced Rock my first thought was, “It’s just a matter of time.”


“On a long enough time line, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero.”

~ Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club


“Nothing is permanent, except change.” ~ Buddha


“Some do not understand that we must die, But those who do realize this settle their quarrels.” ~ The Buddha, from 6th verse of the Dhammapada


When I was first learning to deal with life’s drama, this question helped immensely:

“In 100 years, will this even matter?”

The query’s timespan slider is adjustable without bound.


Select a situation that emotionally triggers you and contemplate if the situation still matters in one year? 100 years? How about a 1,000?


Or more personal, will it matter on your deathbed or at the heat death of the universe (whichever comes first)?


At the limit, everything is going away, folks. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Whoever brought me here will have to take me home.


After the initial ego shock, memento mori becomes a balm, a restful stillness to the tales told by the idiot ego, “full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."


Of course, our dramatic stories DO mean something. Well, do and don’t. We can respect them as part of the human experience without giving away our power.


Any decent counselor understands this. Stories are labyrinths of neverending contruction. Transformation doesn't happen by resolving stories. The wise advisor seeks to bring light to the emotions and beliefs underpinning the story.

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