October 21

There are as many nights as days, and
the one is just as long as the other in the
year's course.  Even a happy life cannot
be without a measure of darkness, and
the word "happy" would lose its meaning
if it were not balanced by sadness.

Carl Jung


Today's Meditation:

This concept is one of Jung's most important contributions to my life.  Other people have said the same thing, of course, but long ago when I first read this idea by Jung, I suddenly didn't feel so alone in my down times; I suddenly realized that everyone was going through their own dark times; I realized that there really can't be life without the darkness, and the darkness was no longer as painful to me.  This was during a time when I was going through some rather severe bouts of depression, and Jung's idea did help me to keep in mind that what I was going through was a part of life, and that this, too, would pass.

We learn from darkness just as we learn from light.  We gain new insights, new ideas, new perspectives from going through difficult times, and if our lives were devoid of them, then we never would be able to help other people through their difficult times.  No, we don't search out sadness and depression on purpose so that we can learn from them, but when they do visit us, we can get through them more easily with a healthy perspective, one that tells us that life still goes on in spite of the darkness, and that tomorrow's sun will rise just as it did today and yesterday. 

I know people who would consider Jung's words to be pessimistic, who would say things like "why focus on the negative when there's so much positive?"  But there's a difference between negativity and realism, and sadness is simply a natural part of the human experience--when we keep in mind that it is natural and temporal, then we can work our way through it much more easily, and while the pain may not lessen, it should be less destructive. 

You will have your nights.  I will have my nights.  And life will go on, and this, too, shall pass.  It's comforting to me to recognize that fact and hold it close to my heart.

Questions to consider:

How can thinking about the dark parts of life help us to get through our bad times?

Would our times of happiness and cheerfulness be as uplifting if they weren't balanced out by times that are difficult?

What are some of the long-term benefits of having gone through difficult sad times in our lives?

For further thought:

Sadness is related to the opening of your heart.
If you allow yourself to feel sad, especially if you can cry,
you will find that your heart opens wider
and you can feel more love and more joy.

Shakti Gawain

More on sadness.


welcome page - contents - gallery - obstacles - quotations
 the people behind the words - our current e-zine
articles and excerpts - Daily Meditations, Year Two - Year Three

Sign up for your free daily spiritual or general quotation




Now available:  A new expanded edition of Just for Today from Living Life Fully Publications:
Over a year of "Just for Today" passages from our popular e-mail daily quotations, and our new expanded edition includes over 180 reflections on those thoughts.  Full of ideas and focal points that you can use to help to make your day brighter and more fulfilling as you focus on different ways of giving and awareness of the blessings in your life!  Click on the image to the left for the print version.    
Kindle Version

Also available:  Our print version of Daily Meditations, Year One
One full year's worth of our daily meditations that until now have been available only on our site or through e-mail.  Now you can have the entire first year's worth of daily meditations for just $2.99 on your Kindle.  (Click here or on the image for the print version.)

We have some inspiring and motivational books that may interest you.  Our main way of supporting this site is through the sale of books, either physical copies or digital copies for your Amazon Kindle (including the online reader).  All of the money that we earn through them comes back to the site in one way or another.  Just click on the picture to the left to visit our page of books, both fiction and non-fiction!