November 15

Today's quotation:

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.  It is far better to take things as they come along with patience and equanimity.

Carl Jung

Today's Meditation:

I think that most of us react so strongly to sadness or despair partly because we're afraid that the conditions that have caused the feelings will last forever.  When sadness comes along, when depression hits, when we feel a lack of hope that things will get better, it's very easy to get caught in the trap of losing sight of the good in life, losing our ability to see the bright sides of our lives.  And once we lose sight of those things, it's logical to fear that they'll never come back.

But when night comes, we don't enter into a fit of despair out of fear that the day won't return.  The darkness is easy to deal with when we're sure that the light will return.  Carl is saying here that even in our darkest hours, we should keep in mind always that our bright hours and days shall return-- and if we do keep that idea in mind, the darker hours won't seem nearly as dreadful, and they won't be able to pull us down nearly as far.

Bad things will happen to me.  People I know will die.  People I know will be hospitalized and will have bad things happen to them.  My patience and my ability to see the beauty in life will be tried.  People I know will offend me and try to hurt me.  But no matter what may come, my own feelings are tempered by my perspective-- the way I feel is up to me, not to these situations.  If I can respond to anything that happens with the realistic perspective that "This, too, shall pass," then I'm setting myself up for much less misery during my trying times.

Life is balance, in many ways.  We can consciously balance our feelings and our reactions to outside stimuli in order to keep ourselves seeing the reality of our situation-- that life is full of cycles, and that this negative part of the cycle will soon give way to the more positive elements of my life.  And those positive parts haven't even left-- I just see them less clearly now.

Questions to consider:

How do you react when dark times come?

Why should we try to remember that sadness and darkness are necessary elements of our lives?

Which is more important:  what happens, or how you take what happens?

For further thought:

The soul would have no rainbow had the eye no tears.

John Vance Cheney

more thoughts and ideas on sadness



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