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Sweet Sorrows: Depression and Grief Have Great Value




Very often a person who suffers a major setback later describes the once-bitter cup as a fount of unexpected rewards. The loss of a job leads to an enthralling new career. The dreadful illness guides a patient to unprecedented fulfillment helping others with the same disease. Bereavement opens the heart to awareness of the fragility and preciousness of each day alive.

Suffering leads to growth; we see this all the time. One year of hardship will do more to mature a person than a decade of ease. Those who have suffered little often have trouble understanding those in pain. Tragedy releases wellsprings of wisdom, empathy, and art.

Yet we bridle against loss and injury. We grasp desperately for security, and yearn for freedom from depression and grief. We take drugs or overwork. We distract ourselves with orgasms and shallow entertainments. We accumulate possessions and bank accounts as hedges against want. We even fear the only thing certain in life: death. The core of western living is a ceaseless and futile battle against the inevitability of loss.

Sorrow is not a demon. Those who can embrace uncertainty and impermanence, and stand ground as what they fear approaches, are the strongest and most peaceful among us. Sorrow is a teacher.

Grief is not the only emotion of value, or the only source of understanding. But when we quit running from pain and loss we find they connect us with the human condition, help us deeply appreciate every moment of happiness, and enrich our souls. Sorrow is not the enemy of a fulfilling life. Instead, it is the shadow that highlights the bright outlines of joy.

It took me five decades to accept what I’ve known all along: many of my most painful experiences were also the most valuable. I now recognize my cruel and grief-stricken upbringing as the crucible that tempered the most sensitive aspects of my personality. Adult losses and humiliations that once threatened to crush my spirit now look like crucial pruning.

I don’t mean to romanticize the process. Much of my life felt like hell as it happened. But all that remains, and all that ever remains, is the current moment. From the vantage of the insistent present I look back on all my disappointments, and foresee much pain that I will likely someday suffer, and understand loss and sorrow as mentors that awaken me to the human drama. What’s more, they have opened my eyes to the eternal equality of sweetness and tragedy in life.

(Source - above Link)
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very touching

very touching and an interesting viewpoint, sort of reminds me of the Elvis song "Lord this time you gave me a mountain ".
You very brave and sound inspiring.



Pema Chodron - The Doorway to Freedom

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