The Art Of Life

“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, excerpt from interview with Gordon Young titled “The Art of Life” … 

Like the waves upon the shore, flowing in and then ebbing back out, our lives are ever pulsing and changing. And there will, of course, be times in which we feel great sadness, for everyone goes through their own dark times in life; but they are balanced by the happiness we experience during other periods. And it is this balance that allows us to put into perspective the truly wondrous gift of life that we each have been given–the sadness is a necessary contrast to the happiness we feel, for it adds clarity to our lives and makes the delight we experience that much more special.

By accepting this perspective, we allow ourselves to learn, to grow, and to live more fully in every season of our lives, for the time passes just the same in the fall and winter as it does in the spring and summer. The truth is that we can gain valuable new insights, ideas, and perspectives from going through difficult times, and if our lives were devoid of them, then we would never have those things to strengthen us and to share with those we love who are going through similar difficult times themselves. Of course, this does not mean we should seek out sadness and depression on purpose so that we can learn from them, rather, we should simple be prepared for when they do visit us, so that we can get through them more easily and keep 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 yesterday and today.

In addition, when we keep in mind that sadness is simply a natural part of the human experience and that it is natural and temporal, we make it more manageable and easier for us to work our way through it. And while the pain may not necessarily lessen, it should be less destructive and have a shorter lifespan.

Without any darkness in our lives, there could be no light–they need each other. And it is through our ability to see the necessity of it in our lives, that we come to find that darkness is no longer as painful to us as it once was. We will have our nights, and they will still hurt and be very trying; but we will begin to see that it is simply a part of life that need not be avoided, for it, too, shall pass, and we will be able to take comfort in this truth.

Take solace in knowing that times of darkness will pass on with the light of day.

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 were not 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, Reflections in the Light

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Filed under Commentary, Food For Thought, Living, Opinion

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