• Thanks for those wonderful quotes, Rachel and Mark...

    In answering the question of how I deal with sadness, (and I wouldn't recommend most of my methods to anyone!), first I spend a few decades trying NOT to feel it, and wondering when the consequential low-grade depression will 'go away'; or I deflect it outward as blame, rather than feel it; or I try to use Buddha's insight that 'all suffering is the result of attachment and aversion' by attempting to quell any desires/needs/wants; and then at some point, grudgingly, when none of these have worked, I decide 'OK OK dammit, I'll feel this' - and if I sit, wrap myself in a doona, light a candle, set the alarm for half an hour, and close my eyes, and think 'yes, hello - I'm willing to feel this', and wait - some of a lifetime's postponed sadness DOES get felt - and I get up from there a little softer, a little deepened, and more capable of empathy & compassion for others who are experiencing sadness. 

  • Hey there Folks, great threads here. I ran across the following by Robert Augustus Masters posted elsewhere that addresses the balance of shadow and persona I think we feel present in this discussion...

    "The more we label our difficult emotions as negative, the greater the odds are that we’ll tend to overvalue our “positive” emotions, making too much of a virtue out of being happy, upbeat, optimistic. We may try extra hard to be nice; we may become driven about positive thinking—trying to affirm our way into a more abundant life. Or we may try to camouflage the lines on our face that indicate anything less than happiness. We may buy into sunny-side-up spirituality (leaving ourselves with egg on our face and a big bill). We may confuse emotional flatness with equanimity and emotional dissociation with transcendence; we may try to be nonjudgmental, forgetting that judging comes with having a mind. And we may get negative about our negativity!"

  • For me, feeling the spectrum of emotions makes me feel human. To be able to feel sadness is as important as to feel happiness.

  • bonnie, i dont know where the quote is from in Jung's works but its theme is certainly present in Mysterium Coniunctiounis.  

    i particularly like the image of the tree for expressing the mystery of sadness and happiness.  i find in my life they exist on  a continuum and i mostly live in the middle.  but when sadness takes the balance in its direction, i make effort to embrace it with art and restorative yoga gestures, hoping it will reveal its underbelly so i can accept it with hope and expectation of meaning and eventually joy.  happiness is a lot easier to embrace except for the times in my life when i border on mania.  being bi polar, i have to recognize the trend towards mania early and attempt to channel the excess energy into dance and play.  this seems to help me more than anything in expressing happiness and not go into chaotic happy energy.  a mystery i have spent a lifetime learning to embrace.

    thanks for this question.  it speaks to me personally and brings me peace.

  • Two quotes on happiness and sadness, both using trees as analogies:

    Sadness gives depth. Happiness gives height. Sadness gives roots. Happiness gives branches. Happiness is like a tree going into the sky, and sadness is like the roots going down into the womb of the earth. Both are needed, and the higher a tree goes, the deeper it goes, simultaneously. The bigger the tree, the bigger will be its roots. In fact, it is always in proportion. That's its balance


    No tree, it is said, can reach to heaven unless its roots reach down to hell.


  • I was able to answer the first part of your question acknowledging what leads to my happiness following reading the question, spontaneously, however, answering the second question on the "dealing" part of saddness required me to revisit my depths to share the phenomena, faced and refinement from surviving/working through one of my times through existential angst.  

    I agree with Alex (reasons), but not just for sadness - that there are reasons for everything under the sun, and I believe we meet up with what we do (people, phenomenal experience as mirrors/messages for us to reflect upon/ponder), with whom/which we can dance for/with - always for a reason, sometimes this last a season or two or perhaps, if really meant to be - a lifetime while on earth and maybe even beyond, if need be in/out there.

    Now the living, breathing and feeling state of sadness I faced/dealt with, while walking/loving my brother, has many faces to the accumulated state-of-being I ended up in after his death and dealing (coping) with it, finding a way to utilizing the power inherent in this state. in a constructive manner - that was the jewel.  One face of the sadness I coped, dealt and worked through (his cruel, protracted death from the AIDS virus) was related to witnessing his cruel death, at a time when little was known (experienced in Canada), back then (21 years ago), about the type (bowel/brain) strain he acquired and how to manage his pain/death.

    To work through the depth of this sadness absorbed; most importantly he/I went with the love and respect we felt for each other within lots of good conversations, dashed with seeing the humorous side, whenever possible. Following his death, I went into the forest to transform my grief.  I was relived to no longer see him suffer - take his final breath - for that was hard times, witnessing his 9 visits into/back out of - the valley of death.  

    So, I chopped wood, in great solace and with intent for the entire first day, I breathed out this traumatic grief/existential angst state by bringing it out of me and into the axe/wood, and with each swing of the axe going down, cracking into the wood, I exhaled with a voice.  Upon reflection, the voice was my animal from the depths or seat of my soul - moaning, releasing deeply.  

    That is how I dealt with the deepest sadness I have known to-date.  If in the sharing, this helps someone, then that is good.  Peace + love Linda

  • Good afternoon - how great the DPA Board are in leading our community with this great question and just before a labor day long weekend!  Since age 19, I walked out of work (shift work in ICU) saying to myself, "As long as I can walk, talk, breathe and poop, everything else in life is gravy!"  I used to think to myself - do we have to almost die to get it?  My beloved, following his battle/brush with death and cure from cancer now says, "Every day above ground is a good day."  We are happy to be alive!  Regards Linda 

    • It depends on a reason for someone to be unhappy. Am I unhappy because I'm not loved (or accepted) by someone I "should" be, because I envy when someone is showing me his/her photos from the latest swimming and sunbathing somewhere far away, or because I'm too lazy and ignorant to do something? There are moments when I actually should feel bad and ashamed about myself.

  • Does anyone know the source for this quote? In which of Jung's work would he have addressed this?

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