The Celebration of Melancholy

In society, we tend to stay away from “dark” emotions like melancholy, sadness, depression. We value emotions like happiness and cheerfulness more. And while I understand and agree that we should value these emotions, I argue that “dark” emotions are what makes life so valuable.  We are always wanting to celebrate and fully experience our happy emotions, yet we shy away and tend to hide, or even deny our “dark” emotions. We wish to hide way from our darkness. Is not the light in me just as much me as the darkness in me? why hide from yourself? If the light in me is internal so must the darkness be. It is about time we face and acknowledge our complete self. How can we recognize what happiness is without experiencing the sadness in our lives?  It is at this point of sadness, of melancholy, of depression that we truly realize how strong we are. Martin Luther King Jr. once said “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moment of comfort and convenience, but where he stand at times of challenge and controversy”. These “dark” emotions are sort of the measuring stick of our strength. These emotions give us the opportunity to recognize and meet our true self.  Whenever I am overwhelmed by melancholy, significant questions come to mind; why do I feel this way? what is this trying to teach me? how can I utilize this energy? how can I grow from this? I refuse to hide from myself, even if it is the darkness in me. In a way, happiness is the reward we receive when we are courageous enough to face our darkness; happiness and acceptance, acceptance of self.  We must muster up the valor to acknowledge and recognize the self completely. the dark and the light side. It is a good thing to experience one’s self. We must understand that sadness and suffering are core parts of the universal experience.A good life is not immune to sadness. A good life is where suffering contributes to our development.To understand our sadness, is to realize that you are not the only one experiencing this melancholy, you have not been single-handedly picked out to experience this pain, that every human experience these feelings,  it is a human experience. This understanding of self only leads to empathy; empathy for your fellow humans, empathy for the world you live in. Sadness, when understood properly, will make you kinder, forgiving, and patient.

~ Kn1ght-Wonder

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