Then a woman said, “Speak to us of Joy and Sorrow.”
And he answered: Your joy is your sorrow unmasked. And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears.

And how else can it be?

The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain. Is not the cup that hold your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter’s oven?

And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives?

When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.

When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.

Some of you say, “Joy is greater than sorrow,” and others say, “Nay, sorrow is the greater.”

But I say unto you, they are inseparable. Together they come, and when one sits alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed.

Verily you are suspended like scales between your sorrow and your joy. Only when you are empty are you at standstill and balanced. When the treasure-keeper lifts you to weigh his gold and his silver, needs must your joy or your sorrow rise or fall.

Kahlil Gibran

Joy and Sorrow
Joy and sorrow are part of human condition. There is no way we can escape one or enjoy the other. There seems to be a thin line  between the two and sometimes we step over the line into each realm, crisscrossing oftentimes.

Yet, we  will  always experience both!

How many times we felt our spirits  soaring among the highest mountains or not having enough vessel to contain our joy and our happiness. Yet, inevitably, times come when we experience pain that seems so acute that we may feel we cannot bear one more moment of it.

These past days, I’ve received news from friends undergoing depressions.  Their lack of strength to fight and would just content to pass the day with  anti-depressants pills, a sniff of cocaine, a boost for alcohol, a casual sex or date with a stranger or worst,  by self inflicting wounds stirred me to reflect on joy and sorrow.

Let’s not deny it. Once in our life, we have been  tempted to numb our own pain with such delusive remedies.

We have felt times of extreme loneliness and depression. Many difficult and challenging situations have come our way which we have somehow succeeded or have failed in handling them.

Succeeded and failed…let me focus on these words.

I believe we are living and we are a victim of “success oriented society” that is why we are experiencing loss or abandonment of love, security failure and dwindling passion as depressing and painful.

FACT:  People and relationships come together and end.

Who feels the burden of guilt or blame? The one who feels “I was not good enough”,  and that leads to sadness. Self esteem is lost, one feels pain. It seems to be one has to be a successful or expert partner to have a successful and enduring relationship.

FACT:  You lost your job, your earning is not sufficient to pay your debts,  you are not happy with your job…

The “economics” or the “money system” is like  tentacles of kraken sucking out the fear in us, leaving us breathless without trust and freedom. We tend to forget that we are worthy than the birds in the sky. A Good Provider will take care of our needs if only we will learn to trust Him. Sadly, we participate in this rat race…good job means more money. More money means successful living. If we don’t have it? pain, sorrow creep in!

Why don´t we try  to celebrate what had been and allow it to  be a  new experience  suited to our level of growth?

Perhaps, only then we could bless each ending without needing to enter into blame and judgment. We can also learn to move forward  in life with less difficulty.

It has become a habit for us to judge and find fault, to blame self and others, rather than just accepting what is and riding the waves of emotion and feeling into new states of being.

We have no training in the skills of courage, perseverance and acceptance. Everytime we are buffeted by waves of negative experiences, we do not have the strength and the serenity to ride out the storm in the understanding that all is well.

We fall into sorrow and even anger.

Therefore, let us train ourselves everyday. Let us be like warriors in life: we should accept our fears and sorrows. This is just a matter of changing our expectations and perceptions. Learning to accept our sorrows, we will then be able to dance to the symphony of joy!

Joy and sorrow are one – they are inseparable. Let us have the courage to embrace both!


It seldom happens that any felicity comes so pure as not to be tempered and allayed by some mixture of sorrow.” –Miguel de Cervantes

Illusory joy is often worth more than genuine sorrow.” – René Descartes

Who knows whither the clouds have fled?
In the unscarred heaven they leave no wake;
And the eyes forget the tears they have shed,
The heart forgets its sorrow and ache.” – James Russell Lowell

Our sincerest laughter
With some pain is fraught:
Our sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest thought.” – Percy Bysshe Shelley

There is no pain so great as the memory of joy in present grief.” – Aeschylus

Because I have loved life, I shall have no sorrow to die.” – Amelia Burr

If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant; if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.” – Anne Bradstreet

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

I love my past. I love my present. I’m not ashamed of what I’ve had, and I’m not sad because I have it no longer.” – Colette

For everything there is a season,
And a time for every matter under heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die;
A time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal;
A time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
A time to embrace, And a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to seek, and a time to lose;
A time to keep, and a time to throw away;
A time to tear, and a time to sew;
A time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate,
A time for war, and a time for peace.  – Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

There’s no such thing as old age, there is only sorrow.” Edith Wharton

Parting is all we know of heaven and all we need of hell.” – Emily Dickinson

My life closed twice before its close;
It yet remains to see
If Immortality unveil
A third event to me,
So huge, so hopeless to conceive,
As these that twice befell.
Parting is all we know of heaven,
And all we need of hell. ” – Emily Dickinson

When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives means the most us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving much advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a gentle and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.” – Henri Nouwen

The sun does not shine for a few trees and flowers, but for the wide world’s joy.”
Henry Ward Beecher

Those who bring sunshine into the lives of others, cannot keep it from themselves.”
Sir James M. Barrie

The secret source of humour itself is not joy, but sorrow. There is no humour in heaven.”

Grief can take care of itself, but to get the full value of joy, you must have someone to divide it with.”
Mark Twain

Occasionally in life there are those moments of unutterable fulfillment which cannot be completely explained by those symbols called words. Their meanings can only be articulated by the inaudible language of the heart.”
Martin Luther King Jr.

The pain passes, but the beauty remains.” – Pierre Auguste Renoir

Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.
Psalms 30:5

There is no beautifier of complexion, or form, or behavior, like the wish to scatter joy and not pain around us.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

When faith gets serious, Joy turns delirious.”- J. Randal Matheny

In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.” – Robert Frost

Poetry is about the grief. Politics is about the grievance.” – Robert Frost

I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge — myth is more potent than history — dreams are more powerful than facts — hope always triumphs over experience — laughter is the cure for grief — love is stronger than death.” – Robert Fulghum

Focus on making yourself happy and you’ll soon be miserable. Focus on bringing joy to others and your own happiness will quickly follow.”- Roy H. Williams

Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world’s grief. Do justly, now. Love mercy, now. Walk humbly, now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it.” – Talmud (attributed)

Grief is itself a medicine.” – William Cowper

If you want to put more joy in your life, put more effort into the things you do. We get more satisfaction and joy from things we have worked hard on, than we do from things that came easily to us. Extra effort pays the dividend of giving you better results and also the increased satisfaction of seeing the work pay off.”- Edward W. Smith, Sixty Seconds To Success

Joy is the infallible sign of the presence of God.”
Fr. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, French Jesuit priest, paleontologist and philosopher

Joy is the will which labors, which overcomes obstacles, which knows triumph.” – William Butler Yeats

Joy is what happens when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things really are.”
Marianne Williamson(Author of A Return To Love)

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