Joy and sorrow

I’ve written before about my belief that our willingness to deeply feel our pain and sadness is what gives us the ability to experience the heights of joy. I believe that the two are interconnected and the refusal of one leads to the refusal of the other.

I recently came across a passage by Kahlil Gibran that speaks to the same topic of their inseparability. It is a marvelous reminder to me to always be open to whatever life brings in all of its fullness, the heights and the depths together.

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 holds 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 thar 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 on JOY AND SORROW

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3 thoughts on “Joy and sorrow

  1. Pingback: Kahlil Gibran On Freedom « Wed-Gie

  2. Beautiful image. Joy and sorrow, one or the other asleep on the bed. Made me remember the many times I wake up in the wee hours, heart pounding and full of dread, often after a pretty good day. How deep and pure it is to come to a place in your life where you can sit with your own desire to hang on and control. It’s hard to write about. You’re exploring places that are older than words. Best wishes on your journey.

    • Thank you so much, Julia, for the good wishes! I also appreciate the encouragement about the challenge of exploring these places of my life. It is hard to write about, but it’s also so rewarding when I can find words. Thanks so much for commenting!

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