Joy from Sorrow

I know you might get tired of me bringing up Henri Nouwen, but I simply can’t believe how much his words resonate to where I am on a daily basis. I receive his Daily Meditations and they are always inspirational or cause me to think or, well, both. If you are interested you can also sign up to receive them: They are taciturn (Rosanne will appreciate that-since she is the queen of verbosity) for those of us with a bit of an attention problem (like my entire family and most of my friends—LOL).

I was in the middle of composing a blog about the close relationship between joy and sorrow. The basic premise was that in order to experience true joy, you would have to also understand sorrow. I remembered that this topic was addressed in an early January Daily Meditation and sure enough—I found it. Nothing I have ever written has come close to explaining my feelings on this topic than the words from Henri Nauwen as follows:

“Joy and sorrow are never separated. When our hearts rejoice at a spectacular view, we may miss our friends who cannot see it, and when we are overwhelmed with grief, we may discover what true friendship is all about. Joy is hidden in sorrow and sorrow in joy. If we try to avoid sorrow at all costs, we may never taste joy, and if we are suspicious of ecstasy, agony can never reach us either. Joy and sorrow are the parents of our spiritual growth.” –Henri Nouwen-

Now, do I long to feel sorrow so I can also experience joy? NO! of course not, but I do acknowledge the connection. It is said that love is the universal language, but I am not sure that is the case. Unfortunately, there are people who may never experience true, undying love in their lifetime, but everyone will experience sorrow and pain. Perhaps these emotions are more universal then we would like to admit. The other side of this coin is that, the greater your capacity to feel the pain and work through it, the greater your capacity to absolutely experience joy. Though pain is not something I desire to experience, I concede that through sorrow I have the ability to recognize and experience joy more completely for I have endured the opposite.

This I know for sure….