Ordinary Sorrows


Michael Fassbender as Carl Jung in A Dangerous Method. Image found at filmoa.com

Tonight I mostly want to say a huge thank you to everyone who’s starting following my blog recently and to everyone who’s stuck with me as my blogging has waxed and waned. I don’t have much to talk about today; it’s been a day of mostly transcription so someone else’s voice is currently buzzing in my head. But I do want to share with you a double quote—May Sarton quoting Carl Jung—which stuck with me when I read it this morning. It’s about suffering, not with a capital “S” but the ordinary sorrows that give life their texture. Sarton and Jung believe, and I agree, that suffering is necessary to growth. And by choosing to avoid suffering, or as we do in many cases, choosing to not acknowledge  our suffering by squashing it deep down inside through opiates (both dangerous and benevolent) or sheer will power, actually arrests our growth and keeps us from walking fully as the people God has made us to be. But Mmle. Sarton and Messr. Jung say it much better than I do:

“We fear disturbance, change, fear to bring to light and to talk about what is painful. Suffering often feels like failure, but is actually the door into growth. And growth does not cease to be painful at any age. Jung says, ‘The possession of complexes does not in itself signify neurosis, for complexes are the normal foci of psychic happenings, and the fact that they are painful is no proof of pathological disturbance. Suffering is not an illness; it is the normal counterpole to happiness. A complex becomes pathological only when we think we have not got it.'” — May Sarton, Journal of a Solitude

Posted on January 28, 2013, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Excellent quote–thanks for sharing it! It captures precisely why my divorce was simultaneously the worst and best time of my life. Scary at the time, but ultimately a huge leap forward.

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