Joy and Pain

No, I’m not referencing the Rob Base song from the 1980’s here…this reference goes back further…to 1923, when Lebanese-born American artist, philosopher and writer Khalil Gibran published a book 0f 26 poetic essays entitled The Prophet. I can’t recall when I came across Gibran’s work…whether it was in a philosophy class, or an early 20th century American-Lit class…but either way, I would have been in my late teens-very early twenties. Even at that relatively young age, a line caught my attention and  held it…and I have never forgotten it since.

Those words have helped me through some rough moments, such as when my maternal grandmother passed away and when I nearly lost my father a few summers ago.

So often you hear people who have gone through severe hardship or experienced tremendous loss talk of the joy they find in the little things they once never took notice of. They appreciate more.  In an ironic twist of humanity, their loss enriches their lives in a way people who live relatively tragic-free lives could never experience.

I would never wish for pain or desire tragedy…but I do find comfort in understanding the truth in Gibran’s quote.  And though these words certainly did not ease the pain of loss or make their experience any easier – that’s not what this is about. The  moments in my life that have brought me the most sorrow have indeed left room to:

love deeper,

try harder,

hold on tighter.

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