“Sadness gives depth. Happiness gives height. Sadness gives roots. Happiness gives branches. Happiness is like a tree going into the sky, and sadness is like the roots going down into the womb of the earth. Both are needed, and the higher a tree goes, the deeper it goes, simultaneously. The bigger the tree, the bigger will be its roots. In fact, it is always in proportion. That’s its balance.” ~ Osho
Some of you may have caught the new music video for “I Want to Get Better” by the band Bleachers. If not, you can watch the clip below.
In short, the reason why I mention it is because the majority of the video takes place in therapy. The chorus, which is also the title of the song, can pretty accurately depict some people’s frustrations with the therapeutic process. When we are distraught, upset, in pain, sad, etc. it is perfectly natural to want that feeling to instantly go away. This is what has so many turning externally in pursuit of the next pill, diet, fad, vacation, house, child, and even their therapist to take it all away by filling whatever void there may be in their lives. However, what is so difficult to see is that there is meaning in the pain, meaning that we so vitally need to allow us to feel the real highs of happiness. It is learning how to build a tolerance to this pain that is the real point to psychotherapy, to the point where we can learn to hold and even appreciate it in an entirely new way. So while aspects of life are incredibly painful, the real trick is in getting to the point where the pain hurts so good that we realize we can’t live without it.
The next video clip from the TV show Louie further emphasizes my point. To give a bit of context to this scene, the main character, Louie, is going through a fairly intense and emotional break up with a woman when he knew from the very beginning it would not work out. The older man’s insight, while seemingly cynical, is brutally honest.
“The blues are all about feelin’ good about feelin’ bad.” ~Anonymous musician