This I believe.
Never shall I forget the bond between these two friends. How they came together like two pieces of a puzzle; supporting each other in the creation of something that was beyond them. They were like night and day. One set the sky aflame as it woke every morning, turning it wondrous shades of violet, red, yellow, and orange; just to be conquered by the night’s darkness when the time came. As though they were competing to rule the world, thus resulting in a continuous battle among the heavens. They were the best of friends, happiness and sadness.
There were of course, some setbacks.
Sometimes happiness requires tears of anguish and endurance. Sometimes sadness is meant to be suppressed by a hollow smile that creates a facade of sorts. This sadness holds pain, defeat, depression, loneliness, loss, and so much more that seems to be lost in the corners of one’s heart, trying to put the fragmented parts of itself together to create a solid emotion, but failing to do so. Sometimes happiness is the glue that prevents one’s heart from shattering into thousands of pieces of glass, whenever asked the question “Are you okay?,”and forces one’s lips and voice to complete each other in efforts of conceiving the statement, “I’m fine.”
Being able to suppress such emotions had required me to compress my heart in a chest of steel, securing it under lock and key, and burying it under the “new heart” I had sculpted from the lies I told to the people around me.
I used to hide in a dark corner of the world, my knees curled up against my chest, desperately kicking at the shadows that seemed to consume my being.
I wanted the overwhelming sadness that seemed to wash over me, like the waves of a deadly storm in the pacific, to yield; and when they did, I counted the seconds ’til they returned. Not in anticipation. In fear.
Such sadness became a constant within me, threatening my sanity, to the extent that I became numb to the pain at one point. And so came depression.
People spoke of a happiness that I only caught glimpses of through the stories behind their smiles. I felt as though they would never understand the value of such happiness. To acquire something so distant was what I yearned for. It’s what demanded my heart to keep beating, and my lungs to keep breathing.
And then came the day when I met someone who altered my entire perspective towards pain and sadness. She was beautiful. Truly, she was. In nearly every sense. Nearly. There was something about her that I couldn’t place. Something that nagged my conscience whenever I saw or spoke to her. Then it hit me. She lacked depth. When one looked into her eyes, they would see happiness, but the superficial kind. The kind that had never suffered at the hands of sadness; the kind that had never demanded sacrifice; the kind that had never battled against adversity, and won. She was the cover of a book. A cover that manipulated one’s mind into believing that the book had to be a great read. But when you opened the book, the pages were blank.
I began to compare her with another close friend of mine. Relative, to be more precise. This individual was the kind of person you could never get enough of. Her voice, her attitude, her moodiness, just made you want more of her companionship. I connected with her at levels that I never could have imagined, and eventually began to realize why that was. As humans, we develop the need for others to understand us, comfort us, and hold us. To talk about our grief and pain to those who are not only willing to listen, but to understand. She was the kind of person who understood. I saw recognition bloom in her eyes like flowers during spring. As though she were suffering through the same storm, just on a different boat.
That was the difference between the two.
Sadness is not a punishment. Regardless, don’t get me wrong, because the purpose of sadness is to drag you down into the depths of Tartarus. But not to suffer. The purpose behind such extremes is for you to look in the mirror and see who you are. To see your own potential and capabilities. It tests what you have the ability to do when being consumed by the fear and pressures of the world around you. It enables you to grow, to change, to survive. It’s what gives you the ability to provide happiness to others. Happiness is the outcome of sadness. It dawns understanding. One cannot live happily if they have not first lived sadly. These forces co-exist within us. They entwine themselves into our fate, bending one way or the other, in attempts to overpower one another, thus resulting in triumphs and defeats. Pain and joy. Successes and failures. Memories to be cherished; memories to be forgotten.
It’s true that I’d rather be happy my whole life than sad; but most people often forget, as do I, that even though happiness is what we strive for in life, sadness is what gives us life.
This I believe, wholeheartedly.