This concept is one of Jung's most important
contributions to my life. Other people have said the
same thing, of course, but long ago when I first read this
idea by Jung, I suddenly didn't feel so alone in my down
times; I suddenly realized that everyone was going through
their own dark times; I realized that there really can't
be life without the darkness, and the darkness was no
longer as painful to me. This was during a time when
I was going through some rather severe bouts of
depression, and Jung's idea did help me to keep in mind
that what I was going through was a part of life, and that
this, too, would pass.
We learn from darkness just as we learn from light.
We gain new insights, new ideas, new perspectives from
going through difficult times, and if our lives were
devoid of them, then we never would be able to help other
people through their difficult times. No, we don't
search out sadness and depression on purpose so that we
can learn from them, but when they do visit us, we can get
through them more easily with a healthy perspective, one
that tells us that life still goes on in spite of the
darkness, and that tomorrow's sun will rise just as it did
today and yesterday.
I know people who would consider Jung's words to be
pessimistic, who would say things like "why focus on
the negative when there's so much positive?"
But there's a difference between negativity and realism,
and sadness is simply a natural part of the human
experience--when we keep in mind that it is natural and
temporal, then we can work our way through it much more
easily, and while the pain may not lessen, it should be
You will have your nights. I will have my
nights. And life will go on, and this, too, shall
pass. It's comforting to me to recognize that fact
and hold it close to my heart.