Life, Pain, Sorrow, and Joy

Life, Pain, Sorrow, and Joy. Psychology Fanatic  article header image
Life, Pain, Sorrow, and Joy. Psychology Fanatic
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We are in the process of becoming—including me. I have no special claim to truth. I don’t desire unquestioned followers. No dogmas, no rigidness. No proclamations of the way things are. I hope my thoughts are helpful. My understanding of life, pain, sorrow, and joys constantly evolve. Perhaps, some of my thoughts are based on truth; while others are shots in the confusing dark, taking a stab at the complexity of unknowns.

​How do we recognize the truth? Truth isn’t easily detected, appearing no different than many unproven theories. Scientific studies help, but they’re not absolute. A truth believed feels no different from a falsehood believed.

If the sight of the blue skies fills you with joy,
if a blade of grass springing up in the fields has power to move you,
if the simple things of nature have a message that you understand, rejoice,
for your soul is alive.”

~Eleonora Duse

Author Insight

Every few years, I would write my perspective on life. Early during my publishing career, most articles were philosophical explorations into improving life. This article on sorrow and joy is one of those perspectives.

Cognitive Dissonance and Sorrow

When new insight conflicts with a currently held belief, it’s unsettling. Letting go of a belief is painful, many explanations often stem from foundational beliefs. In psychology, we refer to these internal conflicts as cognitive dissonance. Re-structuring a foundation requires reordering a life formed around constructions for interpreting experience. Once disproved, we must replace them our squander in chaos and confusion. We might even feel shamed for our previous faulty pronouncements. The pushes not to change are many, so, we continue in denial, ignoring evidence and clinging to falsehoods.

​”When we have no way to explain our suffering, it seems like pointless pain or stress, a weight or burden that drags us down.”

~Dan Garro | Understanding Our Relationship to Suffering

A life in order, with fewer conflicts, creates more joy. However, when life is constantly battering our sense of peace with conflict, we feel sorrow, anger, and other discomforting emotions. For a better balance of sorrow and joy, we should look inward at our cognitions, and make adjustments.

When a new concept illuminates a personal weakness, we are prone to reject it—especially when we are deeply invested. Personal security creates protection against an unforgiving environment, giving order to our world—not the instability of unpredictable chaos. Our beliefs give reason to events. When a belief that created order to our existence crumbles, so does the security built upon those explanations.

​The Purpose of This Blog

The purpose of Flourishing Life Society (now Psychology Fanatic) is not to assuage my ego, although comments are much appreciated. We all need encouragement; but that is not my purpose. Articles are not to appease beliefs but to stimulate thought. This is accomplished by occasionally challenging widely accepted philosophy. This may cause momentary discomfort. I hope, on occasion an article does—not to deflate the ego, but to encourage thoughtful examination.

​If everything written is unquestionable accepted by all readers, then the ideas are void of valuable content. Experiencing discomfort from a challenging thought should spur deeper thought; not immediate rejection. So please, if you disagree, see the post as an opportunity to reflect, examining contrary beliefs, and challenging stagnant patterns.

I allow opposing comments to be expressed when they are expressed with courtesy and kindness. Angry attacks destroy thoughtful exchanges. Instead of feeling edified, we feel shame, anger or sorrow. We pine over a harsh written exchange for hours. The harsh words intrude on peace. This is not the goal of Psychology Fanatic.

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