Saturday, June 26, 2010

Spring cleaning my mind

As I'm trying to clean out the negative thoughts in my mind, I got to thinking about the role of ANGER and SORROW in our lives. Then I read this article in the Desert News by Jerry Johnston-local columnist in an article entitled "Sorrow is Ingredient for Growth" that caught my eye.

In the article, Jerry tells us: We see a lot of anger today about the direction of society; but I've never trusted anger, not in myself, not in others. Anger may be righteous, but behind its face lurks self-interest. We may claim to be angry over immigration, gay rights, war, pestilence, but usually that anger is because we've been made to feel insecure, uncomfortable, confused. Anger is almost always about ourselves. Besides, feelings of anger — like feelings of fear, jealously, even happiness — leave little room for reflection and adjustment. Sorrow does. Sorrow turns our thoughts and feelings inward. We ponder, we try to understand, we change...But sorrow is how we grow, expand our horizons and see more clearly. The pains of sorrow are almost always growing pains. No one enjoys it. No one seeks it out. But it has a purpose.

Now to some of my own thoughts-ANGER is a reaction, while SORROW can be an action. Trying to cope with what happened, sorting it out in your mind without blaming someone else which can lead to FORGIVENESS and moving on with your life. For example-my divorce 35 years ago because of an unfaithful husband after 10 years of marriage and 3 children. The perfect opportunity for ANGER to enter and justifiably so, but did that help my growth as a single parent or my HEALING? No...then came the gift of FORGIVENESS from a loving Father and I felt the weight of the world lift from my shoulders. I could move on without lingering thoughts or voices wanting REVENGE or expressing ANGER towards my former spouse.

A few more Jerry thoughts: Anger closes doors. Sorrow opens doors — it opens the doors into the lives of others, the realms of revelation and the doors into our deeper selves. If something good didn't come from sorrow, what would be its point?

I think it's all part of the grieving process that happens often in our lives. The Stages of Grieving, according to Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, are: DENIAL, ANGER, BARGAINING, DEPRESSION, and finally ACCEPTANCE. Writing about the process to work through your feelings can help clean out your mind and get you back on track again into a happier frame of mind. (Images from


  1. Well, it seems to me that you may be pondering a bit too much. Anger and sorrow are both negatives. How about seeking out happiness and joy.
    And anger does have its place, if you spurs you to take corrective action.

  2. Thought-provoking, Lin. Also, I'm a Kubler-Ross fan.

  3. I can see you enjoy reflective study. You work as hard on those issues as I have on my prediabetes issue.

    Personally, I don't enjoy that kind of study. However, I've never had anything large, like a divorce, to work my way through.

  4. Interesting post. I'll have to think about the anger/sorrow topic.

  5. That was a great read, Lin. You are an awesome teacher.

    I saw Karate Kid with my daughter and nephews today. Jackie Chan advises Dre that the only thing to do with angry people is stay out of their way. An important guiding principle.

  6. trying to live happily requires very little automatically occurs when we seek for the true and the best in ourselves. but anger occurs when the individuall does is not obtainging unconditional love at all.... Without this pure love anger, hate, sorrow, and the seven cardinal sins takes their first step forward, not allowing us to see the other person's point of view or the light that shine's before us...on the cheating part, it occurs when true unconditonal love was simply not there and hasn't been felt for a long time...this causes the individual to seek for "imatation love" trying to fill the void of unconditional love, which they so much need and are starving for

  7. You're right about that. It's not easy sometimes to get rid of that negative feeling though. I need to meditate more on it.

  8. I am a ponderer too and either you are or your aren't so ponder away Lin.. I studied the stages of grief in collage....It would be nice if we could always move forward and never back, but we are human....and I could write books on my issues with my ex-husband.....hugs my friend...