Melancholy my boon, my curse….
What is melancholy?
According to the dictionary, it is feeling of pensive sadness, typically with no obvious cause.
But I would go a bit further than this definition and give a deeper explanation from my personal point of view!
There is a constant feeling, a voice in the background (background is the key word) which makes you feel everything is futile. It makes you feel remorse for something you can’t remember doing. The forgotten reason feels close yet unknown! That’s why there is a general feeling of gloom and a non smiling face.
Now logically such a negative felling should be only harmful. But…sometimes I have noticed it is under the influence of this feeling that I have poured out a lot of creativity. Mainly philosophical and poetic.
I was almost fighting and trying to get rid of this feeling of melancholy until I
read a passage from “The difficulty of being good” where the author Gurcharan Das admits his “third stage melancholy” and I suddenly felt that since he feels it too, it might be ok! (how reality is our perception)
That is when I realised the true deep meaning of what the French poet meant when he said…
“Melancholy is the happiness of being sad.” – Victor Hugo
It is quite interesting a lot of French poets and novelists spoke in the tone of melancholy or about it. They say it is one of the strongest emotions for creativity ( and all these years I felt guilty of having it! talk about double negative)
The more I tried to read about this emotion the more I came across such deep words…One such piece is by Marcel Proust, who was a French novelist.
So tired of having suffered, more tired of having loved.
Life, having charmed me with its open spaces,
Now tightens around me its monotonous glove,
And my dream, seeing the walls around it rise,
Curls up in melancholy surprise – Marcel Proust
What is it about melancholy that makes it so deep and rich as an emotion…
“Suffering has been stronger than all other teaching, and has taught me to understand what your heart used to be. I have been bent and broken, but – I hope – into a better shape.” – Charles Dickens, Great Expectations.
It is when we feel the deepest of pain and that too constantly it starts moving us more and more into the direction of understanding what is it that we much place value on. Because one by one the materialistic possessions start loosing it’s meaning and we start moving towards what really is important.
The acceptance of this emotion is what set me free finally.
It is not a curse, it is not a boon, it is something that is a part of me. Almost like water, tasteless but part of my daily cooking.
In fact it is because of this feeling of Melancholy that I keep looking for more and more answers. Something that will engage me enough to fill the gap and overcome it’s sadness. Without this constant feeling of emotional pain and sadness how would I find new ways to find happiness or okness.
Loke every other emotion it is time I accept this emotion of Melancholy and let it flow through me unrestricted so that I allow myself to feel as sad as I want for as long as I want to reach genuine growth!
Most of my creativity has happened through Melancholy because only when we are unhappy with the current we look for ways to make it better.
Maybe thing is a boon, nothing is a curse, maybe sometimes it is how we see it!