“Making meaning out of suffering is the basis of the human capacity to survive evil and transcend it"
Embracing our darkest emotions is a difficult concept. Accepting that they are there to serve a purpose and that without them we would not grow and evolve is a challenge.
Miriam Greenspan is an Internationally renowned psychotherapist and in this book she rationalises that facing into grief, despair and fear is the most effective way to heal and transform our lives. The book uses her own experience and the stories of her clients to provide a platform for delivering an understanding of how our emotions work and a methodology for transformation.
Our temptation is to avoid the dark side and live only with what is positive. But we can only know and appreciate the good emotions, happiness, joy, passion; if we have a context against which to identify them. We must know sadness in order to feel happy, we can’t be fearless without knowing fear. How we deal with the negative is the critical aspect that Greenspan addresses.
In the midst of the deepest grief, it can feel so overwhelming, so utterly dark and desperate that we are tempted to seek a form of relief that is instant, seemingly straightforward. This book relays that distractions, denial and avoidance may only delay, numb and possibly even deepen these feelings and result in negative behavioural patterns.
It’s a complex read, intelligently delivered and thought provoking. It discusses the relationship between mind and heart, the role of faith, the nature of reality, shame and many other aspects of emotion. It also includes a series of practical emotional exercises.