Always Well Within

Calm Your Mind, Ease Your Heart, Embrace Your Inner Wisdom

Sad? Amplify Joy!

candles in the dark

Life is a study in contrasts:

  • Birth and Death
  • Loving and Letting Go
  • Day and Night
  • Light and Dark
  • Joy and Sorrow

Do you ever get stuck in sorrow?  Then keep it going by generating sad-stained thoughts about the future, or going over glum stories from the past?

None of us can escape sorrow, but we don’t have to make it bigger than it is.  Once you learn how to hold suffering, you can damper the sadness by amplifying joy.

“The first noble truth states that the nature of samsara (the cycle of conditioned existence, in which our mind is turned outwardly lost in its projections) is suffering.  You can focus on the suffering element, but Nyoshul Khenpo said that if you realize and accept it, then when suffering comes it’s not a shock, just a fact of life, and you become free.

With more acceptance and less aversion, the suffering becomes almost bearable.  In the West, you focus too much on the mind, exaggerate, and get sick simply by worrying.”  – Sogyal Rinpoche

Don’t resist the sorrow.  Let it rise and flow through, while intentionally turning up the volume on joy.  You may feel the suffering, but you know there’s beauty, grace, and possibility too.

Remember the goodness!  Let it mingle with the sadness until the sorrow is diluted or even melts away.

  • A child’s smile.
  • Someone lending a helping hand.
  • The smell of fresh baked bread.
  • A favorite piece of music.
  • The exultation in a moment of grace.
  • The nourishment of solitude.
  • A kindness shown to you.
  • A bouquet of flowers.
  • The good fortune of another.
  • The unexpected visit of an owl in the daylight.
  • The birds singing to you in this very moment.

Temper sorrow with joy.  Dare to feel the fullness of life in all its contrasts and colors.

What do you do when you feel stuck in sorrow?

I’m so glad you’re here! If you liked this article, please consider subscribing for free updates by email. With love, Sandra


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  1. It is so easy to be blinded by the bad times, isn’t it? I used to live my life in a constant state of anxiety, punctuated by horrible negative spirals, until I learned to stop overthinking. We’re taught to pick things apart, to speculate, to analyze. But I’ve found that those things just make the suffering much worse.

    • This is a profound insight, Bethany! I’m so glad you shared it here. Really, the ticket is to just let it go, but countering it with joy can also enrich our lives. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts.

  2. jean sampson

    The older I get, the better able I am to recognize that I am feeling something other than at peace. Once I “get” that, then I begin to turn that around with those good things and thoughts that you listed in this post. If I can change my feelings by doing something, then I will do it as quickly as possible. I have learned that I am a container for feelings both comfortable and uncomfortable. It is up to me to decide what I want to contain. I do think there are certain feelings, like grief, that need to be held until processed, however long that takes. However, even on really cloudy days there are still flowers to sniff and cool air to feel and bird songs to enjoy. Even in the midst of grief, there will be beautiful moments that remind you of the goodness of life, too.

    • I love this image, Jean < that we are a container for feelings both comfortable and uncomfortable. The container doesn't need to be stained by the feelings. We can simply hold and release. I agree with you that some feelings like grief need more time and processing. But the secret is to find those tiny moments of joy - like the ones you mention - within the grief. Thank you!

  3. Balroop Singh

    Hi Sandra,
    Sorrow is such a universal problem which we amplify by brooding, thereby sinking deeper into it. I have learnt to deal with it by pouring it into my poems. Here is one of them:


    Some embers are still alive
    Some moments are still scattered
    Some shadows are still traceable
    Some stars are still twinkling.

    The flickering flame is beckoning
    The breezy silence is whispering
    The joy is still in the air
    Our togetherness is as binding as ever.

    Why are my eyes so moist?
    Your love for me has grown with time.
    Why are there distances of miles?
    Where are those sweet smiles?

    The treasure of those moments
    Is sealed somewhere down
    Only you can unlock it
    The hope is still alive.
    Please see more such poems in my ebook: ‘Sublime Shadows of life’

    Balroop Singh

    • Beautiful poem, Balroop! Thank you for sharing it with us. This is a good way to pour out your sorrow. I think you are right about the brooding. We each need to find our own way.

  4. I absolutely always amplify joy! I don’t even think about it anymore, it just happens.

    When stuck in sorrow I 1) Acknowlededge the feeling 2) Search for ways to actively solve the problem (if that’s possible) 3) Let go (detachment) 4) Immerse myself in joy again.

    Great post!

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