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I don't think despair helps any one. It give one a sense of feeling lost and with out hope. To me there is alway hope no matter what one sees in front of them.
I think any deep, negative emotion can help us if we become self-aware and realize that God can help us out of it.
It can also help us by giving us perspective on what is truly important.
I've even come to be aware that judging things as important is a mortal and imperfect activity that keeps us from God.
I agree with you lone77star. Every emotion has a good side. Despair (f we recognize it) tells us that there is something to reach for.
Yes, Lonestar. I guess we have to up to a certain point, until we learn to 'flow with the experience'
I think there are three different types of despair, and there may be two levels to one of those types.
One type of despair might be the kind (as someone mentioned here) that people may feel at a funeral (or feel upon knowing that a loved one has passed away). I'd call that a type of despair that would be "a more immediate, emotional-reaction, kind of despair". I think this is the type of despair that may or may not be helped if someone cries, and I think how much it helps may depend on "how big" the despair is. So this is the kind of despair that I think can have different levels - the kind that may be helped with the release of crying, and the kind that just isn't. Because this is kind of despair is "height of emotion" despair, I don't think it's even a matter of whether it helps someone or not. It's just understandable, normal, emotion. The crying that may/may not come with it is a separate thing and may/may not be useful. Sometimes not crying can actually be useful in such situations, because the person already feels out-of-control Choosing to take some control over whether or not one cries can help a person at least gain that much sense of control. Also, the person who has other people for whom he believes he must remain strong may feel better by meeting up to his own expectations of himself; and may feel, at least, that he is fulfilling his responsibility to remain strong for those who may need him to (particularly, for example, children or those people for whom the loss is even greater than it is for him/her). With something like a death people know there is no hope with the individual situation, and that's what contributes to the despair.
Then there's "overall despair" - the kind that isn't so much "immediate emotion" as it is something people "live in". With this, I don't necessarily think people live without hope. They just aren't thinking about what's hopeful in their general despair. I think that people living in this (a despair mode") have been moved "out of being themselves" and into "being something other than that", and I don't think it's helpful to their physical or emotional well-being to live separated from "the real them" or from "the mentally healthiest that they could be". To me, the only thing useful that might come of this might be if they develop coping skills (always useful/helpful) in order to get out of that "despair mode" and return to who/what they really are. So, no, I don't think despair is very helpful.
Glad to see you have entered the domain of Questions, manatita. You bring a particular grace with your presence.
It is an interesting question, one I would not have thought to ask. The provocation to go deeper is a reason I like to participate in the Question/Answer feature.
“Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.” ― Henry David Thoreau, Civil Disobedience and Other Essays
Despair and desperation are related, yes?
Focusing on how despair can be helpful....
As another commenter pointed out, being aware of one's own emotional state is beneficial. Once aware, a person can make choices which lead to further awakening, stabilizing, maturing.
Despair can arise from inner conflict. That is, a person is strongly pulled to one action, but constrained from it by some other force or influence. Inner conflict can again be a catalyst for growth when one applies the will in that direction or hears from the Higher Self words of wisdom and understanding. Humans have the capacity to create wholeness from partial truths.
Another choice might be to remove oneself from the conflict for a time and go more deeply, into the stillness. What a gift of despair, to know one's own sublime peace!
So, to more directly answer your question, despair in itself is not a particularly helpful emotion. But like anything else in life, our response to it can help us watch our own unfoldment into who we really are.
Let us not go to the grave with the song still in us, unsung. I would rather be a fool, singing from my heart to the stars.
Nice very nice. You took your time and answered well. Thank you my brother.
I would enjoy to read how you would answer as well.
A question was asked of Sri Chinmoy once , very similar in relation to sad poems. He gave a very positive and beautiful answer which I cannot find. It is well documented that many saints became sad and depressed when they could not find God.
To Continue, EP,
I was very sad once. A kind of spiritual sadness which stayed with me for 18 months. My way was to intensify my prayer and love for God until it eventually passed. So it helped me. Sri Chinmoy has said that when we cry for the departed, it sometimes help us. Perhaps I should say that there is a kind of attachment which can manifest itself as despair when things go wrong. This is very mundane. Still, I would hesitate to say that they do not help us, in retrospect.
Remember, we are not moving from Light to darkness, but from lesser Light to greater Light. Tillsontitatn has given a nice answer to my sad poem. Hard Times: A Sonnet.
No question, we could have some long discussions.... After my brothers died in separate car accidents, I had melancholy. Being HS, I felt alone. I searched long for God and my niche. The Light is constant and we are awakening to it as who we are.
Yes, dear friend (as I feel it is so), your *way* was to intensify your prayer... That agrees with my saying that the helpfulness is not in the despair but in the person's response to it. The only helpfulness I see in despair is that it is a signal.
Quite so, EP. Thanks everyone for your participation. Wonderful answers. EP a prayer for your brothers in the other worlds.
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