It’s only natural to seek the good and avoid the bad every chance we get. But the good life doesn’t mean an absence of heartache and pain. There are many heavy realities that simply come with life in this world. And the good life is often bittersweet.
Of course, there are those who only focus on the doom and gloom of life – raining on every parade. But it’s not helpful to go to the opposite extreme either – pretending life is a never-ending party of happiness and lighthearted fun.
Wisdom and maturity remind us of the bittersweet realities of life.
On the one hand, we become more prone to misery and despair when we’re always waiting on the next bad thing to happen. To be sure, life is filled with many dark days. But these dark moments cannot expel the profound goodness still available. And we must actively choose to hunt down the beauty around us when it seems so elusive otherwise.
On the other hand, life becomes shallow and meaningless when we can only tolerate the positive and happy moments. Certainly, we should drink deeply of all the wonders and pleasures available to us. But this doesn’t require us to put our heads in the sand and ignore the many griefs and struggles this life also brings. In fact, it becomes increasingly difficult to appreciate the profound joys of life without also honoring its profound sorrows.
A bittersweet life means the good and the bad, the joys and the sorrows, are commingled together. And while some seasons lean into one more than the other, we’ve missed the depth and richness of life when we’ve settled for simplistic either/or experiences.
In the end, life is complex – often requiring us to accept the truth of multiple experiences at the same time. Learn to honor life’s many bittersweet moments to truly experience the good life.