…you’ll learn some surprising lessons sorrow and longing can teach you about creativity, connection and love. You’ll find out why longing isn’t passive—as most people think—but actually “momentum in disguise.”
Author Susan Cain combines research, the stories of others, and memoir to explain how sadness can be your superpower. “Bittersweetness is the hidden source of our moon shots, masterpieces, and love stories,” she says in her newest book, “Bittersweet: “How Sorrow And Longing Make Us Whole”.
Longing can improve your creativity and fuel a drive to express yourself. Longing coupled with pain can help you to connect to others and provide a common ground that enhances compassion and helps you feel less alone in your troubles.
The book “started off as a question just about music,” Susan says. “But it quickly led me to realizing that there is this tradition, a literary tradition, an artistic tradition, religions or wisdom traditions have all been talking about this bittersweet mode of being, and this spans centuries that they’ve been talking about it. It’s in every culture. All of these traditions are pointing towards this bittersweet state of being. It’s being connected to creativity and a really deep communion.”
She also discovered a caveat: “You wouldn’t know any of that if you look in our culture. There’s nothing in our culture that is sending us that message. It’s telling us to be afraid of these kinds of emotions, and I think it’s a huge spiritual impoverishment.”