What is Sorrow?


Sorrow is a weed that grows and can grow rapidly, over whatever once made us happy, content, and peaceful. Just like any weed, no matter how much weedkiller you use, it always finds a way to come back into the heart.

I have seen many sorrow events take place in my life: from experiencing my family member’s addiction, my own suffering from depression, and seeing a beloved grandmother pass away in pain. and losing everything my family and I ever owned in a devastating fire. Consistently, day by day, my family suffered, my parents suffered, and I suffered from these events. As each day passed by, it felt worse.

When I began praying with God/The Higher Power, I found ways to plant the seed of content in the garden of my heart and now I live everyday with more happiness. So does my family and those I hold dear to my heart. I thank God/The Higher Power everyday for working with my in our daily challenges in life.

As happiness is a flower that blooms, withers and blooms again, so too does sorrow but as a weed. As I continued to pray with God/The Higher Power through all my troubles, my family and I were walking up a steep hill with each step getting steeper; however, these steps we took in these prayers, the change in our attitude, allowed us to become stronger to take the next steps needed to grow content and see the flowers of happiness bloom again.

Image by chulmin park from Pixabay

What is Sorrow?

Sorrow is exactly the opposite of content. Sorrow is the feeling of deep distressed that is caused by either loss, disappointment, or any other misfortune suffered by others. As content is the tree of happiness in the garden of our hearts, sorrow is the weed that tries to take down this tree and devoid it of all noticeable life.

Sorrow can have many different reasons why it grows in our hearts. It could come to us as an infestation from situations not our own, come from within, or come from dire situations that we are/were in. Just as there many reasons for the seed of content to grow, so too are the reasons why sorrow will grow.

Sorrow can evolve into many different names and definitions of mental and emotional health. For example, General Anxiety Disorder (GAD) includes a feeling of dread, constant worrying and difficulty concentrating. When my family and I had our house fire and we were jumping from five different hotels then to a rental house, all the stress and the traumatic event caused me to have an anxiety attack. When I went to a psychiatrist to get examined, I was diagnosed with GAD and was prescribed three different medicines.

My psychologist, on the other hand, thought it was a mixture of GAD and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD); however, they couldn’t give that diagnosis. Be that as it may, the fire and the stress that ensued for years had me take on more medicine, more therapy, and no results. I felt as though I would be in this state for the rest of my life. The weeds of sorrow took over so much of my heart that I could not fully focus with my schooling or with my job.

Image by Goran Horvat from Pixabay

Removing the Weeds of Sorrow

The phrase, “It gets worse before it gets better,” could not have picked a better time to be true. As I was finishing my studies at college, I thought I could find a job and had a sense that the worse was over. I thought I saw the light at the end of the tunnel. I was wrong in this thought and my family discovered a family member of mine had addiction.

I was devastated. I was saving my money to move on had to go towards my family member’s health and well being. My parents were throwing money to all forms of care to see what sticks and what can help. I felt as though I had a choice: help my family or I close the door to my family and say, “good luck.”

I had to help my family.

Not only did I endure the yelling, screams of pain, and threats from my addicted family member, my love for them also endured. I would drive them to their therapy sessions, sat in with them for some, and encouraged them that happiness will come.

After many months of taking difficult steps, my family member was admitted to a rehab center that was religious based. They were there for thirty days. In this time, I prayed more and more with God while also letting my mother and father vent when they needed to. One day, my mother and I were cleaning my family member’s bedroom and said to me, “It’s weird, it feels as though he’s dead.”

This made me see that my mind and heart had to work as a team to see this through not just for my family member and not just for me, but for the rest of my family, too. When I was praying with God/The Higher power, I heard the higher power say to me, “place orange peals on a plate and place the plate on the highest shelf in their room. Leave them there for 30 days.”

It just so happened I bought some oranges two days before, so I pealed them, of course I ate the oranges, and put the peals on a plate. I placed the plate on top of a shelf above his desk. I told my mom, “Ma, leave these here for the month.” She looked at me as though as I had seven heads and said, “Ok…whateva.”

When I placed them on the shelf, I looked up the reason why orange peals was said to be the peals used. I can’t tell you which website I went to because this took place a few years ago, but The Spruce provides the closest definition I remember reading up on back then: orange peals have the ability to clear a space and, in feng shui, it is derive from the active and bright energies. A recent 2019 study also confirmed the aroma of orange essential oil when exposed to mice had the mice show less depression-like symptoms.

This was the first step I took to remove the weeds of sorrow not only in my heart, but also in my family. I went with my heart, listened to God/The Higher Power’s advise to me, and did a little study to see that it was logical to do. After my family member came home from rehab and we all shared a sigh of relief, we were able to begin replanting our seeds of content.

Seeing that I was getting more results with my connection to the Higher Power and discovering my path to balance with God, the Earth, and all Life around me, I decided I no longer needed the medicine for my General Anxiety Disorder. I found a better route to lead me to balance and peace.

Image by Denis Velicanov from Pixabay

Can There be Life Without Sorrow?

Looking back at my memories of this dark time in my family, I always wonder what my life would have been like without these dire situations. During this dark time, I kept on asking “Why, God, why is this happening?” I always wonder how my life would have been different if I didn’t experience these situations in my life – facing my own challenges and finding any way possible to help my family with their challenges. How would my life turn out without Sorrow?

It turns out, my life would have not been a life at all. How could I know what true content was without true sorrow in my life? How can I ensure the tree of content forever grows without ensuring the weeds of sorrow are kept at bay?

If the sun was always in the sky over the same land, the land would dry up and turn to a desert. If India did not have their yearly typhoon season, they would not have a harvest. If wolves did not prowl the forests, dear will overpopulate.

The seeds of content and the weeds of sorrow, in my view, work in a way in our hearts where they are just as intertwined as we are with The Higher Power, the Earth, and all Life around us. It is a balancing act between the two ends of the same stick, balancing the yin and the yang, and balancing ourselves.

I believe you cannot have true content/true happiness without experiencing true sorrow/sadness. Because of the dire situation my family has been, I find we were tested and grew stronger because of it. I grew closer with God/The Higher Power and though my family may not be the same as it was before this all happened, we are all stronger because of it.

The weeds of sorrow will always grow back in the garden of our hearts for whatever reason you may have. Your reasons and history may involve more/less/similarly to what I went through be it war, famine, desolation, depression, isolation. No matter what weedkiller you use, the weeds will always grow back. Sorrow will return just like the flowers of happiness.

In my view, the weeds of sorrow come back not because it wants to take over my life, I now believe they serve as a reminder: tend to the garden of your heart, remember to tend to your seeds of content, remember to plant seeds that will allow joy to grow in your life.

Be well and be safe & healthy.

Papa Hannah

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