Existential Psychology

Embracing The Tragic Elements Of Life

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If you had one wish for the people you care about it might be that they would always be happy. But if you could wave your magic wand and turn this wish into a reality would it be a blessing or a curse?

There is no doubt that happiness is a pleasant state, but without the tragic elements of human existence life remains superficial and rather empty. Every meaningful accomplishment implies struggle and failure, every meaningful relationship implies conflict and pain, any deep thought about the human situation implies discomfort, true love implies boundless grief when the object of that love is one day lost.

Making happiness the primary goal doesn’t improve our lives it cheapens them, keeping us from the very experiences that make fulfillment possible. In this sense embracing the tragic elements of life is not morbid or backwards, it’s the only attitude that makes sense because the transcendent and the tragic are two sides of the same coin, you can’t have the one without eventually having the other.