The Beautiful Sadness of Longing

Something within the human heart aspires to meet the Beloved

Mitch Ditkoff

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There is a beautiful kind of sadness, one most people think they shouldn’t feel, that needs to be celebrated. Or, if not celebrated, then at least welcomed like the evening’s last beggar at your door.

This sadness is divine, the experience of what most people consider to be an absence, but, in reality, is the presence of the divine longing for the Beloved.

It would be easy to conclude that this feeling is a disconnection from joy, an unfortunate amnesia that would make an easy target for well-meaning givers of advice to quote from their favorite scripture, but I am not talking about this garden variety of sadness. I am talking about another kind — a holy melancholy that sculpts, deepens, and refines from within.

Like the dusk that follows day, it is not devoid of light — only another shade of light. Yes, it is darker, but so what? Isn’t it the darkness that allows the stars to shine?

When a human being is in the presence of their Beloved, it is easy to feel joy. Like leaving home in the middle of a storm, it is easy to get wet there. But when the Beloved departs (ah, the paradox, the late night debates — does the Beloved ever depart?), an uncomfortable feeling arises.

The moon is full, but you are empty — thirsty for something to fill you again, but the only thing to drink is a bucket of tears and you cannot find the handle. Off in the distance you hear the sound of a cello. Is it sad or beautiful?

Drawn by the music, you follow, feeling your way, singing silent songs of praise and wondering if what you hear is the sound of your own voice or your name being called.

You know and have always known, that the Beloved has left the world behind as a gift. But you do not want the gift.

You want the Giver.

Excerpted from “Unspoken Word” (pub. date: 3/21/23)

The above piece with music and visuals

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Mitch Ditkoff

Co-Founder of Idea Champions, Face The Music & Sage Catalysts. Author of Storytelling for the Revolution, Storytelling at Work, Unspoken Word and Free the Genie