On Feeling Melancholy


Melancholy isn’t exactly a word on everybody’s lips. But we should pay more attention to it, even seek it out from time to time. Melancholy is a species of sadness that arises when we are open to the fact that life is inherently difficult and that suffering disappointment are core parts of universal experience. It’s not a disorder that needs to be cured. Modern society tends to emphasize buoyancy and cheerfulness but we have to admit that reality is, for the most part, about grief and loss. The good life is not one immune to sadness but one in which suffering contributes to our development. Melancholy is an underused word. It doesn’t mean grim and miserable. It means grasping without rage the fact that the world is full of folly and greed that it is rare to find inner peace, that it is hard to live comfortably with those we love, that it’s very unusual to have a career that’s both financially rewarding and morally uplifting, that many decent people have a very hard time. Often sadness simply makes a lot of sense. We learn so late about stuff. You’ve wasted years; everyone has. You can only avoid regret by switching off your imagination. The wisdom of the melancholy attitude as opposed to the bitter, angry one, lies in the understanding that the sorrow isn’t just about you, that you have not been singled out, that you’re suffering belongs to humanity in general. To take that fully to heart is to become more compassionate and less vengeful. The melancholy facts shouldn’t make us desperate, rather, more forgiving, kinder, and better able to focus on what really matters while there is still time.

About the author

Comments

  1. "You've wasted years. Everyone has."
    I like this line. I think it's because I often feel other people don't fail. I'm the only one who keeps failing in life.

  2. I feel like this is my natural emotional state. My "natural" emotion is sad, I know that, but it's not grief, nor is it depression. It's like a dull sadness, similar to boredom. I don't feel bored however, I just feel… something. It might be melancholy, but I dont think that fits.

  3. You described literally, I mean literally, my state. I’ve been through disappointments, that made me become careless in a way that I made peace with the fact that I can’t control the outcome, that things can always get worse and that my disappointments and suffering don’t make special, makes nobody special, we’re all the same, we’re just different versions of each other blinded by our feelings and our own ego. This led me to feel some kind of freedom, it made me less shy and more spontaneous with my actions and words, and surprisingly more funny. In addition to that, I find joy in kindness. I don’t care about being a good person nor to be viewed as one nor to be rewarded, there’s just a feeling of satisfaction in helping and using my past experience to ease the pain of another person, the assurance of someone not undergoing that, it is weird but fulfilling. However there are some things that I wish I knew earlier, some mistakes that I have made too many times before learning from them, and that time doesn’t take a pause for me to process and learn, that’s life, why would it pause for me? I’m no special snowflake, I have a high self respect and self love, but I know I am definitely not special. In the end nothing matters that much, but if I am to speak about that… then damn, I’ll need a 300 pages notebook.

  4. I've been a melancholic person all my life. I somehow love it and despise it at the same time. That indescribable feeling that i get when i suddenly smell a scent that instantly transports me back in time or even more sweet and sour, when i listen to music that reminds me of events i never lived…

  5. The problem is everyone keeps telling you to try your hardest in life and that everything is going to work itself out. No its not. There's this… anger and sadness in me when I realized I would never in fact really be an author, despite putting years of effort into it. It hit me like a moving truck and it hasn't gone away since. People tell you to pursue and follow your dreams and yet, we live in a world were those dreams are impossible to achieve. I'm so… sad I guess. I want to cry or kick something, but nothing comes out and I don't have the nerve to act. Thank you for this video.

  6. I used to hate melancholy. I was born an optimist, and when life started throwing stuff at me, I slowly began to discover understand what melancholy is. I couldn't bear it. How does one accept that everything comes with a counterpart. My heart was broken very recently, I left a relationship with someone I still love and who still loves me. But I'll never regret falling in love because love gave me so much. Yet, if you want to experience that feeling, you also have to accept that it could and will end eventually, and that there is a chance you'll be heartbroken. The same way, I don't think I'll regret breaking up because I was unhappy, and I know I'll be happy in some way when I finally manage to move on. This video made me feel something I never felt before, a very heart-wrenching emotion, it had me in tears, but it helped me change my perspective on life. I realized I was sad because I was happy before. And it goes the other way around too. You live through the lows because you live for the highs. Happiness and unhappiness balance each other out, and you'll spend your life going through those ups and downs. I believe life is all about waiting for that high to come, and for the low to pass. But you need to "appreciate" both. It's part of the experience.

  7. For me is that i just cant hate anyone. I just cant feel anger for people at all. I want to love everyone and them to love me back. But they wont. People tell me to pick myself above others more often, but I cant. I cant treat people badly. Im sick of life, not even going to lie. I got to a point where I have days at school where I am happy and then I get home and feel like shit, but I also have days where I just feel like shit the whole day. I just feel shit every day. Not depressed, just shit. Things I couldve done better, things I did wrong.. regret.. regret.. always regretting. I dont think i have truly been happy with what I have done, which is practically nothing useful. I do think of suicide, but I feel like its not the way, plus im scared to die, which I think is the biggest factor as to why I havent commited suicide. I just only have negative thoughts, overthinking every social activity etc.. I have friends, but if they say 1 thing that comes off as uninterested, or they dont reply or reply but off topic, I will feel like shit. When people ignore me and have a party without me, I will feel like shit. I just dont know man. Always been to scared to approach girls and when they approached me i just fucked it up or i just wasnt interested. I just xont know my future plans, all just vague options. I feel so sad, listening to depression music all day. People say I am always talking about negative thimgs, which at first I didnt get, until I got self awareness. Schools going bad, socially I just dont feel good, at home i just feel like shit… I dont know what to do

  8. This video could’ve been talking about enslavement or pineapple on pizza and it still would’ve been just as beautiful bc of the voice…

  9. rage is a combination of anger and melancholy. strip away the anger, once in awhile. Don't forget to occasionally strip the melancholy and leave the anger from time to time, as well.

  10. What the fuck is worth striving for then? Why keep on struggling to survive in this mess of a society when there is no real hope for anything better?

  11. I'm literally always in this mood. It's not depression, it's just legit sadness at existence. Just thinking about death and how humans are constantly trying to distract from the dread of reality. This video made has a positive twist to it.

  12. "Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional. If you should suffer, suffer not for yourself, but for humanity."

  13. So if we get rid of all the greedy people that directly affect our lives negatively as well as those dumb people that do folly to others then our lives and the world would be a better place to live in. That way melancholy wouldn't be a feeling of sadness that causes us to long for the better days of our past cause we would be experiencing better days in our present and future with those useless, evil, negative people out of the equation.

  14. I've always called this feeling "Happy Depression". And to be honest, I'm in love with that feeling. It happens when you listen to a sad song like Bon Iver, see a movie that ends badly, or when you feel such an burning joy that you think of how you don't want that moment to end. It's a combination of pain and happiness.

  15. Melancholy is something that I always cling on to when I'm at my weakest. It brings warmth and a certain sense of comfort, stumbling away in the passing of time, reliving the pain of this human condition. Still, there is something beautiful and poetic about sadness as it is the universal experience of life. To live is to feel sadness, contemplating the impossibility of your existence. Exposure to an overwhelming amount of sadness makes you realize the true reason of your existence and that is the compassion, understanding and unity of all life.

  16. Okay. I need to know if literally anyone does this(ive never told anybody this just never had a reason to do so) at night when i lay down i imagine myself as the main character of one of my favorite shows(or ill insert mysel fbut im usually the main) but instead of things going right like in the show i only have bad things happens ill have myself die or get near to death, screw up relation ships(actually cry to make it more real) etc. I like it and idk why. I guess its nice to be so dramatic. And im not depressed or anything, but ive been doing this for a while now. Its like I enjoy the feeling of disaster. Is there like, a word, or a term for that feeling? Please tell me im not the only one like this😖😅

  17. This video left me without words. The smoothing of the narrator, the art and everything. Just perfection 😉

  18. literally trying so hard not to tear up….the narrator gives it away because of how it fits my emotions while watching it….and most of all the music…..but i always catch myself in nostalgia because i miss my childhood…..miss everything….im 20 now but its just that……the life i live now is so hard to live with…..dont got much family because most of them past away……some i lost contact with and most of all…….its so hard to keep up with my daily life….

  19. ''I miss the comfort in being sad''- K. Cobain and ''Pain takes us deeper'' -Sri Nisargadatta Both quotes come to mind as I watch this masterpiece (from TSOL which is replete with masterpieces). Several videos ago, I read a comment that these works NEED to be translated into other languages. It would make the world a better place. Wish I could remember who pointed this out, and credit him/her. I am in complete agreement.

  20. This 3 minute video has truly touched my heart. I often play it when I need to remind myself that I must get busy living before my time has run out.

  21. As a 15yr old this changed the way I think entirely…. thank you from saving me of wasting my years 😊

  22. why do people think melancholy is good?
    melancholy is the person unable to feel joy or happiness.
    melancholy is the person who does not talk at all.
    melancholy is a forevere sadness that wont go away.

  23. Melancholy to me isn't sad. It's entirely nostalgic. Sadness is just a mindset and results in tears. You can't cry forever but it sure does feel good to do so.

  24. I started to watch the video and I suddenly started to cry. I felt that the lady was talking to me, I felt understood for the first time in a while.

  25. Melancholy is the state of ambivalence and I think it's only in ambivalence that beauty can be seen and transferred.

  26. i feel sad because i want to do more for my fellow man, and right now i cant!

    i feel sad because i want to do more for my family, and right now i cant!

    but i felt happy after watching this video, whe should strive not to let melancholy drain us, it's just proves to our selves that we still feel, sometimes its not easy, sometimes we are just powerless, but it's only proof that we indeed care, we should strive to improve litle by litle, step by step "to be more forgiving, more kind and helpful, focusing on what really matters!"

    And continue our journey …

  27. I keep hearing other people dis school of life or the people behind it and their argument sometimes holds ground. But other times I just rewatched this video and I realize I don’t care. I came here for this.

  28. This video should’ve been watched millions of times. I personally must’ve watched it a least a hundred, every now and then since it’s release. It helped me a lot when I needed most help. I want to live in a society in which this video is watched, understood and agreed with by the most.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *