I suppose that if you don't feel emotional pain, you can't feel great joy either.
A friend of mine long ago told me something I've never forgotten. He was (still is) a good friend who witnessed me going through a very painful time in my life, and I was surprised at his revelation. I don't feel things deeply, he said, so I don't really get upset over anything, but I also don't feel much joy either. I envy you. At the time I thought he was crazy: Envy me? I wouldn't wish that on anyone.
But now, whenever old pain surfaces, I remember what he said. It calms me somewhat. Tonight I looked at photo of my husband that I've posted on this blog -- he was playing rugby and at the same time there was a commercial for the movie Invictus on TV, and something unexpected happened. I felt something I haven't felt in years, a terrible welling up of emotion, a kind of complete despair coming from the knowledge that he was irretrievably gone from me, that strong and gentle, loving man who was my life. Perhaps it's a function of growing older, perhaps it's the time of year, who knows? I write about this because there are so many people out there who are in this painful place right now, and I want you to know that you are not alone. I am aware of you, and I think of you with utmost compassion. We are not alone. Appreciate those who are alive and who love you. Be good to yourself and to others. Remember that if you feel deep pain, you are also capable of feeling great joy. Go for the joy as much as you can.
My wish for you is that the coming year be gentle to all of you.