The State of Sadness
February 3, 2013 1 Comment
Being sad is an uncofortable space to be in. It’s painful. Physically and emotionally taxing. The other day I was in that very spot. My heart felt broken as I found myself in the land of sad. Honestly, it’s been a very long time since I found myself so profoundly sad. I had no idea how long my feelings would last before they ebbed and flowed into a part of my history. So I decided to embrace my feelings, accept them for exactly what they were and not force them to change before their natural course.
My co-workers could see obviously the emotions I was feeling. They were written all over my face from my puffy eyes to my red cheeks. I shared with my family and friends that I was feeling sad too. Amazingly, almost every person I spoke to on the state of being sad had the suggestion that to stop being sad I needed to mold my emotions towards anger as a justification for my sadness. And in theory I can see how this happens so easily. Like I said before. Sad is an uncomfortable space to be in. Anger is a much more comfortable space for a lot of people. Sadness has a feeling of helplessness to it. Anger has the delusion of control. I get why people choose anger. But I have no desire to be angry. Especially as a mask for my sadness. And when I wouldn’t budge from sadness those offering comfort really felt at a loss as to how just let me be. Sadness can be frightening to witness.
Trusting your emotions for what they are and not doing anything to change their path is very challenging. But by letting them run their course I have been shown that, left alone, the depth and length of my sadness was drastically shorter than if I had tampered with it. And this was a very pleasant surprise. Trusting myself to digest my feelings and put them in their proper place was the best thing I could have done for myself. I know that sadness is a part of life. In fact, I know this emotion intimately. And I am not afraid of it. It has no power over me when I surrender to it. And this, I believe is a big secret for me having a happy life. And it’s a lesson I intend on teaching my children.
Embracing our emotions, whatever they are, is a natural part of being human. We have happy and sad times. Life ebbs and flows from one state of being to the next and learning how to flow with the current can only improve our every day. There is nothing wrong with or shameful in being sad. It is a shame to deny or distort our feelings into something they are not though. To warp our sadness into anger because anger feels better.
When I told my husband how sad I was, and that I wanted to just be in that space for as long as it was going to take, he understood. He offered endless cuddles and hugs. His constant touch was a soothing balm on my broken heart. His understanding and love played a huge part in shortness of my sadness. He didn’t try to change how I was feeling. He didn’t let his feelings overwhelm what I was feeling in an attempt to shift out of sadness. And for that, I am endlessly grateful.
Today I am no longer sad. I am not angry. I am happy and content. I have chosen my path over the hurdle life put in my way and I am stronger because of my choice. As a parent I hope my children follow my example and let their emotions run their course and help shape the content of their character. They will be better people because of it.