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We tend to feel terrible when those we care about are sad.
We want to comfort and soothe them, yet simultaneously fix their problems and take away their pain.
We seem to be rather uncomfortable with sadness, whether it is our own personal suffering or the suffering of others.
We often consider it a bad thing, a negative feeling that pushes us out of our comfort zone and brings our spirit down.
We want to push through it quickly, making it go away as fast as possible as if it’s a case of bad indigestion.
Or we want to ignore, deny, or bury it, piling on positivity and other superficial thoughts in an attempt to cover it indefinitely, until the day it inevitably rises from deep within, forcing us to face reality.
But have you ever considered sadness to be a gift? An invitation to explore the recesses of your soul and pockets of your psyche where you store and process your experiences and memories?
I was sad today. It wasn’t a constant state, but it was consistent. It wasn’t a feeling that distracted me from my work or caused me such discomfort that I wasn’t able to manage my responsibilities, but it was ever-present.
Some may call it melancholy. Some may call it the blues. But I call it—sadness.
When I felt it knocking at the door, I was tempted to ignore it, not answer.
I considered pushing it aside, making room for positive thoughts. I started running through my mental list of blessings, wondering if I should bury it for today and practice some gratitude instead.
But I decided not to.
Instead, I opened the door and let it walk right in.
I stood with it at my kitchen counter, waiting for the water to boil. Then I took it back to my computer while I sipped from a cup of tea and focused on my projects.
It stayed with me through the day, a constant companion that wasn’t too intrusive. It didn’t beckon for attention or ask me to stop what I was doing. It just hung out, reminding me of its presence from time to time.
I made the conscious decision to answer that knock on my door and invite it in. I asked it to visit with me and afford it some precious hours to ascertain why it was here, so that I could later understand the need for its visit.
Hello sadness, my dear friend. What are you here to teach me today?
When we think of sadness as a gift, an opportunity to learn and grow, it becomes something that we can grow comfortable with. But if we don’t answer that knock, it will always be waiting at the door, and in truth, there is never an ideal time to invite it in.
When we ignore it, we give away our power and allow our emotions to control us—rather than the other way around. When we visit with it, we learn that we are actually in control.
Sadness is a gift, a cue for us to stand up and pay attention. It is a signal that something is transpiring within us that needs to be acknowledged, so that we can identify, then move through it.
Only then will we know our own strength, build self-trust, and no longer fear our emotions, but wholeheartedly welcome and process them holistically.