Rachel KenleyI’m sad.

No, it’s okay. You don’t have to try to make me happy or point out to me the things I’ve done or I’m doing that I should be happy about.  I can list those, too, and in response I’ll tell you all the things that I haven’t done, that I’ve been meaning to do and that I think I should have done already and in the process, we’ll both end up feeling badly.

I just need to be sad.sadness

If there’s anything I took away from Pixar’s Inside Out it’s the value of Sadness.  She is an important part of our emotions, key and core to our feelings and our eventual ability to feel joy. And for whatever reason we often feel the need to move away from Sadness and/or help others to do the same. I suppose we do this with every emotion other than joy, and I think that’s too bad.  All of our emotions have value. One is not better than the other simply because it is less pleasurable.

sad-catI know why I’m sad.

Mostly.

It has to do with looking at time passing, my children growing, my dreams feeling too far away, goals not reached, commitments to myself broken, and an overall feeling of “why bother.”

I have no doubt this feeling will pass.  Given my history, I will feel better sooner rather than later. I know that if I reviewed my thoughts using Byron Katie’s The Work I might start to turn the emotions around a little faster. I have lots of friends and family who could give me perspective, understanding, smiles, hugs and tissues.

But that’s not what I want.

I want to feel sad.

Does that sound strange?  Most people want to feel good. Happy, joyous, energized, excited, motivated… almost anything other than sad. Look up articles about “sadness” and what they tell you is how not to be. How to change, move forward, let go. The images and quotes are beyond sad – they’re depressing.

And usually I want to move away from sadness but not today. sad

I believe there’s a reason for all of our emotions and unless they’ve become overwhelming to the point where we cannot function, I don’t believe there’s a reason not to have many different ones.  And as I wrote above, I don’t believe any are better than others.

Emotions offer us information.  Fear tells us we’re moving into new areas. Love – and hate – tell us something has become very important to us. Anger lets us know that is situation does not sit well with who we are and how we want to be. From this information we can then make decisions or possibly look for more information.

Sadness tells us to be aware of a loss, a grief. Notice that something is missing or has gone wrong and then make a decision.  Let it go? Make a change? Take time to acknowledge what was and then…

sad-puppyAnd then what?

I’m not sure what yet.  That’s one of the reasons I’m okay with staying with sadness right now. I sense that if I move too fast away from this emotion, I will miss what it is trying to tell me and it is important that I know what it is trying to tell me.

So, for today I’m sad. I may be this way tomorrow too.

Thank you for asking. And thank you for not trying to make me feel anything different.

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