“Give sorrow words; the grief that does not speak knits up the o’er wrought heart and bids it break.” —Shakespeare
Sadness is never easy to talk about and in most cases when we are engulfed by our sadness, the last thing anyone wants to hear is that there is something to be learned in the midst of this emotion.
2016 has been a year of sadness for far too many people that I know and care about. Whether the loss was expected or sudden it just doesn’t matter. Losing someone we love hurts at every level. And with loss comes sadness.
Sadness is overwhelming and can take over
Sadness zaps us of our energy
Sadness makes us feel helpless and needy
Sadness more than anything else reminds us that we are vulnerable
Sadness makes us feel anxious
When we are sad, it feels too much to even consider that in the midst of our anger and overwhelm that there is a bright side at the end of all of this suffering
It doesn’t feel real or possible. How can that be? I don’t want to hear that I will get through it. I can’t wrap my head around ever feeling good when I have lost so much! Don’t tell me that I will feel better.
That’s what sitting with sadness is all about.
It takes courage to sit with sadness. Yes, courage. Sitting with sadness, owning your feelings, giving a voice to where you are in the moment, that is courage.
To say out loud, “I am sad”; “I am heartbroken”; “I am hurting”; “I am changed forever”; “I hate this”; “I am not myself”;
That my friends, is sitting with sadness
And, truth be told, that is also the same place where you learn and realize your own compassion.
When you can say out loud how you feel; how you are changed; how you are struggling; how your world has been turned upside down; That is courage and that is compassion;
When you can sit in your sadness and realize that because of this profound feeling of loss, you now have something to recognize and share with another person, that is the lesson of sitting with sadness. You have found your humanity and kindness in knowing what it feels like to experience such sadness and a void that you never expected.
That is profound and that is what it means to sit in sadness and come out on the other side.
None of this is easy. But awareness and acknowledgment of our feelings as well as putting a voice to what we are experiencing is what it means to “get through it”.
Again, it is my intent to remind you of the truth that we will never “get over it”; we are meant to live our lives as best we can. And when pain and loss happen, it takes some work to understand what we are experiencing, to give a voice to our feelings and to know that with loss there is wisdom and strength to be found.
Be good to you…. Acknowledge where you may be with your sadness. Just know that there is a bright light surrounding you when you are ready to receive it and show you a brighter tomorrow.