Sadness is a negative emotion — or is it?
I’m told to avoid sadness. Society tells us that we shouldn’t feel this way. “Be happy, positive — who wants to live their life being negative anyway?”
But why? Why do we deny those “negative” feelings?
Sadness is, like any other emotion, just a feeling. Yet we take it that it must mean something — that we must react to it, lashing out in anger, hurting those around us because we’re hurt, and burying that all-consuming emotion within us rather embracing it, uninterrupted.
Let yourself feel it.
Have you ever truly let yourself sit with the feeling of sadness? I have. It’s an overwhelming sense of sadness that consumes you from inside, weighing the chest down and constricting the heart. For me, it’s a dull pain in the chest, a tightening of the throat, causing my voice shake and tears to come.
Crying. Frowning. Sighing. Screaming. Sobbing.
What are these actions if not mere expressions of our sadness and pain? Yet, we are told to hold these actions back — don’t to cry because it’s embarrassing, unrefined, silly, and not at all what adults too.
Yes — only children cry.
But aren’t we, in the deepest sense, all just children inside?
When you cry, stamp out feet, yell out in indignation and frustration, how do you it feel after?
That heavy chest empties. The mind clears. The throat stops constricting.
Sadness is a form of relief.
When you embrace the feelings of sadness, your own body is telling you it needs to release pent up pain and emotion. Don’t ignore those feelings. Denying your physical body its innate needs is like denying yourself food when you’re starving. So listen to what your mind and body is trying to tell you.
Suffering has been stronger than all other teaching, and has taught me to understand what your heart used to be. I have been bent and broken, but — I hope — into a better shape.
— Charles Dickens
Yes, it does hurt— and none of us wants to feel hurt. We want to be happy, to feel warm and content inside. Always.
But like everything else in life — you must accept both the good and the bad, and recognise that balance is important. Happiness may be our goal — but we only truly realise what happiness is when we embrace sadness just as equally.
So. Simply let yourself feel.