Today, let's talk about the most fragile lil being in ourselves: Sadness.
First and foremost, let's talk about a big issue: Sadness is probably the most misunderstood of all emotions mainly because society praises Happiness. Therefore, Sadness is bullied and no one likes hanging out with her. But just like light would not exist without dark; How would Happiness exists without Sadness?
Today I will re-instate Sadness' honor and demonstrate how being Sad serves our highest good just as much as any other emotion, if not better!
Yet, for you to understand the concept of Sadness having a positive and negative side (and also because this video is wicked), let's pause for a few minutes and look at the concept of Yin-Yang with a TedX.
All right, thank you for taking the time to watch this video.
Let's get cracking!
What role does Sadness plays in my life ?
On my article about self-sabotage, I explained that each emotions are simply messengers. We shall welcome them for a catch-up. During the catch-up bring our attention to what they are saying, in order to record the message and then retire in a quite place to decode the message. Indeed, ain't no easy and clear message out there.
Sadness is showing up when we are unconsciously ready to move on but it hasn't hit our conscious mind yet. Sadness's message is "I am ready for something new". When I am sad, obviously I cry... a lot. Here is how I see the process of crying: It is my mind's way of clearing the space taken by the "thing" that I cry about. Once the space is cleared, and this could take days or decades depending on how much space the "thing" was taking.
The point of focus is to be grateful for each piece of furniture that gets thrown away with each tear. Again I am dropping a cliché statement but nevertheless and as always, accurate!
Now, let me talk about one of the "thing" that made me cry a lot in my life.
When I was 8 years old I was sexually assaulted. This left me traumatised and more than anything, it left me thinking that I was not worth someone's love but only their sexual attention. I was very sad about not being lovable. I always had this feeling that no one would love me, no one would care about me. That I did not matter. I was ashamed of being so worthless and therefore built high walls around me to protect my secret and make sure no one would use me again like this man did.
Sadness, helped me during those years. She stayed with me, held my hand, let me cry on her shoulders, in her arms. She held me tight because I did not let anyone else near me. I could not afford to be angry. At no cost did I want to be weak again (because I saw the assault as a weakness from my part), hence why I did not cry in front of people but only with Sadness.
Anger was not an option. I had no target to shot down with my Anger, no one to hurt. I was too hurt myself to even think about being angry.
Therefore, Sadness kept inviting me to cry, to create space, to let go, to move on in her very own and gentle way. With her angelic patience and gentleness. She was my best friend and she kept me going. One tear at a time. Until there was enough space...
Once space was create, Anger came in! Anger made me want to take action! With Anger's help I went to therapy. Once in therapy, I could only cry. I was actually not ready to talk. Never mind, I was there, Anger was in charge, therefore I was in "Action" mode. As I said Anger has a bold temper. It speeds into things without really thinking beforehand. Consequently, I wrote to my therapist instead of talking. Anger is creative and resourceful. At the time I needed both those qualities to keep me in that therapy room and actively emptying my bags of all those things which was weighing me down and not serving my highest good.
Sadness does not work alone, she is a team worker. The best.
Sadness teaches us that we need to ask for help!
She created space and then called upon the skills of other team members and other individuals to help me move forward.
And I moved forward.
How to manage Sadness ?
Sadness is the most gentle of all emotions. It is the one who will respect our timing, not push us to do anything that does not feel right, it will be present, reliable, understanding. It is the one with whom we can be ourselves. We don't have to pretend that life is amazing and hold a smile on our face.
Sadness allows us to embrace what society calls the "bad" things: death, grief, divorce, abuse, basically: hurt of any kind. Sadness should be allowed and praised for its benefits.
Sadness should be taught. We need to rebuild the concept of Sadness to destroy its dominant negative aspect.
I want to invite you to pause for a few minutes again. Let's do a visualisation exercise.
Imagine a world where we would see each other's hurt and pain. A place where we could not hide our vulnerability. A place where being hurt does not make you a victim, just a human being with scars. Where it would be normal and accepted to have been hurt and not being done with healing that pain. Where it would be fine to talk about it over lunch or the coffee machine just like we would ask someone about their broken leg...
So my advice to manage Sadness is to let it do its job. She is a healer. Don't fight the healing, let it be.
She will take breaks, because she works in close cooperation with Joy to help you get better. Accepting to be sad does not necessarily mean that Sadness will have you constantly crying. She will use what she needs to help you move forward. Remember she is a team worker and she will teach you how to ask for help!
This is so important and we resent asking for help so much. I find it hard to ask for help, but obviously it took me a while to understand that Sadness was here to teach me that. She was there shouting at me "Ask for help honey! Why do you wanna do this alone? You don't have to! There are so many people on this planet... ASK FOR HELP"
So one of the way I practice asking for help is through baby steps: "Would you mind taking me to IKEA please?", "Could I have a lift please?", "Can you look after my cat please?", etc. Even asking those tiny things for me is an effort. But I do it as a practice for asking for support and help. It is not easy, so it needs practicing, until it becomes easy and almost natural to ask for help.
Self sabotage is indeed: not following the instructions of Sadness which are: Ask for help, talk about this with someone, let it out, spend time with your loved ones, create a space where you feel comfortable to let go, don't be ashamed of crying whatever the reason, etc, etc.
Stop judging yourself for being Sad. It is a feeling as beautiful and magical as Joy.
Sadness has your back! Relax and enjoy the ride!
P.S: I tried not to talk about Sadness using "She" but for me Sadness is a woman. Why? Because society has taught most men not to cry because "boys don't cry", to be strong because "men should be strong" while teaching girls that it's OK to cry and be fragile little flowers...#whatever I will potentially write an article about this non sense, but just wanted to clarify the "She" for Sadness.
Also, Sadness's name is Phoenix, because she helps us through rebirth processes. When we step on Earth, we cry, we let go of what was: being in the womb. We step into the unknown. The way we express ourselves as babies is through crying, because we cannot talk we cry for help and people run towards us wondering what we need, how can they help us, how can they stop the tears. Remember, your first instinct was to ask for help. Call upon this instinct because you need it and will always need the help of people around you. It is with the help of our parents, loved ones, teachers that we learnt walking, speaking, writing, etc. Many things if not everything, we can do today was taught to us; it came from people's help and support.
Sadness is here to remind us that in our search for independence we forgot that together we are stronger.
Let me know if you have any questions, requests or just want to chat more about this topic of Sadness.
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Sawubonasana is a space where you can be yourself, recognized and loved just the way you are. Sawubona means "I see you and by seeing you I bring you into being", Asana means posture, way of living. I've chosen this name for my website because I want to live a life where I see you, I acknowledge your existence and love your uniqueness. In this space you can love yourself, lick your wounds and heal them with love and compassion. You can book a coaching session with me by clicking here.