It’s okay to feel Sad sometimes!

Sad Eyes - Image from www.bbs.chinadaily.com.cn

Sad Eyes – Image from www.bbs.chinadaily.com.cn

“Even a happy life cannot be without a measure of darkness, and the word happy would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness. It is far better to take things as they come along with patience and equanimity.”

~ Carl Jung

Yesterday someone well known in American ‘New Age’ circles told me something that I found quite preposterous.  In fact, I found it a little dangerous…

They said that if I was ‘truly enlightened’ and ‘living from my heart’ I would be 100% positive and happy all the time. From that place of 100% positivity I would heal, but if I still had even one ‘negative’ thought, felt one shred of sadness, or doubt, or depression, then I was destined to remain sick, miserable and ‘enmeshed in my pain body’.

Really? I’m sorry, that just doesn’t wash with me.  With my thinking I am 100% responsible for my life and everything in it, and how it intersects with everything and everyone else? No room for fate? No room for God? No room for nature or circumstance? No room for life and humanity’s magnificent complexity and diversity? According to this person, if I am suffering or have a problem, it’s simple.  My situation is all my fault. I caused it with my thinking or my ‘lower vibration’.

As to being ‘truly enlightened’ I’m sure that if I were, I wouldn’t be down here, going through all of this. And neither would the self-professed guru.

My truth is that I’m human, journeying through life, and doing the best that I can.  Where I am able, I reach out and help others.  Some days it’s all I can do to help myself. To sit in a place where I felt compelled to dishonour my truth by being 100% positive and without ever having a single ‘negative’ thought would make me neurotic, and erode any sense of self-worth I had: oh the guilt (another negative thought!) that would come with any less-than-happy emotion. What catastrophe might I cause in my life with that? What suffering might I cause for others?

But this person got me thinking, searching that big fat heart of mine. And what I know in my own heart is this:

It’s okay to feel down sometimes. Or to have a thought or feeling that is not 100% positive. In fact, it’s normal.

Take, for example, sadness.

Girl Crying - Image from www.lovewayz.com

Girl Crying – Image from www.lovewayz.com

Sadness is an appropriate human emotion for many of the situations we find ourselves in.

When a relationship ends.

When a loved one dies.

When someone hurts our feelings, or we hurt someone with something we said or did.

When we miss someone.

When something that’s important to us goes missing or gets broken.

When there is suffering, disaster or catastrophe in the world, even when it happens far from our own shores.

When we suffer a setback or a disappointment.

When we’re exhausted or overwhelmed.

When we have problems in our lives.

Sad Snowman - Image from www.pickthebrain.com

Sad Snowman – Image from www.pickthebrain.com

Life is wonderful, but it’s also messy, painful and sometimes just plain hard.  We’ve become so caught up in that cult of personality – looking good, white teeth, perfect hair, charisma, being outgoing and outspoken, being judged well by others, having it all and being bright, shiny, and successful – that we’ve forgotten about character.

Character is the strength within us. Character is the backbone of a person – our internal moral compass, our ethics and behaviours.  Character is with us when no-one is watching. It’s all those old-fashioned things that no-one seems to talk about much anymore.  Honesty, loyalty, decency, work ethic, bravery, humility, compassion.

Life’s struggles and pain help to forge our character.  We will never know the strength within us until we have been tested by life’s trials.  Strength isn’t something you need when the world is flowing nicely and everything’s going your way.

Wiping away tears - Image from www.ibtimes.com

Wiping away tears – Image from www.ibtimes.com

Today I’m acknowledging you. I’m bearing witness to your struggles. I’m telling you that it’s okay to feel sad sometimes. It’s okay to sit in your vulnerability or pain, and wonder how you’ll get through.

You are an amazing and complex human being. Emotions just are, and the spectrum of emotion is what gives meaning and connection to our world. Live honestly. Live from your heart. Feel your feelings, and know that everything passes.  Joy, sadness, they all have their moment or their season.

I’d rather stand shoulder to shoulder with you in the real world, then live in that plastic space of artificial ‘feel good’.

To find a smile for another and the courage to keep going when life’s not flowing easily, when you’re not at your best, that’s what I admire.  That’s what I acknowledge in you.

You’re beautiful just as you are. Worthy and real.  So have a cry if you need to on those days when you feel sad.  Then wipe your eyes, and keep going…

66 thoughts on “It’s okay to feel Sad sometimes!

  1. Wonderfully said Nic. The ‘guru’ is full of poop and baloney! What an utterly ridiculous thing for anyone to say.

  2. Thank you Nicole – you spoke directly to my heart and it is as if you know exactly where I am today. Tears have been shed and I think there are a few more to come but I will try to move forward as soon as I can.

  3. I see the guru in some sense has right. We live in a dream of duality where there is pain and illness but that is not our true nature. When we become enlightened there is no illness. That doesn’t mean that we as humans cannot have our sadness. Our sadness can lead us home, through forgiveness, love and understanding, over the bridge to our Self. Let us live in peace with our selves and each other.

    • One of the most enlightened people on the planet, Ramana Maharishi, died of cancer at 70. He bore his illness with equanimity. Our bodies are constantly under attack from bacteria and viruses and sometimes ,no matter how enlightened we are, they succeed in breaching our bodily defences. It’s not whether or not we are ill but how we handle our illness and wellness

      • I agree, Richard. We are spiritual BEings in human bodies, and these human bodies are not immune to the world around them! Illness and physical limitation teach many of us to transcend those same limits and grow…

  4. Well said Nicole….smiles you made me laugh with this. What a tough and wondeful cookie you are…. life can be tough….we each have our soul journey whatever it may be positive thoughts or not….we each will have lessons and soul pain and we really need to try to learn to be gentle on ourselves….sometimes positive positive stuff can just be another stick to beat ourselves with when we are tired and far through…..I think that is hugely unhelpful and denies our basic flawed but often beautiful and kind human nature. Sometimes we can just about apply virtual band aids to our harassed and haranged psyche… and what about those who have yet to come in contact with new age theories are they all doomed and less human perhaps (I joke)….or can they just live quietly and to the best of their ability like the rest of us with just as much spiritulity and just as much soul…xxxx

    • I don’t know about tough. Sometimes, yes, and other times I feel I have as much substance as tissue paper. Being gentle with ourselves, and accepting of what is, is vital if we are to find peace and self love. Some of these ‘New Age’ theories quite remind me of the superstitions of the Middle Ages, where you might bring on the plague or a stroke through an ‘unclean’ thought, or as a punishment from God, or be branded as a witch for growing herbs…

      • LOL! From one “witch” to another —

        My thinking on this is that if we were MEANT to ignore the realities of physical bodies, we wouldn’t be here on this plane of action, would we?

        btw: just back-linked this post as Related Content on “Tales from the ADD Dark Side” on ADDandSoMuchMore.com – similar frame, different context. REALLY great article – well said – great job!
        xx,
        mgh
        ~~~~~
        Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CMC, SCAC, MCC
        – ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder –
        (blogs: ADDandSoMuchMore, ADDerWorld & ethosconsultancynz – dot com)
        “It takes a village to transform a world!”

  5. A lot of times I keep ‘stuff’ to myself, so as I don’t have to be lectured about feeling ‘positive’.
    Blessings for all our authentic feelings.Cheers Nicole xox

  6. Wow Nicole,
    Des said; ” yes preposterous. Just because some is famous doesn’t make them wise”.
    That is such a simplistic view of LOA.I know that my LOA mentor and teacher would never say anything like that.
    You keep being you and living from your heart, with what you share with the world I feel the healing will come and as you and I know there is a gift here even when we don’t always know what it is
    namaste
    Suzie xxoo

    • It is simplistic, isn’t it – and I feel it’s very dangerous coming from the mouth of someone very respected in this field. You’re right, being famous doesn’t make you wise, but it does give you a loud voice, and some people equate that loud voice with authority, fact and certainty.
      Here’s to both of us continuing to heal beautifully, as the gifts of our situations continue to unfold.
      {{{HUGS}}} and love, Nicole xx

  7. Is this person a robot? Do they not feel sorrow when they are hurt or if someone they love is being hurt, or any of the other normal human reactions you suggested? They are as far away from being enlightened as we are from the moon. Big love xoxo

    • A lesson in compassion (when I’d want to bop him on his unenlightened head) for me here lol. No surprise here that I agree with cjm’s points on this. If he does have these reactions he must have loopholes in his loopholes to rationalise the allowance of them. Also full concur with your observation that if we have learnt the lessons of this life we wouldn’t be here any longer. As with all things, imho it is more a case of allowing and acknowledging the emotion and remembering to let it flow and pass through your life (not take it over and envelope you until you forget how to get out).

      • A to the Men, Nickstar! This person sounds as though they’re not living their own truth and that they’re in an unauthentic place where money matters over being true to oneself. Very sad – for them.

      • And aren’t all the human emotions delicious if you allow them? That ability to FEEL so deeply – goodness, it’s such a precious gift. It illuminates and enriches our lives. It makes everything 3-d technicolour!

      • Um. I would like a link to what the person actually said, to see it in context. Loopholes and rationalisations: I find that I do heal more quickly from hurts, get out of the hole in the road, whatever. I don’t know what to do with my sadness about three separate work situations: it is not healing fast enough for my liking, and simply rejecting the sadness exacerbates it, I fear and fight it and give it energy by that. Denying and suppressing makes me robotic. I want somehow to transmute it-

    • I’d actually say that to be in that positive space 100% with no negatives – ever – would be to live in denial.

      On a lighter note, after a morning, where I was wracked with vomiting and pain, my husband came to check on me and asked if I was alright. Thinking happy thoughts? he asked cheekily. With streaming eyes, and bile-speckled lips I grinned at him and said, yep, I’m fine. And I was. 100% positive? he asked. Yes, I answered. 100% positive that I feel bloody awful! LOL 😀 xx

  8. All very true, and sometimes it feels really nice to have a cry! It’s cathartic, and cleans toxins from your system in the tears. In fact, just yesterday I was thinking I had been too happy lately and hadn’t had a good old sob in quite a while. I was even wondering what movie I could watch to bring one on. I find that “Powder” usually does the trick – it’s a total tearjerker.

    If we wanted to be perfectly happy we’d have stayed in heaven, and if we weren’t supposed to have emotions God wouldn’t have given them to us to have. So weep away. It’s good for you. 🙂

  9. Totally agree. I am a numerologist and facilitator of personal development workshops encouraging participants from all background and cultures to explore their humanity. This planet is where we can experience polarity and sadness and grief are very healthy. Thank goodness I for one do not recognise gurus unless it stands for gee you are you!

  10. Oh yes!! And it is so important to be reminded of this from time to time! 🙂 Thanks…as always! 🙂 x0x0x0
    much love light and of course JOY

  11. I feel sad for those who are caught in the belief that to be present to all of our feelings is wrong. It takes so much energy to attempt to keep everything on the bright side. Good post, Nicole.

  12. Well said Nicole and thank you! I agree, it’s ok to be sad sometimes. You only have to look at babies and small children and how they express sadness, pain, fear, frustration and happiness so authentically. They are far closer to ‘enlightenment’ and ‘living from heart’ than we are as adults who have been conditioned by society and circumstances.
    It is so good to read yours and others views on this. I’ve read and heard a lot of ‘new age’ stuff in my search of ‘enlightenment’ and for answers to why I got cancer, and I have struggled through guilt for being responsibility for ‘causing’ my own disease. Not at all positive or helpful, there was already enough sadness, anger and grief to deal with without adding guilt!
    The circumstances of my life have not always been happy and positive, I’ve experienced a lot of stresses and challenges and I have become sad, negative and depressed at times (and cried rivers of tears!) but I discovered that each time I got knocked down and thought I couldn’t get back up, I became stronger, more resilient and developed more personal resources. I can’t say I really have found any answers but my life has certainly changed due to my dis-ease and there have been many positives to counteract the negatives.
    As Richard said, we are all subject to bacteria and viruses, as well as toxins in our environment and the genetics we are born with. Our immune systems do a wonderful job trying to protect us and keep us well but sometimes it is not enough. Sad but true!
    Love and thanks to you as always for your sharing X

  13. Our society seems to dictate that we shouldn’t feel and just “be positive”! That’s simply not realistic! Everyone has ups and downs, unless they have the perfect life … but what does anyone learn when life has no challenges, and no emotions?

    You have clearly and concisely identified reasons for true and honest emotions. Thanks for a terrific post! Take care and stay safe.

  14. Reblogged this on braininjuryselfrehabilitation and commented:
    Nearly everyone with brain injury, depression, PTSD, chronic illness and other situations have experienced sadness regardless of how positive they are daily. This clear and concisely identifies a situation when approached by another’s rude comment with their lack-of-understanding or compassion for another human being. Sadness is a normal feeling, as many feelings are. Don’t stuff feelings, they are a part of life! Read on and enjoy this post.

    • Found this from Edie’s reblog – so true, and so seldom articulated. We get so stuck in black and white thinking: “happy-happy-happy” ALL the time is an unrealistic expectation.

      I doubt that the “smile!” folks realize how insensitive they are when they don’t allow another the reality of his or her own emotional reactions to circumstance they can’t possibly understand. Or how much harder they make it TO bounce back.

      So thanks for reminding those of us who have more than our share of “down” days to bounce back FROM, that it’s ok to be sad sometimes. Much needed.
      xx,
      mgh
      ~~~~~
      Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CMC, SCAC, MCC
      – ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder –
      (blogs: ADDandSoMuchMore, ADDerWorld & ethosconsultancynz – dot com)
      “It takes a village to transform a world!”

  15. Pingback: Tales from the ADD Dark Side | ADD . . . and-so-much-more

  16. I am very sad at this moment .I just try help myself by reading your terrific post.I really do not know what to do for myself but I found it is not matter cry for my self

  17. I think realizing this is the cure to depression and anxiety. If you think there is always something wrong with you for feeling negative emotions, then you sit in these emotions longer. If you allow yourself to feel these emotions and do some self care then magically you will feel better.

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