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Embracing Sadness

Sadness is something we feel physically in a similar manner. The throat feels restricted and sometimes painful. There is a pressured feeling in the chest or an empty feeling in the stomach. It is usually accompanied with thoughts of being alone, abandoned, unsupported. Sadness has loss within it. Loss of something or someone. We feel that we have lost the feeling of support, hope, trust, joy…

In today’s world, many of us seek a distraction (and there are so many to choose from) when we feel a pang of sadness heading towards us. It’s understandable because feeling sad is painful and makes us feel disconnected. Sadness also feels like an emotion that weakens you. In a world that is all about productivity and growth, sadness seems to be an obstacle. It seems like a useless emotion, a waste of time.

However, sadness has much to teach us. It allows us to connect with our inner wisdom; it informs us of our values, beliefs and even tells us what we need. If we do not take the time to sit with it, we miss out on all of this. Sadness then never quite leaves us. It just lurks, sometimes, appearing as irritation, anxiety, or anger.

It is thus important that we acknowledge this sadness and see our sadness for what it is. It is a loss. Something has been taken away from us and it hurts. Then, we need to hold a space for it, without judgment. We are always so quick to bring in gratitude and judge ourselves harshly for feeling sad. Almost like, we have not given ourselves permission to feel sad. Gratitude has its place, and it will come naturally as a possible by-product of coming out of sadness rather than as a something one “should” feel. Only when we accept sadness, will it move through us and tell us what we need to move forward.

Next time, pay attention to what you might be feeling and get curious. You will be surprised how your sadness is hidden below other emotions such as anxiety or anger. Many of us have not been allowed to feel sadness. Give it space and time to show itself. And allow it to move through you with compassion for yourself.

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