The Happiness Connection  

The gift of sadness

Does your life feel, blah? Mine does.

I’m craving travel and excitement. I never thought this pandemic would go on for so long.

Life feels stale.

I had breakfast with a friend this week who is experiencing similar feelings. Then, my daughter phoned, and I knew her emotions were mirroring mine.

We can’t be the only ones who are struggling.

If you’re feeling a heaviness about life and you can’t put your finger on the problem, you’re in good company.

I may not be able to give you a miracle cure, but I know it made me feel better realizing I wasn’t alone, so I’d like to share that gift with you.

As this sensation began to settle around me a few days ago, I checked in with myself to see if I’d started or stopped doing something that might explain what’s been happening.

I’ve been careful about living healthily, being grateful for the good things in my life, and spending time being creative and in the moment.

None of it has lightened my mood.

I’ve even taken time to consider what I’d do if I could do anything, and an answer eludes me. It’s as if I’ve forgotten what joy and excitement feel like or how to find them.

The closest I can get to naming my emotion is sadness.

I read a blog somewhere that described sadness as the sweet spot between agony and apathy.

Sweet spot seems like a strange way to describe where sadness lies. Maybe sad spot is more apt.

At one end of the spectrum, you hurt to a level that seems too much to even contemplate, while at the other sits paralyzing boredom and a lack of momentum.

Regardless of what you call it, this mid-point is where I’m hanging out these days. I may want it to be different, but I don’t have the energy or understanding to make it change.

Imagine the midpoint between torment and indifference. That’s the place I’m calling sadness.

When you find yourself in this place, you’re experiencing a conflict between your psyche and your world. By psyche, I mean your mind, soul, and spirit, rather than your body.

What I want for my life doesn’t fit within the confines of the pandemic world of the present. It doesn’t help that this has been going on for so long. I’ve almost given up hope that it might ever end.

If you’ve tried the usual mood boosters without success, then perhaps it’s time for a more difficult and less comfortable approach.

Rather than choosing to bury your feelings so they will go away, maybe it’s time to look for the gifts that sadness has to offer.

It can provide material for creative work

Without sadness, imagine all the songs that might never have been written, or paintings painted. It can be an amazingly creative force.

Try releasing your feelings through any type of creative endeavour.

It encourages contemplation

When the blues descend, you probably find yourself spending more time in reflection.

Recognize that you’re being given an opportunity to learn more about yourself, and for previously hidden lessons to reveal themselves.

Sometimes you need to have distance from an event before you can discover the kernel of wisdom that’s concealed within.

It heals

In the words of Marcel Proust, “We are healed from a suffering only by experiencing it to the full.”

These are harsh, but true words. By examining the deep roots of a painful situation and reflecting on all its facets, you have the opportunity to find forgiveness and discover peace.

Sadness is not the same as depression. If you think you need help relieving how you feel, always seek the aid of a professional.

I’m not suggesting that you invite sadness into your life, but when it appears and doesn’t seem to want to dissipate, you can choose not to resist it.

There’s nothing wrong with feeling sad. It can leave you more creative, more observant, and more in touch with yourself. It might even leave you feeling stronger and wiser.

Sadness has gifts to give you. You just have to be willing to accept and experience those heavy emotions in order to receive the blessings.

I’m willing to do this, but I’ve got my fingers crossed that it won’t take too long.

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About the Author

Reen Rose is an experienced, informative, and engaging speaker, author, and educator. She has worked for over three decades in the world of education, teaching children and adults in Canada and England.

Research shows that happy people are better leaders, more successful, and healthier than their unhappy counterparts, and yet so many people still believe that happiness is a result of their circumstances.

Happiness is a choice. Reen’s presentations and workshops are designed to help you become robustly happy. This is her term for happiness that can withstand challenge and change.

Reen blends research-based expertise, storytelling, humour, and practical strategies to both inform and inspire. She is a Myers Briggs certified practitioner, a Microsoft Office certified trainer and a qualified and experienced teacher.

Email Reen at [email protected]

Check out her websites at www.ReenRose.com, or www.ModellingHappiness.com

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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