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Just Be With Sadness When She Comes to Visit

Profoundly sad!  Not depressed. Not tired. Not even really overwhelmed. Simply sad.

I barely know what to say further. No one really wants to hear about sadness. No one really wants to face sadness and stay in it long enough to discover the message and the learning. I know I don’t want her living in my home much less taking residence in my body. But I expect it is imperative.

Sometimes being fully in sadness, listening, tasting, feeling, smelling, breathing sadness is the absolutely only thing left to do. Working in the garden, taking a nap, walking, listening to music, cooking, being social, running or walking…..on and on, but none of that in the end takes away or makes sense of the sadness.

Silently being inside the darkness, quietly wrapping the cloak of sadness around our body and hugging her close, smothering the itch, the persistent rash and ache, letting the nothingness clog our skin and dull our brain and destroy our spirit is all there is that is left to do. I can’t make friends with sadness. But I can be with her. I can hold her, sooth her, let her hide inside me. I can honour my sadness, not send her away. I can give her space to breathe and acknowledge that she exists.

What makes me sad? I am sad that I allow the suffering and chaos of the world affect me minute to minute. I am sad that I hold close to my soul the constant knowing that I am aging and I will, not now, but sometime, leave a world that amazes me, gives me joy and hope, frustrates me, causes me to feel helpless, challenges me, provides me with love and gifts and mystery. I am sad for my losses. I am sad for dreams I abandoned too easily and quickly. I am sad that love ended, or never really began. I am sad that I can not take away the pain of a hungry child I do not even know in a land I have never traveled, living a life beyond anything I have ever experienced.

I am sad because in order to really know joy, I must know the contrast. As I change my life from living in Toronto to living in Michigan and as I anticipate the pleasure and the new and the surprises of that major life change, I need to fully realize the sadness of who I no longer am so as to know who it is I am becoming.

Live in your own sadness so you can embrace your happiness. Contrast gives us reason to be alive. Change heals and grows new spots/options. For me there are no tears. If you have tears appreciate the jewels of potential comfort they have to offer you. Tears are not about weakness. Tears are about cleansing, refreshing, letting go and starting anew. Tears offer relief.

Sometimes we live with sadness for a long time. Learn to view her as a companion who means you no harm. A friend who loves you, sees you, knows you and understands. Let her walk beside you, fill your inner darkness, gently or wrenchingly guide you, and trust she will drift away when you are ready to let her go.

You are brilliant. I am brilliant. I am going to accept sadness as long as she wants to be with me and slowly move forward anyway. How about you? Can you let yourself know how sad you are, be open to learn the wisdom sadness has to offer you, and continue to live life fully?

I expect that if I can you can. We are all very brave souls, filled with grace and love. Life is good. And sadness is just one part of a full and rich life.

Hugs, Nancy

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