In Praise of Sadness


We often feel guilty for our feelings of sadness or depression.

It seems that we should be happy because we have everything we need: food, clean water, shelter and security. But feelings don’t work like that. Sadness cannot always be resolved by thinking how lucky we are, any more than a broken leg can.

Feeling guilty adds to the burden of our sadness rather than doing anything to solve it.

We feel that if only we tried harder to be happy, the despondence would go away.

We feel that if only we were more of a “positive person” we wouldn’t have these negative emotions.

We feel inadequate for failing to be upbeat all the time.

And when our attempts at blasting away sadness with positive thoughts and affirmations fail, we can feel even worse than before.

The alternative is to accept our negative moods, embrace them, see what they have to teach us and work through them until we come out of the other side, perhaps with more empathy and genuine peace and joy. When we accept that we have these emotions, we create an opportunity to heal and to learn vital lessons.


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