Sad – Being affected by unhappiness or grief; feelings of sorrow or mourning.
Instantly, the story gripped me. A couple shared their tragic story about their sweet son.
He was just a small boy, when a crippling disorder slowly took his precious little life. Tears spilled as I watched the video his parents lovingly created to capture his sweet spirit. Their hope, by sharing their painful story, is to come alongside others who might find themselves in the club that no one ever wants to be a member of.
Heartbreaking stories like these make me feel helpless. There’s nothing I can do to make it better. It’s harsh reality and it’s so incredibly unfair and sad. Their story, and others like it, move me, and leave behind a strange sense of connection. It reaches in and touches a sacred place of remembrance in me.
Sadness comes under the guise of many faces, but the pain it brings is universal.
It breaks our hearts and clouds our view of the slightest ray of sun. A cloak of grief can engulf any one of us at any time because life is so incredibly precious and so very unpredictable. And not one of us is immune to it, though we try really hard to be…
Most of us will avoid things that make us feel sad. In fact, some have already stopped reading this after the first paragraph, or maybe didn’t make it past the title, understandably. Feeling sad is not a popular topic. We want to surround ourselves with the happy things, not the sad.
Just think how well those movies do – you know the ones, when the actor dies at the end? We shy away from those because they’re too sad to be entertaining. Who wants to sit through a couple of hours just to get your heart wrenched with that kind of ending? Not me.
Yet sometimes, I find myself drawn to the sadness I see in others – in an effort to chase it away. “Cheer up!” I well-meaningly (but thoughtlessly) quip. I attempt to bring a smile to their face, to throw open the drawn curtains of their sad soul. I wish to shoo away, with an encouraging phrase or two, this black crow that’s perched on my friend’s shoulder. I want to help her not be sad. But this lighthearted attempt usually feels more like salt than salve to her emotional wound.
Sadness… we can run from it or sink underneath the weight of it. No wonder we usually choose to try to shake it off, minimize or ignore it when it hits our hearts.
If we stop and actually look at our sadness, it tends to pull us into a private world. It stares blankly back at others saying – “NO VISITORS.”
When we feel and face our sadness, we tend to go reclusive. This is, of course, a necessary place we must travel in our pain. Running from or ignoring it, only causes a callous to grow over and trap the grief inside – turning it toxic.
Sadness and grief are definitely as much a part of life as are happiness and joy. Only, it seems, that the latter two are much more fleeting. We chase after joy and we run from sadness. We try to our best to hold onto the blissful moments and tend to hide from the ominous gloom of our sadness.
When this unpleasant visitor comes, if we don’t face it, we’ll instead try to distance ourselves from it. We’ll stuff it down deep, where we might still feel it, but hope at least no one else will see it, or know that we’re hurting.
In my own life, I hope to create an environment where others sense it’s okay to talk about how they’re really feeling, good or bad. Everything doesn’t have to be “fine” all the time. It’s okay to be sad sometimes. It’s okay to not always be okay.
Life can hurt, our hearts will ache and whether we like it or not, at some point, we will feel sadness settling into our bones. And when it happens, I’m allowing myself to own it. I’ve learned it’s so much better in the long run, if I don’t give in to the temptation to run from it, or ignore it.
Being brave and strong doesn’t mean I always feel like it. Sometimes the bravest and strongest thing I can do is admit that I’m not.
We all have our moments, don’t we? I think it’s important that we make safe places for each other. If we can just get our eyes off ourselves and our own agendas, we’ll find we create room for others.
Have you been fighting feelings of sadness lately? It’s okay to be honest about it. Can I ask, what are you doing with those feelings? Think right now of who you know. Who is it that cares about you? Whose face comes to mind? Could you go to this person to share how you’re feeling, without the fear that you’ll be perceived as ‘less than,’ somehow? Why or why not?
Do you feel there’s no one with whom you could share your pain? Have you considered prayer? There is One who is always there. One who cares about the sadness in your heart. He sees past that strong exterior you try to hide behind.
Who told us we always have to appear so strong? Whoever it was that taught us that, taught us in error. We can change that false concept.
I believe it’s possible to live in such an honest way, that we can allow ourselves to feel and reveal our sadness without fear of appearing weak.
I want to be present and focused enough to sense when someone near me is sad inside. I don’t want to miss it, even on those days when I’m busy – especially on those days when my plate is full. I’m not perfect, but I hope to think I’ll stop what I’m doing, to offer them an authentic shoulder.
Will I slow my roll down enough to notice when something’s off with my friend and be that safe place for them without judgement? When it’s not convenient, will I still provide a genuine listening ear or gentle hug, or, instead, offer some quick-fix jargon or mindless pat on the back while I hurriedly move on to the next thing in my day?
Sadness happens. It happens to all of us. What we do with it when it hits, is up to us.
As crazy as it sounds, it can be a gift if we choose to see it that way. Have you considered that sadness can actually build a bridge of connectivity? It can bind two hearts closer together if we choose to walk alongside each other instead of abandoning each other in the grief. It’s an opportunity to get outside ourselves and be there for each other.
Will we that vulnerable?
Whether we’re the one providing the safe place or it’s us who is hurting, will we dare to be honest and share our private places with each other? Either way, trust will be required.
Whichever side of the coin sadness finds us on today, one thing is for certain…
We definitely need each other.
“Sorrow is better than laughter, for sadness has a refining influence on us.” Ecclesiastes 7:3
“Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.”
“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.”