When I was younger, I had a real problem with sadness. I often felt like it wasn’t okay to be sad. Years of being the new kid, being the reliable older child, and five years of boarding school life had made me equate sadness with weakness, with not being good enough.
I’m so glad I outgrew that phase.
Now I see sadness as I see any other emotion…one that you have to embrace and deal with and live through. Just as the laughter bubbles of joy or the hot red flashes of anger demand our attention, so too does sadness.
When we’re hurt, or lonely, or we’ve lost someone, or we feel let down, or when we’re just sad….
It’s okay to be sad.
I’d actually go so far as to say that I’m ‘good’ at being sad now. There’ll be a day, maybe next week, maybe next month, maybe later, when I’ll get an attack of the sads. But whereas younger me would fight this, bottle it up, feel guilty, now I actively run into the arms of sadness. I watch a soppy movie, I listen to some power ballads, and I let myself go.
The permission to be sad, whether it’s for a minute or a day, is a powerful thing.
So now, I’m an open and out crier. And the tears I shed are healthy and therapeutic and healing. I cried at the trailer for Incredibly Loud and Extremely Close…I cried when I found out my dear sweet granddad had passed…I cried during Matilda. Being able to be sad, to be able to cry feels grown up and helps me to be a happier, healthier person, I’m sure of it.
How do you feel about sadness, friends? Oh, and what’s your go-to crying movie, if you have one (mine’s Steel Magnolias. Every time)?
Reminder: my first giveaway (to receive a parcel o’fun containing a DVD, a book, a CD and assorted other goodies) is open until this Saturday, the 25th. For details/to enter, the post can be found here.