Lesson 32: Let yourself be sad

sad_kittenI’ve recently, finally, had some good stuff happening to me lately. Really good. The biggest news (if you haven’t heard) is that I’ve had my first piece published, in the Huffington Post.  I’m so excited, and feel very grateful. (If you can, please read it, share it – and comment if you feel like it! I welcome your opinions.)

Ever since my Cape Town trip, I feel like I’ve turned a corner and I feel hopeful for the first time in a long time. Over three years long.

The interesting thing about coming out of a dark period is that it gives you perspective. You can see where you’ve been more clearly, and how hard it’s been. I don’t think I realized how depressed I was. Especially in the last few months, since being horribly betrayed by the man I loved. Even the things that usually bring me joy – my friends and dancing – couldn’t get me out of the house. Outside of work and the gym, all I wanted to do was stay at home with my unconditional furballs of love, Peanut and Pumpkin.

my girls: Peanut & Pumpkin

Which was exactly what I needed.

Now that I’m feeling better, I’m wondering why it was so hard to let myself feel badly. We’re all so programmed to smile through the pain, put yourself out there and “be happy.” Well you know what? Sometimes life sucks. Sometimes it’s impossible to feel good and hopeful. When everything you’ve worked so hard for has failed – for so long and in so many areas – how can you feel anything but down?

And you know what? Staying home, being alone was EXACTLY what I needed. It’s how I wrote this blog, and that article, and hopefully, have found my new path as a writer.

What I’ve learned, and urge everyone out there listening to consider, is to let yourself feel bad when you feel bad. Stay home, don’t shower everyday, watch lots of TV, sleep, do yoga – whatever feels good.  As long as you’re not suicidal, neglecting important duties, or using drugs or food to numb the pain – it’s probably the best thing for you.

If you’re sad, be sad. It’s as important and real an emotion as all the others. And it can be productive. It can help you mourn what you’ve lost and, when you’re ready, find a new path. There’s way too much pressure out there to feel happy all the time. None of us can achieve that state 24/7 – nor should we. I don’t care what some spiritual leader says. I say the joys of life are only appreciated as such when you let yourself know the downs.  When you can honor your true feelings, whatever they are.

my editor, Pumpkin.
my editor, Pumpkin.

One thought on “Lesson 32: Let yourself be sad

  1. Hi, Susan! ~

    Sounds like you’ve come through a challenging time. I appreciate your authenticity in expressing your feelings. I agree with this: “If you’re sad, be sad. It’s as important and real an emotion as all the others. And it can be productive.”

    We can learn from our feelings when we experience them — it does no good to push them down and pretend they’re not there. If we ignore ‘bad’ feelings the negative energy seeps out sideways or in weird ways without actually being healed. Better to face it head on as you say. However, there is a fine line between ‘experiencing’ negativity and ‘wallowing’ in it 😉

    Congratulations on the publication of your Huffington Post piece. I’m happy to have ‘met’ you — perhaps someday we will look back on this encounter and say, “Ahhh! The Lord works in mysterious ways!”

    I appreciate your visit to my blog post ‘Don’t Look Down, Ur Power’s Showing’ and I have responded to your comment at http://www.dangerouslinda.com/dont-look-down-ur-powers-showing Thank YOU!

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