We have been lied to since we were little. Especially as boys. We were told we shouldn’t cry.
We are sold the dream of happiness, and a « happy ever after « once we have fought the deamons that lurk in our midst, whether they are real or not.
We are told that being sad is useless, that you need to stand up and fight it. « Pick yourself up by the bootstraps and get on with it ». « Why don’t you just go out and do something ».
Being sad is normal. Sometimes.
I’ve recently had two bad days, and I’ve been feeling down. Not much right? I’m usually quite good at this. It all started after having gone into an isolation tank yesterday. I usually come out of there refreshed and ready to take on the world, but I felt like it just put me in a hole. like it shut me off.
I figured it was because of people cancelling that morning, bad weather, tiredness, paying for ads that don’t work, uninspired to write, and it all brought me down.
I went to the gym today and a student of mine came along, and I told him. Do you know what he told me? He said the isolation tank seemed to him like it was a space that amplified what was truly happening inside of you. And that maybe it shut off all the bullshit around me and revealed that I was actually sad about something, and that I had to deal with it.
I think he was totally right. I sat down for an hour, wrote down everything I had to do to get out of this rut I’m in at the moment, and things are magically getting solved.
Let yourself be sad.
It’s like pain. Sadness is simply a signal that something is wrong and something should be done about it. Don’t fight it, don’t cover it up, don’t drown it in anything. Acknowledge you are sad and go with it. Allow it to guide you, to understand what the thorn in your mind is, and do what is in your grasp to make it better. Ignoring sadness won’t make it go away. Tackle the underlying issue. Go deep, go sincere.
Listen to yourself, and try to make it better. Solve one of the problems by reading a blogpost, making a call, writing an article, sending that text, but make sure you understand what your issue is and charge at it. Don’t look the other way.
Sadness seems to be something we’re afraid of, something we run away from when in actual fact it should be embraced, lived, and there to open us up to the truth that is burning a hole inside. If you live with the burden long enough it will kill you in a way or another.
Just as pain does, sadness must become the light that is shining in the darkness. Beware of false happiness, beware of painless and bouncy people that seem to strangely always be perfect. The layers of paint can never wash away the rot.
There are no bad feelings, just feelings. It is what you do with those feelings that count. Don’t act on sadness, don’t act on anger, don’t act on lust, acknowledge you have the feelings and find what is causing it. Just like having pain is a signal to take care of what is causing it.
Let yourself be sad. And live a better life for it.