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What can sadness teach us?

Anita Cassidy

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Written in the Spring and shared in the Winter.

I have been feeling very sad of late.

Sadness as I see my children grow up and leave their young childhoods behind.

Sadness as I see the last stages of my divorce go through and process some of the grief and loss that that huge change has caused me and my children.

Sadness as the three year anniversary of my dad dying passes by.

Sadness as I lose touch with friends and certain people that I cared about or hoped to know better.

So much sadness. And, after weeks of tears, I decided to wonder what gifts the sadness was also bringing to me.

Sadness can help you slow down. It can teach you how to be kinder to yourself as well as help you be more compassionate towards others. It can also bring you closer to the soft and tender parts of yourself and, by doing that, it helps you to witness the humanity in everyone as we all accept the presence of sadness and loss throughout our lives.

We can allow sadness to make us softer and more compassionate, as well as slow down, or we can harden ourselves and shut down in the hope that that’ll stop the pain. One thing I’ve learnt is that getting hard and brittle means you snap more easily.

How we accept and embrace sadness, which we’ll all inevitably experience, is a big part of how we choose to live and age. Accepting sadness as part of a life, all lives, learning that the deeper into the sadness we are able to go the higher and lighter our joys will be is an important process. But it is a process, it can be hard and it does take time. But, on the other side of that work, is more joy.

I hope you’re able to see the value in keeping your heart and mind open during times of sadness. To talk more about the value of sadness and difficult feelings read Meg-John Barker, Pema Chödrön or reach out to me at: anita.cassidy@alethya.com

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