Our society breeds expectations that powerful people do not show emotion. Social media creates the belief that demonstrating human emotion is interpreted as a sign of weakness. Even affirmations inspire us to channel sadness or anger into positivity… be happy, express joy, smile.
Although happiness is a goal for many wise people, a human’s ability to experience authentic joy is not possible without acknowledgment of our ability to be sad or angry, grieve loss, or how to navigate and process through emotional pain.
ALL emotions are healthy! To experience the entire range of human emotions defines a rich life.
As with any behavior, balance is key. We do not live in a world void of illness, suffering, pain, or hardship. Expect sadness and bad days: shed a tear, take a break, talk it through, express regret, take a moment. Severity and duration are the important guideposts to keep in mind. Importantly, when any feeling is suppressed, dismissed, ignored, or not permitted, that emotion will always present itself in some other way. An inability to feel sadness, anger, or grief can result in bursts of unrelated elevated emotions, typically vented toward humans who are not involved in what hurt us. Most critical of all, when we allow ourselves to experience sadness, anger, or grief, the opportunities to experience joy, happiness, and love can be more fully realized.
In a world that seems to offer no acceptable space for emotional pain, let’s elevate our ability to feel. Give yourself permission to embrace our human range of emotions and understand that joy is felt more deeply as a result. This takes practice and enlightenment.
According to Sandra Pawula, there are three ways sadness can empower your happiness:
Sadness Has the Power to Introduce a Crack in Our Idea of Reality. No one is exempt from suffering. We have all experienced suffering in some form. Failing to accept that hurt inhibits us from finding true joy in our lives. Instead of running away, let sadness wake you up. Sadness has the power to introduce a crack in our limiting version of reality. A moment of sadness can be marvelous. You might see clearly for the very first time… let sadness spark your life with new meaning and purpose.
Let Your Heart Break Into a Million Pieces. When sadness breaks open our heart, we become fully human. By having courage to touch our own pain and suffering,… we open ourselves… to feel the pain and suffering of others. Suffering is a common thread that unites all of humanity. From recognizing this simple truth, a profound feeling of interconnectedness can arise.
Nothing Ever Stays the Same for Even a Moment. Sadness occurs when things change… sadness introduces us to impermanence and can help us learn to let go. Change is the only constant in life. Until we learn to accept change gracefully, we will always suffer. Through embracing the beauty of impermanence, we come to value every precious moment of our lives.
All humans possess the power to feel, whether sadness or joy. We have to allow it!
Tears come from the heart… not from the brain. -Leonardo da Vinci
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