I’ve recently encountered or been affected by a number of griefs. And while soaking in the bath one afternoon, I was told by hubby a family friend had gone to be with Jesus. Another one….ugh….

I uttered out loud as I processed this information – “I don’t like feeling sad”.

It was at this point that I found myself reflecting upon sadness.

A psychologist friend of mine once said to me that she loved that inside out movie, after I had shared how much I hated it. She loved everything about it. She saw that sadness was the hero of the movie. I just felt awful about the whole thing, to me it was dark, depressing, heavy and didn’t lift enough at the end to leave me feeling good (which is why I go to the movies)

It made me wonder, is it possible to embrace sadness and be ok with it.

From a young girl I can honestly say I’ve never enjoyed being sad. I ran from it. If someone wanted to share negative news I would block my ears.

And now in this current state having walked a 7 year hardship journey through ill health – I am no better now. I don’t watch the news or listen to radio. I hate, hate, hate it when people give me details of negative or horrible things.

I do these things to self protect and guard my heart. I don’t need others to tell me how bad the world can be, I feel it in the atmosphere. I don’t need to know the morbid details of accidents or surgeries, I can imagine for myself without a word being spoken.

Which brings me back to sadness…..does it actually serve a purpose?

Obviously God didn’t design for us to have sadness, it wasn’t in the garden of Eden originally. Where did it come from and what on earth do we need it here on earth for? Why did my friend suggest that sadness was the hero of the story. The following points are what I discovered on my little research project. My hope is that I discover some tid-bits that just might help others who might relate to my sadness avoidance life, and shift into a life that accepts emotion, even negative ones and learns how to walk through it and be better because of it.

Here’s what I found:

  • Sadness doesn’t feel good (duh!)
  • Sadness allows us to slow down in life and take in what is truly important.
  • Sadness allows us to solve problems apparently….(let me think on that one for a bit.)
  • That learning how to manage these negative emotions that help us to lead healthier,happier lives….(well that sounds good)
  • Loss and failure are 2 most common triggers for sadness.
  • Sadness takes energy away from us, as opposed to anger which gives energy for a time.
  • “Sadness must be viewed as a temporary and useful state.”
  • Wow…..according to one article sadness has a 2 pronged advantage….1st It forces us to slow or stop in order to acknowledge something has happened that we don’t wish to happen again, which brings questions…(why/how did this happen?)
  • 2nd We are outwardly different and we generally gather with others during loss which enables others to bring answers that we are looking for…Well that is an interesting point of view. ( I wonder if it’s true….hmmmm…..have to think on this one too.)
  • When we stop our children from feeling sad we are actually (according to this article) denying our children an opportunity to learn something useful. 1. Finding solutions to a problem. 2. Gaining a set of skills that will help the next time they feel sadness. (well this is an interesting idea….I wonder if I was allowed to be sad as a child? Do I allow my own children to be sad?)
  • Sadness is there to help solve a problem. (so what is the problem or question in my case? Thinking about this one most definitely)
  • Can Joy and Sadness truly co-exist? (a question I have)
  • “There is a purpose for sadness. It allows us to let go of things we can’t hold onto. It helps break down the islands that we used to rely on that are no longer stable so that we can build new ones. And most of all sadness makes us vulnerable and dependent on others, bringing us closer to other people in a way that happiness alone never can.” (I love this sum up from the second article. I really explained clearly what I have been struggling to discover for myself. It also articulated exactly my problem….I hate letting go of things I can’t hold onto. I hate goodbyes. I hate breakdowns. I hate brokenness.)
  • Sadness lets us know we need to grieve.
  • Sadness tells us to seek out those who love and support us. (interesting)
  • One article suggests to trust sadness’ ability to guide us through the grieving process and we’ll be stronger for it..(that sounds good, the stronger part, but I’m unsure about this for me…where does God fit if sadness if guiding me?)
  • A 2nd article suggests that after sadness, joy isn’t far behind. (wouldn’t this be wonderful!!)

There is more to sadness than what I once thought and I am becoming more aware that understanding the reason for sadness, the purpose of it – can help me in the tough times.

Be encouraged precious one, it won’t always be like this. You won’t always feel like this.

The importance of Sadness – what is its purpose in our lives?