There’s so much sadness in my world right now.
Well, maybe there isn’t more sadness than usual, but I’m noticing that my friends have more of a willingness to share their sadness.
Folks are sad for a myriad of reasons, all of them perfectly good, tangible reasons to feel sad – a break up, a sudden and unexpected career shift, a life-changing illness.
There’s also a deep well of sadness for those things that aren’t so tangible – disappointment with oneself, a perceived sense of failure, a lack of meaning with one’s life, a feeling that one just isn’t quite enough.
I look around at my friends, my family, at myself in the mirror, and I see sadness reflected back at me. Defeat. Anxiety. Fear. It has many names, this multi-headed beast.
But I think that’s okay.
I think it’s okay that we’re all a little sad right now. A friend of mine who is going through a career shift, a life-defining transition that was self-imposed – wrote a beautiful piece on it today that I thought was absolutely lovely.
Which got me to thinking about where we are. Where I am. I have sadness, too. Sometimes it’s pretty heavy. I’ve had storms of tears over the last couple of weeks. I’ve had crushing disappointment with myself. With my mistakes, my failures, my stubborn insistence on following this path I’ve forged for myself, which is pretty rocky at the moment. I actually said, “I hate myself” out loud more than a few times over the last few days.
Then I got tired of it. I just got tired of hating myself. It serves no purpose other than to set me back. It depletes my energy. Hating yourself takes so much energy, it burns up your resources. It tires you out quickly. And I realized that’s just bullshit.
So I decided to stop hating myself. Seriously – I made a decision to not do it anymore. I decide how to treat myself, and I decided that I deserved better than that. You do, too.
Don’t hate yourself because you’re sad, or you feel defeated, or you made a mistake. Even in you made a really, really big mistake.
Instead, practice self-forgiveness. I’m quick to forgive others, why can’t I treat myself the same way, right?
So I’m going to sit with the sadness for a little while, hold its hand, tell it that it’s okay for it to stick around as long as it doesn’t mind sharing space with happiness, joy and excitement. Because I feel those things, too. Sometimes all at the same time! Our emotions can co-exist. Sadness is just one part of who we are.
So, if you feel sad right now, know that I feel sad, too. And that it’s okay.