The walls we build around us to keep out the sadness also keep out the joy. – Jim Rohn
Learning to Be At Ease —
Have you noticed how babies cry with ease? They don’t have any filters, images, or ideas about themselves. They don’t think about what their sadness could mean. They are just expressing what is in the here and now.
You see, a baby cries in the moment:
- Without thinking, “I will not look good when I cry.”
- Without analyzing, “Is this a good time to cry or will I upset anyone?”
- Without judging, “I should not cry now, I should be smiling.”
Babies have no concept of crying, no inhibition, and are always fully present. It is only once we become older that we start to think about what sadness or tears mean to us. Then we get busy with consequences, with how we look, or we just don’t want to feel what is uncomfortable.
Wouldn’t it be great if you didn’t have to hold back tears or hold onto the imprisonment of sadness? The meaning of “release” is to “set free from imprisonment.”
Can you see that your judgments, shoulds, or “nows not a good time” excuses will create a wall around your feelings?
Imprisoning Sadness —
We all do it. We usually tell ourselves some kind of story when sadness comes up in order to deflect fully experiencing it.
Here are 3 Main Ways to Imprison Sadness:
By thinking: “This should never have happened,” “Why does this happen?” and with internal arguing, judging, and fighting tears.
Denying the Existence of the Sadness:
By thinking: “I don’t do sad,” “Sad doesn’t fit with my image,” “I am not sad” and by avoiding, numbing, hiding, or using alcohol or drugs.
By thinking: “I am so sad again,” “Life is always sad” and by becoming identified, overwhelmed, and indulging in “poor me” stories.
Can you see the difference between the story of your sadness and an actual moment of feeling sad that comes and goes?
Setting Your Sadness Free:
Accept and allow sadness.
Whenever you feel sadness appear, allow the purity of it. Do this without adding thoughts about the past or the future, without judging, without thinking what it means. Just feel the sadness. Be curious about what wants to happen naturally, with or without tears. Appreciate the capacity you have to be, feel, and experience life abundantly.
Can you see that tears are simply the raindrops from the storm inside of you and that all storms come and go?
Sadness is Your Friend, Not Your Enemy.
Imagine a good friend rings your doorbell. You open the door, recognize your dear friend, and slam the door in their face. Oops!
That’s how we often treat sadness, thinking:
- Now is not a good time.
- Maybe later.
- Go away.
So, when sadness visits you, next time: open the door wide, give a hug, and sit together with a cup of tea. At some point, you will say, “Thank you, goodbye, and see you later.” Really! It can be this simple and easy!
Can you see that tears are sometimes the best words the heart can speak? They can be healing waters and a stream of joy!
Forgive the Past.
Write down any past hurts and disappointment in the format of a letter to yourself or the person involved. Allow whatever feelings may arise, maybe tears or anger, maybe laughter. It doesn’t matter what.
Read the letter out loud, create a ritual for yourself, and burn the letter together with the guilt, shame, blame, and self-punishment. Use this time to forgive the past. It is gone.
Can you see that with referring to the past in memories, you stop yourself from experiencing what is here whether sadness or joy?
Refrain from Giving Meaning.
Fact: Sometimes you feel sad. Everybody feels sad from time to time. Do you want to know a secret? Sadness means nothing about who you are. It doesn’t mean that you are weak or strong. It doesn’t mean that you are not good enough. It doesn’t mean that your life is sad. And yes, men and boys do cry.
Can you see that all experiences come and go, the most beautiful as well as the sad ones?
See A Wider Perspective on Life.
Life is a constant dance. There are moments of happiness and sadness, moments of laughter and tears. But to live a purposeful life, one must have the passion to overcome the obstacles of wanting to hold on, of wanting to be happy later, or of trying to feel something different than what appears.
Look at the cycles in nature. After any heavy, night storm, the sun rises again.
Life is an ongoing journey from a destruction zone to a reconstruction zone. Life knocks you down and then you get back up. It is not meant to be a comfortable process. You are here to face the chaos. Because then, with all this falling apart, you can experience the real you which remains intact and untouched.