Navigation #6

Outside In: Sadness

Chances are, we have all experienced at least some form of sadness in our lifetimes.

Occasional sadness is okay. A perpetual and constant state of sadness, however, is not.

God has gifted us with beautiful emotionsDeep, ongoing sadness can have a negative impact on our physical and mental health. It can be a long-term detriment to ourselves and even the people around us. I am sure most of us all have that one friend or relative who always sees the world as a “glass half empty” place all of the time. And then there’s that person who is always reminding us about how much is wrong in the world and delivers a relentless barrage of information and proclamations about how this is a terrible place to live—which, for the record, I do not believe. .

That being said, there are certain events, circumstances, memories and people that can prompt an onset of sadness. Sadness happens, and it happens for many different reasons. It’s just a part of life.

Sadness has a way of both connecting us and potentially pushing us away. Certainly, there may be times in our life where we just need to have a good cry we run into something that really tugs on our emotional heart strings. Or there may be moments where we feel our sensitivity bubbling to the surface, and some long lost core memory or deeply-embedded emotion rises up and draws the tears out of us.

But living in a constant state of sadness, depression or drowning in our own tears is not a position or place that anyone should be in. Depression is a much deeper level of sadness, one that often requires the assistance of a qualified healthcare provider to treat and conquer.

There is a reason we have been given such a wide variety and range of emotions to experience in life.

It’s not that sadness is rejoiced when one experiences it. Rather, it’s something that provides us an opportunity for learning, for growing and for feeling better about the happiness and joy that is bound to head our way. It does no good to constantly wallow in our own muck and mire of tears and run from our problems and unhappiness. Instead, we must face sadness and even embrace it from time to time. Ironically enough, sadness is an emotion that adds to the fullness of life.

We must realize that yes, we will be sad in life, and dealing with it and experiencing it may be challenging and difficult. God is not made for nor meant to be an all-powerful Novocain that makes us numb and immune to things that make us sad or hurt us. Instead, God reminds us that through all of that, whether we feel it or not, and whether we believe it or not, God is with us. God hurts and cries with us.

The beauty of life is experiencing moments of fear, joy and sadness. The key to that is that they are experienced from time to time and in moderation. Emotional rollercoasters are not fun rides to go on. On the other hand, singular emotional tunnels are not the greatest journeys either.

God has gifted us with these beautiful emotions, from tears of happiness to tears of sadness; from moments of fear to moments of courage. All of it adds a great richness to this gift that we call life; and for that we should be eternally grateful.

Maybe then, instead of asking why sadness exists, we should ask ourselves: What would life look like without sadness?

Part 2 of a 5-Part Series.

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