July 15     

Today's quotation:

Sadness is related to the opening of your heart.  If you allow yourself to feel sad, especially if you can cry, you will find that your heart opens wider and you can feel more love and more joy.

Shakti Gawain

Today's Meditation:

Sometimes I just feel sad.  There's often not any real cause for it that I can be sure of, just an overwhelming feeling of sadness.  Bad things are happening in the world every day-- people are hurting and killing other people and animals and trees, and we're destroying the planet we're living on, and it can be overwhelming sometimes to be fully aware of this truth.  When the sadness comes, I don't try to fight it.  Rather, I try to accept it and realize that life is about ups and downs and cycles, that sadness will come and go, and when it's here I want to accept it.

But it's a visitor to whom I don't want to give an extended invitation.  I don't want to wallow in the sadness and let it take me over because it is one of those friends who tries to be controlling and dominating.  Sadness doesn't want me to feel other emotions because it's very insecure, and when I feel sad for too long, it has its hooks in me and doesn't want to let me go.  So I cry, I spend time alone, I try to respect the truths of the sadness, but then I shift my focus to the positive things that are also all around me, and I come back to the world with a greater appreciation for all those things that don't contribute to the sadness.

It would be very easy to be sad all the time.  If I were to think of all my missed opportunities as disasters, sadness would rule the day.  If I were to dwell on bad things that other people have done to me, I certainly wouldn't be happy.  If I were to constantly think about dreams that haven't come true, my life would be dark and dreary.  But I don't want to do that, so I don't.

I'm not quite sure where sadness ends and depression begins; I don't know how I would define the separation between grief and sadness.  I am sure, though, that much of sadness is often choice-- when someone dies, do we allow sadness to take over because the person is gone, or do we celebrate the time that we were able to spend with that person?  Or both?  We can allow our sadness to make us more whole, healthier, and more compassionate.  If we do so, then sadness can serve a very important purpose in our lives. 

Questions to consider:

Why do so many people want to banish sadness completely from their lives?

How might sadness be a positive force in our lives?

When has sadness been a positive force in your life?

For further thought:

Ester asked why people are sad.
"Thatís simple," says the old man.  "They are the prisoners of their personal history.  Everyone believes that the main aim in life is to follow a plan.  They never ask if that plan is theirs or if it was created by another person.  They accumulate experiences, memories, things, other people's ideas, and it is more than they can possibly cope with.  And that is why they forget their dreams.

Paulo Coelho

more on sadness



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