It's O.K. to be Sad

It's o.k. to be sad, even very, very sad. Sadness, like anger, is a very fine emotion. But, like anger, not all of us are comfortable feeling it or being in the immediate vicinity of someone expressing it. Sadness can be a tough emotion to feel and to express, and it can be even tougher for us to be around when someone else is in its depths. We often aren't comfortable with our own sadness, and we can find the sadness of others even more challenging. We don't know what to do with it. We don't have the skills. So, we want to make it stop. We don't like seeing people hurt, and we don't like feeling like we don't know what to do. We are a culture of doing and fixing. We don't want to just be with an emotion that makes us uncomfortable.

Sadness is the energetic expression of our internal experience of loss, hurt, or disappointment Our job is to allow an honest and complete expression of that emotion in others and ourselves. Because, emotions are our friends and fostering their full expression supports satisfying and fulfilling relationships. 

Allow yourself to feel whatever emotions come up with sadness and stick with them until the feelings pass. Don't try to stifle it or cut it short. As with any message,  if we don't allow the communication to be fully expressed, the message ends up getting sent in unproductive and unhealthy ways. It's a good idea to respect our experience and not try and force ourselves to do "fun" things to cheer ourselves up prematurely. (However, it is a good idea to try to support yourself by doing comforting things to ease your experience.)

Don't expect a predictable, constant trajectory of the expression of sadness. Your level of emotional intensity will ebb and flow. Don't impose a timeline upon yourself, or others, to get through the experience. "That was ages ago" or, "Aren't you over that?" are not appropriate or constructive responses. Withhold judgment: there isn't a  right way. Don't dictate parameters, instead seek a complete and authentic expression.

Own your experience and respect the unique experience of others. You don't have to understand or agree to be supportive. Don't use your sadness as a weapon, or a threat. Don't shame others into "shaping up" or try to cheer them up to ease your own discomfort with their expression of sadness.We feel and express our emotions in different ways, and that's o.k., so do your best not to impose your expectations on another when it comes to their experience of being sad..