My Life

On Feeling Sad

I’ve felt sad the last couple of days. Normally I wouldn’t blog about such things. Who wants to read a blog about sadness? Who wants to write a blog about sadness?

But both – the reading and the writing – are needed more than we think. Too many of our posts and online sharings are filtered, cleaned-up, or misleading. Sometimes they are lies or simply wishful fairy tales.

Why am I sad? I really don’t have an answer to that question. Sometimes we are just sad and I’ve learned that is okay.

Perhaps it is adjusting back to the day-to-day life after our mission trip to Ukraine. I love traveling and spending time with partners and friends and sharing new experiences with teams. It is busy but it fills my bucket. Returning home to a different routine, a known routine is sometimes like hitting the brakes too hard when driving. It takes me a little while to adjust.

Maybe it is physical tiredness from adjusting time zones and seasonal allergies or maybe four days of evening meetings/events are taking their toll.

Perhaps it is emotional weariness from all the pain, anger, and hurt dominating our news and our lives. For this Enneagram 9 peace-maker, the constant conflict, hatred, and general nastiness of our public “discourse” grieve me. The dismissal of people’s experiences, feelings, and thoughts angers me. The tour of Auschwitz is still heavy on my heart and to see similar disregard, and even contempt, for the humanity of others makes me physically ill.

More than likely, it is a mixture of all these things and maybe a smidge or two of something I’m not even aware of.

Novelist Mark Haddon wrote,

Sometimes we get sad about things and we don’t like to tell other people that we are sad about them. We like to keep it a secret. Or sometimes, we are sad but we really don’t know why we are sad, so we say we aren’t sad but we really are.

We don’t talk about sadness enough. When someone says they’re feeling sad, it makes us uncomfortable. Some folks withdraw out of discomfort. Some go into smother mode – so desperate to rid the person (and the air) of sadness that they pile on well-intentioned words and acts of love like a cloud of heavy-scented Febreeze.

I’ve felt sad the past couple of days.

And it is normal, permissible and expected. We are, after all, broken people in a broken world. Some days we feel the brokenness – our own and the world’s – more than others.

May this free you to be honest. May you realize you aren’t alone or failing at life if you aren’t happy all the time. May we learn to be comfortable, and grateful, for expressions of sadness, so that we (and others) no longer feel the need to keep them secret.

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