I hesitated a lot before deciding to write about sadness, as this series is among a series of articles in the “Wellness” section. I thought over and over again about how I can make this article positive or meaningful without mentioning any negative emotions. Unfortunately, there was no way I can continue this series without mentioning some of the gloomy emotions or periods that we pass through in our lives. I am an extremely emotional person who is very transparent with my own feelings when interacting with others. Many people told me that showing my emotions is wrong and it keeps people away from me. I have had meetings in my work place telling me how I should contain, or even hide my emotions, and try to keep a mask on when dealing with others. I have also been told numerous times that crying or showing emotions is a weakness which others can use against me and that will jeopardize my position of managing a team. Some thought my colleagues will think less of me and they will never take me seriously after my burst of emotions. Throughout the years, I have developed from showering others with my emotions, both positive and negative, to someone who avoids others when feeling emotional - which is very hard to do, being the social human that I am. I was also told that people will start hating my company if they witness my emotional roller coaster. People kept criticizing me endlessly on how I should become and how I should act in front of others to the extent that I felt that something is wrong with me whenever I showed the slightest emotions. I thought to myself that showing sadness is wrong and I should constantly be happy and cheerful so I can attract people and keep them around me.
During this period of my life, there is so much going on; from school fees to endless debts which I can barely cover. As for my professional life, I am trying to get involved in so many projects that will be beneficial for my development. Things seem to be difficult to obtain, life seem to be against me and I find it difficult to count my blessings at this very moment. Every time I go through such a period I fall into an overwhelming wave of sadness which takes over my soul and leaves me feeling helpless and not in control. With periods like this, even my loved ones try to avoid me so as to not deal with the sad Maya who they are unfamiliar with. This passing thought brings me a feeling of guilt towards others as I should be responsible for their happiness not sadness. For the past couple of days, I decided to give myself time, act the way I felt like acting and kept my sadness to myself and shared it with 2 people only. I stepped away from people, switched off my WhatsApp and decided to lie down next to my son and have an early night. After all, I knew that I had to face my sadness, understand its source and face the reaction of my actions which were considered very ‘unprofessional’ towards many around me.
It is essential to understand what ‘sadness’ is and when it begins. I came across this article that perfectly described sadness stating that “(s)adness is considered to be one of the basic human emotions and it is a natural response to situations involving psychological, emotional, and/or physical pain. Sad feelings often quickly diminish after individuals resolve or come to terms with upsetting experiences.”
Source: Cortesía via www.elespectador.com
It is indeed natural to go through sadness as it is part of the balance of the universe, ups and downs, light and darkness, happiness and sadness. It is part of our nature to feel sad towards whatever situation or experience we are going through. We should not be ashamed of our sadness nor should others make us feel
guilty for sharing our emotions; whether they are negative or positive. In an interesting article titled “The Value of Sadness” Dr Lisa Firestone explains the importance of sadness, noting that our society teaches us at a very young age that showing sadness is wrong and you should never cry. We were always advised to stay strong, so unintentionally sadness became perceived as negative and should always be avoided. Dr Firestone continues to state that “(t)he problem is we can’t selectively numb pain without numbing joy. Our ability to feel emotion is part of our human heritage. Emotions provide us with information and help us survive and thrive. When we suppress “negative” emotions, we lose touch with our adaptive emotions like love, passion, warmth or desire, and, therefore, lead a much more deadened life.”
In this article, I am not encouraging grief nor sadness, I am merely saying that acknowledging your sadness is the first step towards moving on. Let the wave take its time, never blame yourself for feeling sad nor try to adjust so that others feel happy while you disregard yourself. This is part of your development, and progression into a fully aware individual. Allowing your emotions to flow, will allow you to understand yourself better and will help you make better decisions- not only in the meantime, but in the future as you learn how to adapt and deal with your emotional roller coaster. Once you acknowledge your sadness, don’t be scared to face what is really making you sad, this might not make sense to others no matter how much you explain. However, it is important for you to be as clear as possible with the reasons behind your sadness; no matter how childish, immature or offensive the reason is. The most important part of it all is that you need to have an understanding that you should never dwell nor victimize yourself when you are sad. Think of your present moment without exaggeration of the future, nor taking into account what others might think of you. What really matters at this very moment, is that you need to pick yourself up from your sad state by reminding yourself of how far you have gotten, all the obstacles that you have over-come and the endless blessings around you from loved ones to cherished activities.
One of the thoughts that helps me a lot in my life is the mere reminder that I am an important individual who was put on this earth for a reason. No one will be able to walk my path and fight my battles, my journey was made for me alone and no one will be able to help me over-come anything in this life except myself.
So, know that you too are important, no one will be able to fight your battles except yourself, your journey was made carefully for you alone and no one will help you overcome your obstacles but yourself. You are strong, you are unique and you are powerful beyond your expectations.
Feel proud of your sadness and use it for your own benefit to grow into a spectacular individual.
Let’s Talk with Maya Gadir is a bi-monthly column about wellness, living the best life you can live and positivity. Maya is a certified Medical Herbalist with over 10 years of experience in therapeutic conversations. She has been working in media since 2013 as a presenter on Capital Radio 91.6FM.