I woke up feeling sad today. Now, if you’ve read any of my posts, you know I stand for happiness. You know I believe that happiness is not only beneficial to you, but to everyone around you and the world at large. (Happy people don’t start wars, do they?)
Happy people inspire other people to be happy. Happy people work together more easily and team up to find positive solutions. Happy people are productive — they’re not carrying around the baggage that weighs down a lot of other people.
And, I do believe that opportunities come more easily to happy people.
Now, I did wake up feeling sad today, but set about my morning routine as usual — feeding the dogs, taking them out for a walk, taking out the trash, etc. It rained pretty hard almost all day yesterday, and even though the sky was full of clouds, there was still bright sunshine all over the place this morning. In fact, it was refreshing.
Moods are like waves — they come and go. When you’re stuck in sadness for prolonged periods of time, it can affect your health and your interactions with people. In turn, those effects start to weave together in the attitude of sadness, and eventually that can create a whole life of sadness.
I wasn’t bummed out by being sad, because I know that emotions are like waves. I also know, now, that there are always underlying vibes associated with each emotion, and understanding emotions are the key to overcoming chronic depression.
Here’s an example. The first time I went skydiving, I was thrilled and excited. If there wasn’t any fear whatsoever involved in skydiving, I might have felt happy, calm, peaceful, appreciative of the beauty of the sky, comforted by the competence of the teachers, pilot, etc. There were lots of things about that drop zone that were comforting. But my primary emotion was excitement. Excitement is a mix of joy and anxiety. It’s fun, don’t get me wrong! But when I started learning how to analyze emotions, I started becoming aware of the underside of an emotion. Really thrilling experiences have a kind of tingling feeling underneath the joy of the experience. In this case, that tingly feeling was just a touch of fear. I had to appreciate the danger of extreme sports to fully experience the thrill of being able to participate.
Let me give you another sport that is not extreme: playing marbles. When you compete in a game of marbles with somebody, you’re probably not going to experience the same thrill that you’re going to get during your first skydive. Now, if there’s a monetary prize of $1 million, you probably will feel that thrill, because the stakes are higher.
This morning, I woke up sad. But at the core of that sadness, there was a peace. I realized that like the weather outside, the sadness has a certain cleansing power associated with it, and will blow away like the dark clouds did. I realize that all the emotions are necessary to have a full life.
While I used to be a chronic suicidal depressive, I have little to no fear of returning to that state. I have too much information now. I know so much more than I ever did about emotions and how they affect the life experience (and why, also).
In short, I was at peace with my sad emotion. I felt no fear around it. Yes, I was sad because of a temporary life condition that is part of my everyday reality, but I have very little fear of the life condition that might have sent me up the wall with anxiety in the past.
So if my sadness is tinged with anxiety, then I can expect more of it, and my emotions will tend to draw me down the path of making mistakes, misreading people, and having accidents.
If my sadness is tinged with peace and understanding, then I know that it’s part of what life has to offer, but I’m not married to it, and therefore it’s of no real concern.
If you have to be sad in life, and I know that sometimes you will be, I pray that your sadness is underlain with peace. I pray that you’ll recognize it as a cloud that’s passing by in the sky, containing its own hidden gift and providing temporary shade or nourishing rain. I pray that you’ll come across the information that I did, information that saved me from a life of anxiety, fear, depression, and endless thoughts of suicide. When you have the knowledge that every emotion has an underlying emotion, I think you’ll find it easier to make peace with your life conditions.
Please comment … let me know if this is helpful or just plain confusing!