PROBLEMS WITH NATURAL SADNESS
Unfortunately, when we are confronted with a huge amount of sadness
we are likely to fear that it will last forever.
No matter how deeply you believe that it will last forever, it won’t!
You need to trust that this is true.
Ideally, all of the energy that comes to us when we are sad
should be used to replace what we’ve lost.
But some people believe that they can’t replace certain losses.
And believing this can make them give up on even trying.
You can always replace what you’ve lost!
When you experience grief from the loss of a person you have loved,
you may be very tempted to believe you can’t replace such a good person.
Once you are finished with your sadness, you’ll find that
you can replace the roles that person served in your life!
Think of what the person did for you
(i.e. – “they loved me,” “they supported me,” “they advised me,” etc.)
and be willing to accept those same functions from others.
Another problem with natural sadness is that
you may be living your life around people
who do not encourage you to feel your sadness completely.
If this is the problem,
spend time with others who are more respectful of your feelings.
PROBLEMS WITH UNNATURAL SADNESS
Remember that unnatural sadness is, by definition, sadness you create in your mind.
It might be due to some completely imaginary loss,
or perhaps you really did lose something important and you are continually “recycling”
the memory of that loss in your mind.
People who are always sad:
If you know someone who seems to always be sad,
know that they are not really sad!
(If they were really sad,
there would have been a natural duration to the sadness
and they’d be done by now…!)
These people are usually angry down-deep
although they may be hiding some other emotion from themselves as well.
They are extremely afraid of the deeper, more real feeling.
A therapist who understands and who offers a safe haven might be necessary.
The most common problem:
By far the most common problem with sadness comes in the form of
people who talk about “hurt feelings” and act sad as they tell you about it.
While it is indeed possible for people to hurt your feelings,
the natural reaction to this is to be angry!
If you find yourself wanting to tell someone
that they hurt your feelings
start out by saying:
“I’m angry about what you did!”
Then notice how much better you feel!
And notice how much more willing
the other person is to take your feelings seriously.
BIG BOYS DON’T CRY
Unfortunately, men often have a very hard time expressing their sadness.
The best advice I can give, of course, would be that they should let themselves cry.
But I’ve found that this often doesn’t help
with people who fear looking foolish, etc.
So, I offer the second best advice I can give:
“Express your sadness in your own way.
If you don’t express it by crying,
express it some other way… your way!”
People who don’t allow themselves to cry
tend to need a lot of alone time while they are sad.
“I’LL GIVE YOU SOMETHING TO CRY ABOUT, YOUNG LADY!”
When we needed to cry as children it was usually
because one of our parents had just hurt us.
Since they didn’t want to admit their responsibility,
they hated to see us cry.
It might help to remember them
frightening you with threats when you needed to cry.
Then imagine yourself telling them off!
Then cry as a way of expressing your freedom from these teachings.
“I LOOK SO UGLY WHEN I CRY!”
This is one of the more pitiful excuses I hear.
It shows that the person believes
their appearance is more important than their feelings.
This simple statement often indicates some pretty serious problems.
We all confuse our feelings sometimes.
If you thought you had a problem with sadness but these words don’t fit,
your problem may be related to one of the other feelings.