This week I would like to continue on our path of internal beauty. This post idea came to me in a conversation I had with a dear friend this morning. While I have not known this friend for very long, I feel a connection with them. Often there is connection through pain and shared experiences even if you did not experience the same loss. I am a feeler by nature and things of an emotional nature strike a chord with me quite often. This friend, we will call him Jeff for blog purposes, had an older brother that passed away three years ago. His brother was very important to him and caring for the family he left behind is a huge priority for Jeff. I found those qualities so admirable. Well, this morning, he confided in me that he was experiencing incredible sadness over the loss of his brother. I could feel his heart breaking with every word.
Now as humans we do not like suffering. It is our nature to nurture those in need. As Jeff was expressing his sadness I said cliche things like, “go outside, get some sunshine.” “Distract yourself by calling your niece.” He agreed to do all those things. It suddenly occurred to me, why are we so obsessed with avoiding sadness? It is in fact an inevitable emotion. Life is full of ups and downs. Disappointment is a regular occurrence. Masking the feelings that come with it is a sure sign for future psychological pain. We are constantly bombarded with thoughts that are meant to make us happy. Self help quotes are everywhere encouraging us to pick ourselves up and start fresh. Social media has added so much to the dissipation of positive thought.
Now I am not against positive thinking. I firmly believe in it. However, we are taught that sadness is the enemy and that when we feel these depths of emotion there is something wrong with us. I would argue the opposite. Sadness makes us human. More importantly, it does not last forever. It is ok to be sad. These emotions should not be pushed away. Many people try to keep themselves busy to block these feelings. If you just allow yourself to feel you will realize that there is light at the end of each tunnel. With all this in mind I told Jeff that it was ok he was sad. I told him in order to be happy he had to feel sad. Sadness builds character. Owning one’s sadness is a strong quality and admission that life is not perfect. It is flawed. Jeff’s missing of his brother is as important to honoring his memory as all he does to comfort his brother’s wife and daughter.
Jeff’s story was incredibly touching to me. People have often opened up to me about their thoughts and feelings. Especially those of sadness, I truly believe in the power of gaining strength in those moments where we are imperfect. It is our imperfections that make us whole. Every scar, physical or emotional defines who we are on a daily basis. They also guide us to be empathetic human beings. I think that is imperative to how I radiate daily.
How do you #RadiateDaily when you are not 100%?
Image Source: http://www.blogher.com/are-we-too-afraid-be-sad-or-angry-these-days