Your sadness doesn’t say, “Please fix me, heal me, or release me”. It doesn’t say, “Please get rid of me, numb yourself to me, pretend I’m not here”. It certainly doesn’t say, “Please get enlightened so I can die!”.
Sadness does not come to punish you, or reveal to you what a ‘spiritual failure’ you are. Sadness is not a sign that you are unevolved or far from healing, awakening, enlightenment, peace.
The presence of sadness is not an indication that you’ve done something wrong.
Sadness only whispers, “May I come in? I am tired, I long for rest”.
And you reply, “But sadness, I don’t know how to allow you in!”
And sadness replies, “It’s okay. You don’t need to know. I’m already in”.
And we bow to sadness then, we recognise how it’s already allowed in, how there’s enough room in us for sadness, how we are not ‘the sad one’, not contained within sadness, but the room for sadness, its space, its home, its salvation, its loving embrace; not as a goal, but as our nature – consciousness itself, already free.
Don’t heal yourself from sadness; let sadness heal you. Let it show you the way when you have forgotten. Let it reveal to you the mysteries of love. Let it remind you of your vast heart, your refusal to split off from any part of your ancient Self.
Let sadness help you remember that bigger Happiness you danced when you were young.
Thanks FOS, Jeff & Andrew,
Interesting perspectives each.
For me, sadness is one of the possible emotional responses, and sometimes it is entirely appropriate.
It seems that the human brain is amazingly complex, with dozens, perhaps hundreds of different areas that tend to specialise in particular responses, and many different chemical systems that can modulate activity generally across the brain. And within the brain everything is connected, and all things can influence all other things, and the weightings on those influences can be altered with persistent practice (at every level).
In some senses what we get to experience is a sort of “majority vote” by all these different subsystems, and in another set of senses, many of the subsystems have particular contexts which can give them power of veto or override.
Sometimes there are variations in the genetics of our cells that predispose us to particular sorts of ways of thinking and feeling and being, and most of those can be strongly influenced by the application of particular ways of training (like meditation).
It seems that the highest levels of context creation are what give us greatest “control”.
And sometimes these systems can get into feedback loops that lead to states like depression, and they can be extremely difficult to alter.
It can be virtually impossible to maintain high level conceptual awareness when the experience of being is internal voices screaming many times a second that one is useless, or worthless, or would be better off dead. That sort of thing is a serious system malfunction, and we usually need a lot of help to recover from it, and it is possible to recover self control, and it often requires a lot of work on self awareness.
So yes – sadness is sometimes present.
I was very sad when each of my parents died.
I often experience sadness.
I often get sad at movies, and cry, a lot.
I got sad yesterday, when I heard a friend and fellow golfer had died the day before.
I got sad the day before when I heard of a relationship breakup of someone I love.
It is a part of empathy, a part of imagination, a part of creativity, a part of valuing anything – a part of being human.