This week I am going to highlight all of the characters but today its all about sadness. In the movie, In the movie Joy spends enormous energy denying sadness but what this does is put the rose coloured glasses and doesn’t see the reality of the situation.
There is sad stuff that happens all the time. We feel sad when we feel abandoned, alone, when there is a loss of relationship, lots of changes, having ordinary news, diassapointed , in death and a whole other spectrum of life events.
As I write, I am reminded of a client who had some pretty big stuff happening. A normally vibrant, jovial, full of life personality was feeling pretty down about a huge life changing event. The thing is that everyone around them didn’t really cope with this and tried to constantly cheer them up, change the subject and do anything to put a smile on their dial.
While this was done with good intentions, and love, what it did was have my client feel more isolated as they had no where to express what was happening. They also felt an overwhelming sense of responsibility they needed to keep everyone happy as they weren’t coping with them feeling sad. It actually became about everyone else and that’s why the therapy space is so good. A space to be completely who you need to be even if its being down in the doldrums and wanting to have a massive cry. They didn’t actually want to talk about what was happening, but the art provided a space to talk about it without having to actually talk about it,if you know what I mean. So from a place of complete isolation, having to keep everyone happy they moved to a place of letting the sadness rip so that they could also feel the joy and happiness of life. As if we are not expressing the sadness, its also becomes hard to express any good things too.
This is very similar to a very popular young person where others found it difficult in this persons devastation and very healthy coping style around death of a close family member. They would come into my office and as soon as the door was closed the flood gates opened and they would sob and sob and sob. Take a deep breath and then sob and sob some more. All that was needed was a space to be sad and permission to do so – it was about being real, to let it be expressed rather than it being hidden away. Their family members talked about how much this person loved our chats, the thing is that we barely said a word to one another, I just held the space and they did what they needed to do. It was about having a safe space to be who they needed to be at the time even if it wasn’t all about joy and happiness.
I am constantly amazed at how many people apologise for expressing sadness. Its like we are conditioned that something is wrong and we are being weak. And quite frankly, some of the shittiest things have happened and it is perfectly proportionate to be sad. I constantly reflect to my clients how there is unexplainable strength in trusting yourself to be vulnerable, it is certainly a gift that needs to be embraced.
I hope you have got the picture – we need to give sadness a voice. It needs to be expressed so that we can navigate life. There is such strength in vulnerability, and there is nothing like having a big fat cry as it cleanses the soul. This also comes with a suggestion that you find that space where you can express it – a truly unconditional space. There are many great professionals that help with this and if it feels like you need a bit of air time for your sadness , I suggest you make an appointment.
Take care of you