When you wake up each morning, you can choose to be happy or choose to be sad. Unless some terrible catastrophe has occurred the night before, it is pretty much up to you. Tomorrow morning, when the sun shines through your window, choose to make it a happy day.
Grief is never something you get over. You don’t wake up one morning and say, ‘I’ve conquered that; now I’m moving on.’ It’s something that walks beside you every day. And if you can learn how to manage it and honor the person that you miss, you can take something that is incredibly sad and have some form of positivity.
Our culture has a strange relationship with sadness.
Despite it being one of the most fundamental emotions that we experience, it’s something that is often not discussed, and certainly never encouraged.
There are a number of clichés that inform the way we view sadness, such as “big girls don’t cry” and “cheer up” – these ideas often run on autopilot in the background.
- “The way sadness works is one of the strange riddles of the world. If you are stricken with a great sadness, you may feel as if you have been set aflame, not only because of the enormous pain but also because your sadness may spread over your life, like smoke from an enormous fire.
- “Our sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest thought.”
- “Sadness flies away on the wings of time.”
- “Sadness is but a wall between two gardens.”
Research shows that sadness can have benefits:
There are a number of studies, such as those by Dr. Joseph Forgas out of the University of California, Berkeley, which have found that sadness is not only cathartic, but it can improve our memory, make our judgments more accurate, and increase motivation.
- “We must understand that sadness is an ocean, and sometimes we drown, while other days we are forced to swim.”
- “There are moments when I wish I could roll back the clock and take all the sadness away, but I have the feeling that if I did, the joy would be gone as well.”
- “Experiencing sadness and anger can make you feel more creative, and by being creative you can get beyond your pain or negativity.”
- A lack of cultural awareness around mental health means that the average person is unable to distinguish between sadness and depression. Though both can propel creative endeavors, depression is a lot more dangerous, and knowing that sadness is temporary can be a useful tool when tackling tough times.
- “Some days are just bad days, that’s all. You have to experience sadness to know happiness, and I remind myself that not every day is going to be a good day, that’s just the way it is!.”
- “Any fool can be happy. It takes a man with real heart to make beauty out of the stuff that makes us weep.”
- “There is no point treating a depressed person as though she were just feeling sad, saying, ‘There now, hang on, you’ll get over it.’ Sadness is more or less like a head cold- with patience, it passes. Depression is like cancer.”
- “There is no greater sorrow than to recall in misery the time when we were happy.”
- “Depression is the most unpleasant thing I have ever experienced. . . . It is that absence of being able to envisage that you will ever be cheerful again. The absence of hope. That very deadened feeling, which is so very different from feeling sad. Sad hurts but it’s a healthy feeling. It is a necessary thing to feel. Depression is very different.”