Is it OK to be sad?
Many people struggle with the concept of sadness and often ask themselves Is it OK to be sad? The answer of course is yes it is OK to be sad. Every emotion we experience contributes to the state of our mental health. Sadness just as much as any other emotion is and indeed should be equally as valid as any other; happiness, anger, jealousy and joy. As such it’s very definitely OK to be sad as and when we feel the need
Most of us understand that it is, it’s fine and we accept it as part of life. Yet the fear of what others think about us often causes us to pretend otherwise because we don’t want to worry them. We don’t want them to think we’re weak or can’t cope. Or worse that we’re an attention seeking drama queen! Let alone God forbid that we should have mental health issues, because lets face it mental health or more accurately mental ill health is largely something many of us fail to acknowledge let alone talk about openly but
Life isn’t a performance! So is it OK to be sad?
Pretending to be OK when you feel like you’re falling apart is very definitely a performance. It isn’t your job to smile or hide your authentic truth purely to serve to make other people feel more comfortable. Allowing them to see you anything less than happy, without having to even think ‘Is it OK to be sad‘, isn’t only OK, it’s necessary
If things become awkward let them
It’s not okay for others to undermine or gloss over your feelings. To try to silence your pain by telling you to get over it or cheer up because you’re no longer fun to be around. They like you need to understand that you are perfectly imperfect and as such are entitled to have times when you no longer wish or need to perform for anyone’s benefit except yours
Embrace your sadness
Honour your feelings. Understand that you don’t need permission, approval or validation to feel what you feel. If something affects you enough to make you unhappy then it’s real. The opinions of others if anything should be supportive. If they’re not that doesn’t mean you have no right to be sad, it simply means they don’t understand but that’s OK because they don’t have to. As for you? You shouldn’t ever feel the need to ask them or yourself – Is it OK to be sad?
Self care is important and we should never neglect it for the sake of others. Especially those who may only want you around when it’s easy & comfortable. Their discomfort isn’t about you, it’s about them, their limitations and their own issues
No matter what they think or say. You should always to give yourself permission to feel whatever it is you feel. You’re allowed to
- show your feelings honestly
- talk about your pain and reach out for support if you feel you need it
- scream and wail and cry
- let it all out and feel better for it
After all there’s a saying ‘it’s better out than in’. Meaning in terms of our mental health that the sooner we acknowledge, accept and validate our emotions? The sooner we can work through them and let them go having learned what we need to from the experience
On a personal level recently as a family we had to deal with multiple and pretty traumatic circumstances. Each one which in their own right were enough to cope with on any given day. Yet when combined, served on several occasions to almost completely derail our day to day lives and yet from my perspective they didn’t. Though to be honest it came close at times. However I now understand that as humans we can choose whether or not to react or respond to anything
Let me explain…
Just a few short years ago the stress of the chaos unfolding around us, let alone my highly charged emotional state caused by recent situations would’ve been enough to see me heading for a bottle or 4 of wine per day just to keep on an even keel in terms of ‘keeping it all together’. Anyway despite the emotions, chaos and drama which has continued to plague us these last few months and without burdening you with the finer detail, I’m happy to report that I’m still well and truly sober. YAAAAY!
There have been several times where I’ve been so sad, so overwhelmed and so bloody frustrated I thought I would implode and yet not once did I ever feel inclined to ask myself – Is it OK to be sad? Not once. Why? Because this is my life and I get to choose what’s right or wrong for me and do you know what? So do you
Why am I telling you this?
That’s easy because as I’ve pointed out previously life isn’t a performance and I know that now, but the old me?
The old me would’ve carried on stoically, pretending to the world and his father that everything, including me was fine. That I was despite everything happy. That I could cope and that they didn’t need to worry about me. All true – in the story in my head – and which was one of the reasons my life previously took the turn it did and thankfully…
I now know better!
The new me know (I’m still very much a work in progress mind) that I now know better, so very much better and these days I never ask myself – Is it OK to be sad? Because …
When I’m sad or overly emotional? I let it out. I sob, I cry and most importantly I’m getting better at doing it
If I’m angry? I let it out. Even (and I have) if I have to go outside and scream at the moon and trust me on this when we release our anger healthily we instantly begin to feel better!
At times when I feel overwhelmed, hurt or confused? I let it out. I work through those feelings as best, as soon and as thoroughly as I can. Writing everything down is a good venting strategy as well as the more obvious one of talking it through with someone who’s not only supportive but objective (for my part thank you, you know who you are) and whilst ALL of the above and more constitute the menu which is sadness, they by the same token are all of them much easier to overcome, move through and grow from when we deal with them head on and don’t bury them, along with our heads in the sand.
But Do You Know What?
When we allow ourselves to feel, truly feel our emotions and at the same time allow those around us who matter; partners, family, friends etc, to see it then we very importantly take the first all important step in allowing ourselves to be seen to be vulnerable.
It isn’t easy. It’s scary and it hurts like hell. But for sure allowing ourselves to be vulnerable is something that many of us (mental health issues aside) find difficult. Largely because in doing so we’re also allowing others to see that not only is everything not well in our world. Moreover the picture we’ve painted for them of our being ‘superwoman/man’ is a myth but guess what? They already knew that!
We were all of us born imperfectly, perfect
To be born imperfectly perfect in essence means not one of us is perfect. Yet often the pictures we paint, the facades we build to protect ourselves from too close a scrutiny are. This does both us and those we care for a disservice. Simply because in our determination to be seen to be constantly happy or always able to cope, we take away their choice in the matter. But in doing so deem them either not able to cope with our weaknesses (for fear of upsetting them) or have unfairly decided that they wouldn’t care, have time or be interested if we did
The thing is, that’s not our call to make, it’s theirs! So is it OK to be sad?
Five years or more ago I made that same decision. The one to shield those I love and they me, from my pain and sadness. It’s one of the few things I regret today because in trying to shield them I certainly took away their choice.
The choice as to whether or not they would simply watch as I imploded or step up and help me to recover and live if they wanted or were able. However that choice would have been theirs to make not mine
To come back to the original question then ‘Is it OK to be sad’ … or angry, upset and emotional especially without worrying about what others will think, say or feel about you?
YES because …
As Dr Seuss so succinctly put it ‘Those who matter don’t mind whereas those who mind don’t matter’!!
So…Is it OK to be sad? AGREED?
If YOU are at a point in your life where you have lost your sense of self? Please accept this FREE GIFT of a Downloadable copy of the eWorkbook – Where Am I Going? Find your way to Clarity & Focus CLICK HERE
Sue Curr is an Award winning Empowerment Coach and Speaker who specialises in Empowering others to be able to Fear Less & Live More IF you would like to explore how you could work with Sue then connect to arrange an informal chat with her by CLICK HERE