Wednesday, April 24, 2013

How To Deal With Sadness

"Unwinged and naked, sorrow surrenders its crown to a throne called grace." Aberjhan 

We all know the feeling. Like being immersed in a cloud of pain. And it can hurt deeply, right down to the soul. Sometimes it's so painful we may feel we can't survive, and our first instinct is to run away. Make it stop. But the more we run, the stronger it gets.

Sadness involves some kind of loss. A job, a home, personal freedom, money, a loved one, anything you value. Or it may be something you've carried inside for your whole life. You function and get by, but sadness lurks somewhere deep inside, and you always know it's there. Much of the pain we carry comes from unresolved situations from childhood. And we may feel sadness without knowing exactly where it's coming from. But we know the pain, and we try to avoid feeling it. We use resistance to deal with it, but resisting is exactly what holds it to us and gives it power over us. This is true of any painful feeling.

It may seem strange, but loss is the real issue we need to deal with. Everything is energy, and just as physical pain is an energy telling us something in our physical body needs attention, sadness is the energy that tells us we need to deal with a loss in our life. So ultimately the goal is to release the sadness and to release the pain of loss itself.

I'd like to share one of my own experiences. My father died when I was six years old, and I never recovered from this loss. It was heavy on my heart for all those many years, and I suffered sadness because of it. Then last year, with the help of an Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) practitioner, I was able to finally let my father go peacefully. I dealt with my loss, and now the sadness is gone too. I will always miss him, but it's okay for me to miss him. I would not change that.

It's important to understand that sadness is a necessary part of healing. It's a bridge we must cross to resolve the issue. But we need to know how to deal with the sadness.

That's the thing about pain ... it demands to be felt.  John Green 

1.   It helps to know the issue that's causing your sadness. But it isn't necessary. Just refer to it as your loss that's reflected in your sadness. The technique works anyway.
2   Give yourself permission to feel what you feel without judgment.
3.  Find some quiet time and allow yourself to feel your sadness. But do this with time limits. Give yourself 30 minutes, 1 hour, whatever you designate. Then cry and let your feelings roll for that amount of time. When the time is up, stop and immediately go to a pleasant activity you have planned ahead of time. Then you're not standing there asking, "Well, now what do I do?" If you have to repeat the exercise, do it. But you'll probably be too exhausted to go again right away. Exhaustion is good. Then repeat the exercise as needed until the issue and sadness are gone or at least tolerable. Each time you do the exercise, more of your pain is being released.

Stop resisting, and allow each tear to wash away your pain. And find the peace you long for.

I wish you peace in your heart.


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