Ever feel down and don't know what to do? I know I at times I feel sad or down and am not sure why. Fortunately though, I am grateful for some helpful ways to respond as life's natural ups and downs unfold. When I remember!
We tend to want to push away those tricky emotions like sadness, anger, depression and only want those more pleasant emotions like joy and peace. However we need dark in order to experience light; we would not know happy if it were not for sad or peace if were not for stress. My tendency often, is to want to push away a negative emotion like sadness, or to try to numb or suppress it with food, alcohol or distraction. Equally unhelpfully I can indulge it with feeling sorry for myself. These extremes of ignoring, surpassing or overindulging are never helpful. Instead a response somewhere in the middle is what is needed.
So what is most helpful when 'sad' comes to visit? Instead of attempting to numb, ignore or overindulge I find it helpful to see this so called negative emotion as a friend who has come with a helpful message for me. This reminds me to accept it or invite it in and hear the message it has without suppressing or overindulging it. My friend 'sad' reminds me to stop worrying about myself and how bad I feel and find someone else to help.
I found myself feeling a little sad and lonely recently when it seemed that I was not included in some family events. Fortunately I remembered it was not helpful to ignore, suppress or pretend 'sad' didn't matter. I also remembered it was equally unhelpful overindulge it with negative self talk like "what about me? I am so sad and lonely, no one cares, I am not good enough" etc. My funny mind, how easily it slips into those negative habits!
So what to do with my friend 'sad'? Invite it in and hear its message
As Mahatma Gandhi says "the best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others." It is the best way to lose that 'worry about me, down self ' and pick yourself up too.
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