In our happy-face culture, we rarely hear people express they are sad. But that’s exactly what happened to me recently. My Yoga instructor had her two dogs die in a horrible accident. It happened on a Sunday night. She cancelled her Monday classes. In her email to her students, she told us her dogs had died and then said: “I’m too sad to teach today.”
That simple phrase “I’m too sad …” touched me deeply and made me think how we so often don’t allow ourselves to be sad. Instead we embrace the “stiff upper lip” philosophy, rather than recognize that some event has touched us and made us sad. Burying sadness, ignoring sadness is not good for us. If we do that repeatedly many of us will end up suffering in other ways—chronic back pain, headaches, stomach problems.
Let Kids Know It’s Okay to Be Sad
It’s important to allow our children and grandchildren know it’s okay to be sad. I can remember being told repeatedly as a child: “Come on. Get over it. It’s not the end of the world.” Of course, my childish sad times were not the end of the world. But why did the adults in my world try to have me bury my sadness? What were they afraid of? By letting our children and grandchildren know it’s okay to be sad, we can help them find outlets for expressing and sharing their sadness. Being sad is a part of life.
A side note here: I am clearly differentiating between sadness and depression. Depression is a disease and anyone suffering from it needs professional help.