“My sadness was a form of protest and I wasn’t ready to surrender.” -Lorrie Spinney
My dear friend Lorrie wrote these words in a great blog posting about joy, and they really struck me. I ended up with many questions about this idea. Not answers, but maybe you have those.
We all know that things make us sad. We become sad involuntarily in response to losses and disappointments. We absorb sadness through our compassion for others. And, as she mentions, sometimes sadness comes to us as a result of a chemical situation in our brains.
But what if sadness is sometimes a choice?
– Maybe there are times when sadness is a perfectly logical response to what is going on? We look at the news and we could feel anger or fear, but instead choose a world-weary sadness.
– Maybe there are times when it is an alternative to anger. If a much-loved person does something that deeply disappoints, we can be furious and judgemental. Or we can choose to just be sad.
– Maybe we have chosen sadness as the best we feel we deserve after our errors and failures.
– And maybe sadness is a protected place where we stay when we are not ready to be okay with all that has happened to us in the past. We stay there to protest the injustices we have suffered. We stay there to protest the ways that God and life have not met our needs (or desires).
The sadness we choose seldom feels like a choice.
But, maybe if we understand better why we chose sadness as our response, it would be easier to let it go when the need is no longer there.
Does this make sense in your life? If you are struggling with sadness, did it just happen to you, or did you choose it for a good reason? Has your sadness served it’s purpose? Can you see why you needed it? Are you beginning to be ready to let it go, and invite joy into your life?