Monday, July 16, 2012

Knock, Knock. Who's there? Sadness, can I come in for a while?

Today, sadness came knocking at my door and it was the kind of day you might expect a visit like that.  The thunder rolled, the clouds hung low at ground level hugging its greyness around even the brightest summer flowers.  The rain was relentless.  So when it knocked I let it in and told it gently that it could stay for awhile but it couldn't move in.  Depression has knocked at my door before as well but I've come to know the sound of its engine in my driveway and its more subtle, urgent knock.  It too has wrapped its arms around me and we've done the long slow waltz that is so hard to let go of.  But today, today it was simply sadness needing a place to hang out.

So much of what I and others share with each other is full of joy, as it should be.  I was reminded by a message I received yesterday that it is sometimes important to also share the darker side of your life as well because we all experience that, even the happiest of us.  I have three very close friends who have lost loved ones to suicide.  I feel honoured that they have felt safe enough over the years to share both their depression and their sadness with me.  It provides me with the opportunity to remind them that our love and friendship is unconditional.  It provides them with a safe place to just be.  It reminds all of us that we need others in our life who can not only make us laugh but who can love us even in our dark times.

I was also reminded yesterday that I can not be responsible for another person's happiness.  I was reminded not to compare my life to anyone else's and to take charge of each day and make it the best it can be.  Over the last few years I have read a lot about living my life with intention and learning to stay in the moment.  I have many great friends who I can discuss these ideas with and a great family who models this in their own day to day lives.  We've all heard the words, living in the moment, and understand the concept but it's another shift completely to practice it day to day.  I have let go of relationships with people who make me feel bad about myself and have nurtured those relationships with people who bring positivity into my world.  Sometimes though, my own worst enemy has been myself and I make it a point each day to say kind things to myself.  I have learned to meditate and this has made a world of difference as well.  The practice of meditation, and trust me - it takes practice, calms my busy mind and brings quiet to my soul.

I count my blessings daily and there are many to count. I have a full, rich life and this is no accident.  I read.  I share.  I listen to others.  I take risks.  I accept (okay, I'm learning to accept) my mistakes and flaws as just part of who I am.  I am striving to be a better person one moment at a time. Sadness did come.  It stayed til the wee hours of the morning when I told it quietlly but firmly that it was time to go.  Today is a new day.  I am grateful to have it.  I am grateful for the people in it.  I am grateful that I live in a part of the world where I can decide what I do with this day, who I spend it with and where I go.  Yesterday I chose sadness.

I hope you do too!


  1. My sister wrote a powerful song with these words: 'I feel, I feel, I feel to much...but it's better than nothing.' Sometimes when we are sad, we are aligning ourselves with people who feel that way much of the time. I think it can be a kind of empathetic prayer, if you will. But, it is hard to be sad and I'm glad you could tell it to go when you'd had enough. Today IS a new day with 'no mistakes in it yet', as Anne of Green Gables said. It was good to see you the other day, although I had absolutely no budget for the art market this year - I wasn't sad, just a little sorry for myself as I do like to support the artisans!

  2. It's true, Rebecca, my sadness was much more about someone else than it was about me and your sister got it just right! It's always great to see you, you are surrounded by an aura of gentle happiness:) Luckily for me my bills aren't paid by my artwork:) I too saw a lot I would have liked to take home with me. Perhaps another time.

  3. I have found in times of sadness to go outside of my body and look down or look at myself. I always go back to Eckhart Tolle's writing:

    "Bring awareness to your sadness. Acknowledge your emotion, but don't identify with it. Shine the light of your consciousness on it and by doing so your sadness won't be able to take control of your thoughts and your won't be able to start finding or justifying 'reasons' for your sadness.

    And you'll find that by being the witnessing presence to your sadness rather than identifying with it, the feeling will slowly dissipate or dissolve. For me it doesn't happen in an instant, it can be with me for a day or more, but I can bring a little smile to my sadness, I can watch 'it' as it rises and falls within me and then it will slowly leave me. Remember 'you' are not your emotions, you are the presence where they take place and play out. "

    Roxanne, I think you are going in the right direction with this.

  4. Fran, you are always such an inspiration to me. Just the right words at just the right time. Eckhart Tolle's writings are often in my thoughts and I recognize what he speaks of in my day to day life, as you have stated. His writings are part of what I strive to practice, remembering always that "practice" is a verb:) You paint a lovely picture of being outside of yourself simply observing the process. Your friendship is a gift. Thank you!

  5. Powerful. Beautiful. Thank you for continuing to teach me.