“I’m sad.” Go ahead, let yourself say it. Say it out loud to the world you’re surrounded by. How often do we actually allow ourselves to admit that we’re sad? “I’m fine.” “I’m just upset.” “Don’t worry about it.” These are all just substitutes that mask the real emotion we’re feeling.
Why are we so uncomfortable with sadness? When someone is angry we tell them to calm down or take deep breaths or go workout. When someone is happy we tell them we’re happy for them, or that their smile is contagious. But when someone is sad we try to stifle that emotion. Of course we don’t want to see our loved one crying, but they’re crying for a reason. We say, “I’m sorry…” But why do we use the same words to comfort someone when they’re sad that we use when they’re angry?
Why is sadness so often viewed as weakness? If you’re mad at work it shows you care and you’re passionate. If you’re sad, it means you’re emotional and weak. Our society is just not okay with sadness.
But really, what you need to do is let yourself be sad.
Let your head fall. Let your eyes close. Let your chin quiver. Let your tears fall. Let your heart feel. Give yourself a break. Cry until your face is scrunched up, your eyes are red, and your breathing is labored. Cry until you fall into a deep sleep. Cry until you fall on the floor in fetal position. Cry until your tears are all dried up because you deserve it. And you need it.
Cry because it’s okay to feel sadness. The fact that you’re feeling at all makes you alive.
And it’s even okay to ask for help. The fact that you’re asking at all makes you brave.
Once all your tears are dried, and you’ve run out of tissues, and your eyes feel so heavy you can’t help but close them, pick yourself up off the floor. Stand up. Hold your head high again and remind yourself that this too shall pass, that you survived that storm and you’re stronger on the other side of it.
Be brave enough to face the world that tried to break you. And when you’re ready, smile again.
And breathe easier, knowing that you are strong enough to allow yourself to feel.