Being sad doesn’t have to make you unhappy. Or cause you suffering…

I am sad right now. As you may have gathered from a few of my posts, the last couple of weeks have come with some changes that I didn’t really expect. Not necessarily bad ones, in the long run, but nevertheless the circumstances have made it a bit harder than it needed to be. So I started feeling a bit blue halfway through this week and yesterday that blue emotion turned into sadness.

And that’s ok. Because it doesn’t mean that I am unhappy again. It doesn’t have to.

Buddha teaches us some very valuable and practical things and one of the foundational concepts of the Dhamma, is that life is never going to be a constant state of anything: Happiness. Sadness. Joy. Love. And no matter how much we work on letting go and living in the now, we are not going to be in a constant state. Even if we practice the Dhamma every day.

metta-prayerBut if you are able to accept life’s impermanence and the different emotions, knowing that they will go away, they won’t cause you suffering. You don’t have to suffer because you are not happy in a particular moment, or situation. And it doesn’t have to make you un-happy. Knowing that the sadness is an impermanent emotion, like everything else in life is impermanent, you can embrace the emotion instead. Be loving and kind to the feeling, even if it is not what we typically define as a “good feeling”. If instead you accept the sadness. Try to understand it and respect it. Let it run it’s course and it will work itself out.

Just don’t try to fight it! Don’t try to resist it. It is the “fighting” and “resisting” that causes us suffering, not the sadness itself.

So yesterday I allowed myself to be sad. A couple of friends tried to cheer me up. Suggested we go for dinner. Suggested I go see a movie. But I opted for a long talk with a very dear and wise friend and I let them see my sadness. I let them se me being sad. I accepted and embraced the sadness. And they listened and understood and I told them “It is ok. I am ok with this emotion. I understand it and if I embrace it, it will go away”. And it is going away. Because I embraced it instead of resisting it. And I didn’t let it drag me down. Because by embracing it, it couldn’t drag me down.

I just treated the sadness with loving kindness instead. And now it is going away.

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