The Gift of Sadness

This is taken from The Voice of the Heart written by Chip Dodd.

One of the gifts of sadness is that it is the first step toward healing from loss.  Sadness speaks directly to our need to grieve for what is gone.  If we grieve genuinely, we eventually come to accept life on life’s terms.  Through grief, we find comfort and deeper wisdom as we move about in life in the absence of who or what was lost.  From that acceptance we find healing.

Sadness is fundamental to full life because it opens the door to healing.  However, if we can’t acknowledge how much what we’ve lost means to us, then sadness will deepen because the need to honor our losses with grief doesn’t go away.

Many of us have heard that we need to disregard our losses and dismiss the pain of our hearts.  Have you ever wondered what happens to all the water after it passes “under the bridge”?  In my own recovery of heart, I got off the bridge and walked along the riverbank, following the river to its end.  I could hardly believe what I found.  All that water, from all those years, that I thought had flowed to the ocean or evaporated, had collected in a big pool at the base of a dam.  Only so much water can flow under that bridge before the dam will crack and break from the strain.  The danger isn’t in releasing the water — the danger is in never releasing the water.

The heart’s sadness is the same way.  Either we value life and deal with the losses we have experienced, or they will eventually burst open and deal with us as consequences that occur due to denial of grief.  If we dare listen to our sadness and value the losses it declares, we will awaken to the restoring power of grief.  Grief, in turn, leads us to acceptance.

When we cannot feel sadness, when we cannot value, when we cannot ache within over what we lose, we have resigned ourselves to an existence that never lets life affect us.  As a result, we can never find the healing that sadness can bring.

Because sadness is a cleansing feeling, it eases the burden of daily life.  Tears are gifts that we give to whatever we lose.

We cannot delight deeply in anything or anyone unless we are willing to walk in the world of sadness.  Sadness allows the intimacy and impact of love to be much richer because it exposes the heart to its true ability to value and honor.

(Photo Credit: Fan Pop)

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