i was laying in bed the other night running the usual mind race that so many of us run as soon as the lights go off. it’s the only running i do. anyway, my mind was bouncing around and i was having a hard time taming it enough to drift off to sleep. it settled on my uncle randy. randy passed away at the end of october…and every time i think of him/his death a really heavy sadness descends.
i understand that people die. i understand that people die unexpectedly. i understand that really really good people die, while others who maybe aren’t so good live on. it’s weird, and i’ve accepted that. i’ve seen more than my fair share of really bright amazing people go too soon, and whenever i think about it…i feel so sad. there’s two people in particular: my uncle randy and a woman i consider my second mother, sue. i loved them. they were so giving and full of light. and they’re gone. i’m not mad at God. i’m not mad at the world. just sad. i miss them.
anyway, this isn’t my point of writing. although it feels good to write about. my point is that as soon as this sadness descends on me the first thing i want to do is distract myself. i usually reach for my phone…i play a game, or check instagram, or watch something. i do anything i can think of to not feel the sadness. the other night while i was having that urge to reach for my phone i stopped myself. and i leaned in instead.
i’ve read a lot about meditation, and leaning in to your feelings. learning to be uncomfortable. learning to accept discomfort. and that’s what i did. i allowed myself to be sad. and then i started thinking about how sick it is that our culture is CONSTANTLY pushing happiness. if you’re not 100% happy then something is wrong with you. you probably need to travel the world, or take some more me time, or find a new career. and hey, any of those things could be true…but is it really such an atrocity to feel sad sometimes? i dont think so. i think it’s worse to mask that feeling with instagram and pretty pictures and likes on facebook. i think it’s worse to tell yourself you shouldn’t have those feelings..it’s worse to feel kind of uncomfortable..like “hey, this doesn’t feel good” and then run the other direction and deny yourself the truth of that pain.
it’s really sad that i lost my uncle. it’s really sad that a ton of kids aren’t going to learn to love nature and do it while laughing hysterically because he’s not around to teach them anymore. it’s really sad that i lost sue…i wish i could write her letters and tell her about my life, and my husband, and what an inspiration she is to me especially as i get older.
so let’s allow ourselves to process these things, and just admit that sometimes things are really freaking sad. i don’t want to believe that the way to have a good life is to have a 100% happy life. i genuinely believe that allowing ourselves to feel sad may not make us happier overall but it will make us more fulfilled, loving, authentic individuals. so i’m going to try not to run to my phone the next time i feel uncomfortable. join me?
p.s. depression is a real thing! i’m not talking about depression. and i’m also not suggesting that we wallow in our sadness, simply that we allow ourselves to feel it.