Thursday, October 14, 2010

Starting From A Place of Sadness


I start out each day feeling good, well, maybe feeling rushed actually. Trying to get teenagers up and running on time is not an easy task. I find that once I hit the office my mood has reached a nice balance. Having this job to go to definitely aids in keeping my mind off things I have little control of. I really enjoy the office environment, and all the personalities that surround me.

What I keep finding is that by late morning this early layer of contentment begins to be challenged by the burning off of protective fog. What initially feels like a happy go lucky mood, then shifts to an increasing awareness of sadness.

Now keep in mind that I am doing fairly well right now. Well, I'm doing well by my standards. When I begin to feel my grief surface I can find myself feeling resentful. Why can't I just be happy? Yet, no matter how hard I try to deny it, or busy myself, eventually I have to give my grief it's due.

Perhaps after suffering so much loss we need to recognize that we are operating from a distinct deficit. What used to be our mood baseline, no longer is. We are now starting from a place of sadness. There is nothing wrong with this, really. We can't all start from the same place. Nor are we able to magically change this, as it can only change with time.

How we handle this realization is up to each individual. I know what works for me, or minimally, what works for me right now.

I have come to trust my emotions. I don't fear them as I might have in the past. I know that stepping inside them does not necessarily mean that it will be a long and labored visit. All I need to do is find the time and space to have this brief visit. Sometimes this can be done with a short walk around the block, or a short break sitting in the comfort of my car.

Tears. Yes, it takes tears.

Breathing. Yes, breathing is also essential.

It doesn't require too much of a commitment. maybe just a few minutes. and keep in mind that the moments are not necessarily heart wrenching moments. They are mainly moments of connection. A few tears, some deep breathing, some kind of acknowledgement, then I'm good to go.

Basically, these are survival tactics. They enable me to keep moving forward. And if you think about it, without these small moments of acknowledgment, how can we truly appreciate the progress we are making?

Starting from a place of sadness is not a bad thing. It's just where we currently find ourselves. From that place of sadness we will rise. And like finding ourselves in deep water, the less we struggle, the better able are we to find ourselves floating to the top.

And for those of you wondering, I can now check off another item from my Pitiful Me list.


  1. Lovely post.

    Part of us will never be fixed, but we will adjust and cope and learn. Humans are very adaptable beings.

    For me, the definition of hope has changed too ... these days, hope means having a happier mood baseline ... slowly slowly we will get there.

    The big hole of pain in our hearts will eventually fill with love ...

    erm, which item have you ticked off.

    I love you!

  2. Yes - grief does put us at a disadvantage emotionally. My baseline is pretty low. Lower than I would like heading into winter, but time does change things - I think about how I was at 4 months and now I am approaching 8 months - I am doing better. As you said, less intense crying.

    Okay, gym or yoga?
    Somehow, I don't think you went out and got drunk last night - OMG did you get laid?!
    If so - I'm just plain jealous.

    I made it to the gym yesterday - it was hard to get there, but it felt good. I am up to once a week now - getting better - hoping for twice next week.

    So glad to hear the new job is working out well. :)

  3. I was telling someone the other day that I was always going to serve god/love while I was here, just that Before, I was serving out of joy, out of my own happiness, and now I am serving out of broken-ness. Sometimes that old radiant heart is full of sadness.

    so cryptic with these goals....... :)