Friday, July 18, 2008

Braving Sadness and Sorrow

Recently I was advised to be sad about sad things, that sadness is the root of tenderness. When anger starts to rise, I'm to check and see if the real feeling is sadness.

Well, talk about bold! The idea of voluntarily wandering into that grim and mucky swamp, which is the way I tend to view sadness, is seriously off-putting.

However, thinking of it in combo with tenderness changes the picture. Then its damp-and-wilted-ness begins to seem like aloe healing a burn.

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Debra W said...


How often we use anger to buffer sadness. I guess it's a protective mechanism, but eventually the sadness comes through, often catching us off-guard. Where anger makes us hard, sadness makes us tender. I definitely agree with you there, Peggy.

How do you think you might react differently to something if you took some time to decide whether you were really feeling anger or sadness? Do you find that you are quick to anger? It sounds like you have an aversion to feeling sadness. I wonder if we perceive anger to be a strong emotion, but sadness to be a weaker one. You have given me something to ponder.

Thanks for the comment you left on my blog the other day! Mikayla and I do look a lot alike. Lately, people have been mistaking us for sisters which strikes us as very funny. I cannot say that I mind the error!


Peggy Payne said...

Good point about seeing anger as strong and sadness as weak, Debbie. I think you're dead-on about that.

I'm not even such a great fan of anger, but it beats sadness. Which is all pretty silly.

Debra W said...

I have to agree with you there, Peggy. I have been vacillating between sadness and anger over the past five months, and given the choice, I prefer anger. I think that when we feel anger, we still feel like we have some control over a situation, but when we settle into sadness, we must sometimes admit that there isn't anything we can do to change things. Sadness symbolizes giving into the truth of a situation and sometimes that is very hard to do.

Peggy Payne said...

You have acute powers of observing emotions. I think you're absolutely right: anger thinks it can do something, sadness comes with the knowledge that nothing can be done.

Thinking of it that way makes the reactions seem rather well designed, since anger brings energy with it and sadness sees no need to.

Anonymous said...

A poem worth reading on sadness:

Peggy Payne said...

I hope this writer gets to be the light-hearted lark.