Sadness often pushes you in a direction where you ought to have found yourself.
Someone we know is depressed because she is unable to find a match for her daughter. Most of her daughter’s friends have got married and are “settling down”. She feels her daughter’s growing older and “past the marriageable age per Indian culture”. The lady confesses that she is “constantly sad”! And she’s been hating the feeling.
She asked me if acceptance means even accepting something that “you hate”. I explained to her: “Acceptance is always complete only when you accept whatever is. So, if you are feeling sad, accept the sadness.”
“But sadness is so boring, dreary and makes me feel heavy,” she protested.
“Good. That’s the time when you must employ this awakening, this realization, that is born in you and release the sadness. Just let it go,” I advised.
If you hate something it means you don’t want that something. If your sadness is what you hate, examine what is causing your sadness. Don’t cling on to it. Hold it, understand its futility and just set it down. Let it go. It will dissolve on its own once you realize that there’s no point in feeling “constantly sad”.
In the lady’s case, her daughter’s marriage is delayed. Period. It is what it is. She must keep trying. Or her daughter must find someone. Until then, what’s the point in her feeling frustrated with her current reality, with what is?
Feeling sad is a natural expression. It happens to everyone. No one can escape feeling sad in certain situations – when things have not gone your way or when you have not got what you wanted or when you have lost someone or something that you loved with all your heart. But sadness is also a debilitating emotion. No one likes being sad. It wears you down. So you start hating being sad. And you become sadder. Remember, when you resist anything – including sadness – it persists. It lingers on. So, the way to deal with sadness is to feel it. Give it all the attention that it seeks. You will then see it make way for a rare sense of peace within you.
This applies to all hurtful feelings and all contexts in Life. Whenever some feeling arises in you, don’t try to escape. Go the full nine yards – feel it, experience it, feel the pain, the sadness, even the initial suffering, accept it, befriend it as Osho says, and then let it go. Without hating it or condemning it. The happiness that arises within you after you let that feeling go is what will cleanse you and give you closure. Then, and only then, will you be peaceful – and be able to move on and live happily!
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