Monday, March 4, 2013

Monday Mantra: Shake Hands With Sadness

mantra is a sound, syllable, word, or group of words that is considered capable of "creating transformation".

Every Monday I will post a new thought, idea, or focus for the week. When you need a breather from life, when you need a little inspiration, or when you're about to jump over the conference table and strangle your co-worker, remember the mantra.

Monday Mantra: I will shake hands with sadness, sit with it, and listen
If you do a search on depression in the United States as of 2012, you come back with anywhere from 21 million to 27 million people currently diagnosed, which breaks down to A LOT. A lot of people are depressed. I'm told that in my own family we have a history of depression and I'll admit I've had plenty of sad times in my life. I suppose I've even been depressed, although I try not to give myself that title for one very simple reason: I don't want to fear being sad. I, instead, want to embrace it.

I hate to think that having any kind of an emotion - good, bad, or otherwise - is a reason to label myself. When you're super, overly exhaustingly happy you don't get some kind of a label. You're just plain and simply happy. But, when we face the more negative emotions in life we are suddenly wrong or bad or in trouble because we're not constantly glowing with inner joy 100% of the time. This, my friends, this idea that we are somehow broken because of that, is a problem.

First and foremost, I'll admit there are times when people are beyond their own control of their emotions. From a holistic health care view, this can be due to a lot of things that are completely controllable when properly diagnosed, such as the foods your eating and how they're affecting you, hormone imbalances, nutrient level imbalances, and so on. We, in the holistic world, don't see someone sad and think it's time for a pill. We think it's time for a long discussion on your life and a lot of research to get to the bottom of it.

From a modern day, more wellness oriented psychology view, we also see these labels as being a problem. When you study this type of psychology you learn that all basic emotions roll up into two main ones : Fear or love. You learn that, regardless of the emotion, the answer is in the acceptance. The acceptance of the fear you have or the love you need. Without delving too deeply into that particular aspect of it, let me sum it up by saying this: When you believe in something (or the lack thereof) you give value to it. You assign it purpose. You give power to what you believe in. 

What we in this modern world need to focus on is less labeling and more acceptance. In believing in only the things that support our best life. Light, love, and happiness are not the leaders of all the emotions. Sadness, anger, and fear are not the less-than-worthy harborers of doom. They are all equal partners, all working together to make you whole.

Have you ever stopped and wondered why exactly we've decided that being sad is a bad thing? Why have we not, on the other hand, decided that sadness is a great and powerful teacher? That instead of running from it, we should shake hands with sadness, sit with it, and listen to what it's trying to tell us? Because, as with anything in life, the more we run from something we dislike, the greater the struggle. The more we invite in the things we fear so that we can understand them, the faster we will heal and overcome what is holding us down.

We should never allow any emotion to wear such a large label in life that it takes over everything else. That our happiness is known only as The Good Times, while our sadness is known only as The Bad Times. To accept ourselves, just as we accept others, we must embrace the light and the dark, for neither is better than the other. All emotions are teachers.

Next time you're feeling down, try this mantra: I will shake hands with my sadness, sit with it, and listen. It is not there to torture me, but to teach.

Listen to your sadness. It's there to help, not to hurt. Try embracing it for a change and see what that can do for you.


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Monday Mantra: Make it Great

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