Sad is NOT Easy…

I know a guy who once told me that “it’s easier to be sad.”  (Than happy.)  I was at a pivotal juncture shortly after we found out my wife’s cancer had spread from her bones to her brain.  It was a complete surprise to me, and I was reeling with confusion, disbelief, angst, and pure fear. 
I’ll never forget his words because it was almost a challenge to the way I was feeling.  He meant to be helpful…maybe like a coach telling me to suck it up and get in there and fight.  I took it at face value…and felt like a failure. 

It’s been just about 3 years since I accepted that bit of wisdom and tried to live it.  Now I realize that those words were spoken from someone who didn’t think through to the next step.  Being sad isn’t easy at all. 
Being sad is hard work.

I noticed that my mind was working overtime to keep me in that sad place.  As much as I wanted to be happy I couldn’t seem to get there.  I’ve seen it in other sad people too.  The joy of life is eclipsed by our inability to accept what “is” in this world…the good and the bad…and just live. (That doesn’t mean you have to stay there forever.  Here’s what I have to say about that: The Essence of :30 Seconds.)
We can’t seem to accept what is, and so we relive and ruminate over the crappiness of our existence…we wonder why and how it could happen to us.  That is just plain exhausting.

Happiness can be easy…

Happiness requires little effort once we reach a place of acceptance.  I guess that’s the hard part…allowing ourselves to accept what’s really happening in our lives.  
In my experience thus far, once we fully understand that “it is what it is,”  things get lighter and we can actually begin to move forward, or onward, or upward.  (Or whatever “ward” most appeals to you…)  You may not like it…in fact you may actually HATE your situation…but at least you’ll have the firm footing of reality to stand on as you take that first, painful step.

So I guess that guy was right in some respects.  Staying in the pit of sadness may be the easier thing to do…but only in the short term…because living there is damn hard work.  You will be drained, believe me.  Living sad is NOT easy. 
Lesson:  Here’s a question for you to think about:  How do you think you’ll feel about your :30 seconds if you check out wasted and wrecked…exhausted from living in sadness?  We both know the answer.  I think NOW would be a good time to tell your mind to shut the hell up. 
Published in: on July 8, 2009 at 4:40 pm  Comments (9)  
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9 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Great advice and I’m going to do just that. (Now if I can just make it work)

    • It takes discipline that’s for sure!

  2. I am so bad about sitting around and thinking about all the bad and wondering and questioning it and reliving it over and over trying to make sense of it. You are right though because in the end it really is the only thing that is keeping me in that bad place. It’s a great lesson to learn to just accept no matter how crappy it is and move on. Excellent advice.

  3. You are so right and I think it comes down to being present in whatever feeling we are experiencing. That is the hard way, but the only. We can not escape life. But if we face the hard times and look the sadness right in the eyes, then the reward of acceptance and relief will follow.

    Stay strong and honest! Love and Light to all of you.

  4. Sometimes I feel like I’m afraid to be happy. When you’re living in the moment, loving life, then WHAM! something happens to wreck it. I agree with how you can’t escape life, what’s going to be will be. Gotta keep reminding myself that.

  5. Sandi, Molly, Helen…thanks for reading…and I hope it’s something we can all put into practice more and more. You gotta’ catch yourself being sad…and then just try to be where you are. That’s what I think so far anyway…

  6. You are so right.

    If only we can also just BE.

    BE there.

    BE in the moment.

    I can so relate to fear of enjoying life too much, fear that enjoying life will screw it up – some kind of cosmic karma. LIke you told me the day before yesterday, if something is going to happen, it’s going to happen. What will my fear change?

    Therefore, I will try, mostly fail, but sometimes succeed in simply “being”. Keep the posts coming Andy, you’re words will touch lives and I can’t say that about the majority of people. You’re remarkable for your honesty and your honesty is remarkable because it’s therapeutic. Not to you, to all of us, out there. Write on…

    • Thanks, Robby. Maybe we can all help each other remember that, huh? Take care…

      (Note: I met Robby for the first time a couple of days ago. He’s a great guy…and if anyone needs a genius “web guy”…well…he’s it I think.)

  7. Andy-I positively love you and the things you say. Finding you has been one of the great gifts I’ve found through blogging. On the road I’ve traveled, through all my losses and disappointments, I’ve found happiness to be the easiest thing of all.

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