When sadness pays me a visit and settles into a broken down chair in some forgotten corner of my soul, like a guest with no intention of leaving, it changes everything. Changes the way I view things, the way I feel physically, the way I choose to spend my time.
Sadness, at times, can be a shy house-guest, barely making her presence felt. She tiptoes about so as not to disturb me. I only know she is back because from time to time I catch a wisp of the haunting tune she sings softly beneath her breath. I don’t mind her so much when she is soft and delicate like this and, like any good house-guest, non-intrusive. When she comes in like a steamroller and flattens all my hopes and zaps the color from everything, I mind very much.
Last night Sadness paid me a visit, unlike the 2 just mentioned. This one is somewhere between those two extremes. Sadness is very much felt this time around, but not in such an in-your-face sort of way that leaves me flattened. She seems almost like an old friend I’d lost touch with for a while, someone to swap old stories with and to laugh with until tears spill over. She knows the map of my soul better than I do. Sometimes she has to move in for quite some time before I even know she’s here, and I suspect that’s because she’s off in some deep recess of my soul doing some kind of delicate, underground work.
I hope I’m not making it sound as if Sadness were an enemy to be avoided and shunned at all cost. Not at all. Sadness has her uses! She reminds me that I am human, that there is much woundedness within my system which needs to be acknowledged, and dealt with. I forget these things. Forget that I am not a machine programmed to be at the beck and call of others’ needs. And along with that comes the inability to see how deeply goes my woundedness. And that just maybe there is something that can be done about that. Not all at once, but step by step. Baby steps if necessary.
Sadness paid me a visit last night and spoke to me of crushed dreams and false starts and disappointed hopes. Of books not written, wounds which haven’t healed and mountains not climbed. Our hearts became as one as we sang together that old haunting ballad known only to me and Sadness. I’ve come to understand over the years that I must acknowledge and, to a certain degree, get in sync with Sadness when she visits. To ignore her, snubbing her because of emotions I don’t want to deal with, never does any good. It’s as if I have to go down into the depths of near despair with her in order for that despair to be redeemed and formed into something other than its state of wretchedness. Before it can be molded into something life-bearing for others who have known their own version of my pain, and cry out for surcease.
Sadness paid me a visit last night, and I listened. A lifetime it’s taken me to realize she is not my enemy. She is my reality check, my comrade in arms, my fellow oarsman and so much more. Should Sadness knock on the door of your soul, she will most likely appear to you in different form, for she is never the same with any two individuals. I can vouch for the fact that she is not to be feared; she means no harm. But do bear in mind that to indulge her overmuch is to wallow in the depths of despair. Let her take you there and show you what it is you need to see—-but make sure she brings you back to the surface in a timely fashion. Sadness knows the depths a bit too well and must surely feel most at home there. Allow her to do what she’s come for, to further you in your work of healing, and then kindly but firmly ask her to leave.
(Sadness paid me a visit last night . . . )