I’ve been thinking about the movie Inside Out, lately.
The Pixar movie where a young girl’s mind is controlled by five “core” emotions - Joy, Sadness, Anger, Disgust, and Fear. And I don’t remember much about the movie. But I remember how at the end, it was realized that sadness had an important function in the young girl’s life.
The emotion is not something to simply be pushed away and taken off the shelves. Sadness has its purpose. And as human beings, we will all feel sadness from time to time. In the movie, the majority of it was the other core emotions trying to limit Sadness’ effect on the young girl.
They thought that Sadness was a “bad” emotion. One to be shunned. To be avoided. To be cast aside. But slowly thru the movie, they realized that that was not the case. Sadness has its purpose. And it really is multiple fold.
Sadness can provide you with insight on what needs to be improved. Or help you delve deep into your core memories and look back with nostalgia. Sadness has its purpose in a human being’s mind. It is not to be discounted.
After all, we are imperfect creatures. It’s just not feasible to feel happy-go-lucky all of the time. It’s important that during times of distress, you grieve properly and acknowledge your feelings. And when a friend or a loved one is grieving, that you spend time to acknowledge what they are feeling at the moment.
It’s okay to want them to be happy. It’s okay to want them to improve. But overall, the feeling of sadness is not something to be shunned. I’ve gone thru some relationship issues last year, and similarly I had to work my way back to happiness and well-being.
But there was a period of time when I was feeling down in the dumps. When I didn’t feel like happiness was going to be a part of my life for a long time. And at that time, I learned to acknowledge my feelings and just sit with them for a bit. Just to reflect on them. And just be accepting of all the emotions that are within me.
Because sadness does serve a purpose. And sometimes, it’s okay to have a mixture of happiness and sadness in your memories. It’s okay to feel nostalgic in both a good and a bad way. There’s no white or black. Often times in life, there’s a grey area in the middle of that.
So, just practice radical acceptance when sadness comes. Learn to grieve properly. Learn to step out of your comfort zone and accept that there are certainly times when life will get you down. But, it’s not the end of the world. Hopefully, you can tap into your support system at that time - whether it be your friends or your family. And just learn to lean on them when you need a little bit of help.
Regarding my relationship issues, I think I am in a better place nowadays compared with last year. And I am constantly evolving. So it’s a gradual process. But when I feel down in the dumps or sad, I’ve learned to just sit with the emotion. And see what comes up. See what is reflected. And then go from there. It’s okay to cry. It’s okay to talk about your feelings.
Being a guy, it may be a bit harder to acknowledge. But even us guys need to learn to be vulnerable and not just “man up” all the time. So, it’s important to have some people that you can talk to about your issues. To lighten the burden a little bit. But most importantly, just practice radical acceptance.
Learn to roll with the punches that life gives you. And it’s okay to not feel happy-go-lucky all the time. Most people’s lives are simply normal. Sometimes up. Sometimes down. There’s no need to feel like you need to make someone else into an optimistic or blissful person. Eventually, you’ll learn that human beings are flawed creatures.
And we will feel pain throughout our lives. We will encounter tragedies. We will suffer here and there. And during those times, it’s okay to feel sad. It’s okay to feel negative. It’s okay to feel down. Because at the end of the day, we are all trying our best to make it in life.
So, be kind to others. You never know what they are going thru in their personal lives. Everyone is flawed. And everyone has something to give to this community. So, it’s okay to be sad. It’s okay to cry. Life will not stop because of your emotions.
The more we accept ourselves for who we are, the more we can learn and reflect and grow at the end of the day. And that’s what matters in the end.