It’s OK to feel sad sometimes, just don’t let it consume you

TT--InYourHead

Sometimes it’s easier said than done to make sure that the life we lead inside our head is as nice a place as we would like it to be.

I’m pretty good at seeing the glass half-full rather than half-empty most of the time.  And I’m pretty good at not spending lots of time dwelling on things over which I have no control.  Pretty good.  And usually this Zen advice on letting go helps.  Usually.

TT-LettingGo

But there are times when each of us is challenged, and this is one of those times.

COVID has cast a wide net of anxiety over most of us, for a hugely long period of time.  That takes its toll.  The global pandemic has impacted literally millions of people with unexpected deaths of loved ones, serious illness of loved ones, and isolation from friends and loved ones in times of need and loss.  Not to mention loss of jobs and incomes. Not to mention troubling disagreements between friends and family members over COVID restrictions.

Putin’s treacherous actions may well have you severely anxious.  In a mere 12 days, the world suddenly finds itself perilously close to the cusp of World War III, all because of the megalomaniacal ego of one man intent on fulfilling his own dream, to recreate the Russian Empire.  Sparing no expense in destroying people, towns, and infrastructure, including nuclear power plants, in the process.  It appears that Putin’s game plan now is to use the same indiscriminate use of massive force in Ukraine that he used in Chechnya and Syria.  In response, the western world feels the pressure to increase their military spending and buildup in order to counter Putin’s moves, hopefully by deterrence rather than force.  War.  When will we ever learn?

In the midst of all this, you may have friends or loved ones who are struggling or suffering and you just can’t help.

You may feel sad because things beyond your control just seem too important to let go of right now.

That’s all right, for a while.  Sometimes the kindest thing you can do for yourself is to let yourself feel the sadness.  It’s an honest, heartfelt emotion.  Just don’t hang onto that sadness, don’t let the sadness take over.  Remember those useful pieces of advice from the Zen master above about letting go.  Move into the sunshine at the soonest possible opportunity.  For your own sake and for the sake of those you are concerned about.

Leonard Cohen’s song Anthem may sum this up best.  This is one of my favourite songs by one of my favourite singer/poets.

Ah, the wars they will be fought again
The holy dove, she will be caught again
Bought and sold, and bought again
The dove is never free

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in

I highly recommend a listen.  And remember, there’s a crack in everything; that’s how the light gets in.

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38 Responses to It’s OK to feel sad sometimes, just don’t let it consume you

  1. Pingback: It’s OK to feel sad sometimes, just don’t let it consume you - The Scorpion

  2. Pingback: It’s OK to feel sad sometimes, just don’t let it consume you – Cosmopolitan

  3. heimdalco says:

    Lovely post & the song, while it made me cry, offers HOPE. You summed up what I think most of us who are informed & aware have been feeling … overwhelmed with the events of the past few years, topped off with our individual helplessness in light of the war AGAINST the Ukranian people. As you pointed out, it’s OK to feel this special sadness as long as we don’t let it consume us.

    As a breast cancer survivor, an RN & someone that speaks to seminars about breast cancer, early in my presentations I always tell my audience that in the overwhelming face of a breast cancer diagnosis it is OK to cry … & even to scream … as long as we don’t do it every day because we need the energy to stand tall & fight the disease. This is the same advice you give in this post & I am grateful for the reminder.

  4. Pingback: Asset-Framing – Surprised By Joy

  5. Well said, Jane. Thank you.

  6. margiran says:

    I eventually found the video I mentioned. Hope you enjoy. Sent for your personal viewing not for blog. I love it 😊

  7. boblorentson says:

    A mighty fine lead in to great song from one of the best ever. Makes me really miss him.

  8. Well said. Thank you, Jane. I will take this to heart.

    Deb

  9. Wynne Leon says:

    Beautiful post and sense of perspective, Jane! There’s a crack in everything; that’s how the light gets in. Love that wisdom and Leonard Cohen. Thanks for a great reminder!

  10. debscarey says:

    I was finally brought down the other day by the emotional of the wall-to-wall news. Fortunately I was meeting a friend and her poodle puppy that day and the shared love & laughter is what helped me on this occasion, but I really like that 10 to Zen pathway. Thanks Jane & thanks especially for the gorgeous Leonard Cohen clip.

    • Jane Fritz says:

      Puppies (or kitties) seem to be even better than friends at raising our spirits! And it’s always a treat to share some Leonard Cohen. I’m glad you liked it, Debs.

  11. margiran says:

    My favourite song of Leonard Cohen’s although it’s difficult to choose a favourite. I listened whilst reading – lovely. Have you watched the You-tube track of ‘Anthem’ which includes clips of the world and wildlife whilst he sings? It’s beautiful and adds to it somehow.
    I agree with what you say Jane but it’s hard at times. Some useful pointers thank you.

    • Jane Fritz says:

      I’m glad to find a fellow Leonard Cohen lover, Margiran. I agree, it is a difficult call on which song is my #1 favourite, but this one’s right up there. I’ll look for the YouTube you describe. Thanks.

  12. BernieLynne says:

    You’ve written so well about how difficult these last couple of years have been and now this war with Russia. Add to it any personal or family concerns and it can be so hard to find the “sunshine” as you called it. Those zen concepts are so hard for those of us who like to feel in control. But you are correct that we need to find a spot where we can actually live life. Thanks for a good Monday morning thoughtful post. Bernie

    • Jane Fritz says:

      Thank you, Bernie. These have been tough times in so many ways for so many people. I know you work hard at being there for everyone else. Don’t forget to give yourself permission to be there for your own needs as well. Sometimes we need to make self-care our priority.

      • BernieLynne says:

        We took a much needed mental health break (after our daughter moved back to her house) and went to Fernie for a ski trip. It was exactly what we needed. It didn’t change a lot of things but it helped us to get away. Thanks for the reminder that self care is not selfish. Bernie

  13. This is an excellent post. Thanks for sharing!

    Feel free to read some of my blogs 🙂

  14. I agree, Jane. It’s not easy to do but it’s important work.

  15. Much like you I am a glass half full, probably 3/4 full and always try to look on the bright side of all situations. We definitely need some peace on earth and greedy devils out of here!!!

    • Jane Fritz says:

      Another comment to remind me of how glad I am to be your friend, Rita! Glass 3/4 full, I love it!! And I am equally taken with your wise approach to public and foreign policy: let’s have peace on earth and get rid of the greedy devils! That works for me. 😊

  16. LA says:

    Good post👍

  17. Yes, excellent post. We have to let ourselves feel what we feel, but, as you noted, not be consumed by it. As Pema Chodren advised, “Hold on to it, and then let it go.” Easier said than done, of course.

  18. Thanks Jane for an excellent piece of work. It is indeed all too easy at times to only see the darkness but then I see an article like this and immediately I brighten!

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