I discovered my first deep sadness when my father died unexpectedly at the same time a relationship with my partner ended. For the next few years I permanently existed in sadness.
I feared I’d never succeed on my own as I privately grieved the loss of two men who I had loved. I had no idea what to do with this emotion that was dark, overwhelming, painful and persistent. The sadness was palpable, it made my limbs heavy, my body tired and my thoughts hopeless.
I sought out many teachers and finally settled upon one who taught me how to move this stuck energy via my breath. Through privately facilitated breath-work sessions over the course of about three years, I journeyed back through my life up until the four week period that I had lost these men. During this time, I revisited every single negative experience in my past that had not been fully felt nor understood.
Each day yet another experience from my past would resurface, become conscious, understood and released. I would share the essence of it in my teachings and the sadness would lift a bit more. The love I once poured into my partner, and knew from my father, I poured into my business and received from my students. As I became happier inside, the toughness of building a yoga business began to alleviate. Staff, friends, confidants and clients where gathering around me that made going to work not only easier, but something that I really looked forward to.
Without the sadness I never would have achieved the conscious understanding of the life that I had lead up until that point.
The Benefit of Sadness
I discovered that throughout my life, until this point, I had unconsciously experienced things that brought me down. Instead of being conscious of it, it lodged deep in my psyche and in my body. Each year that passed, this energy accumulated. Eventually a traumatic event (losing these two men), brought all the accumulated energy of sadness, depression and lack of personal power, into the consciousness of my being. This energy became negative feelings, thoughts, emotions and constant sickness. It meant I had to stop a while. Sadness means you have to stop a while.
During this time of pause, I was forced to look at what was behind me that needed to be experienced again, more fully. It was not a time for me to move forward in life and it was definitely something that could not be hurried. It was a time for me to heal old wounds, get healthier in my body, and get to know myself better. Sitting in daily meditation experiencing all of the sadness that has been accumulated in the body over the course of 30 years is not fun. But it is fascinating.
As I journeyed back through my life… I didn’t actually experience these events as sadness. I hadn’t realised it brought me down the first time I lived these events, so instead I viewed them as a wiser, happier and more powerful woman.
My relationships with my parents and siblings as I grew up I re-experienced. My childhood, and a lot of my teenage years I viewed from my new, more evolved vantage point. My father and the two great loves of my life, I saw how similar the three men were. I allowed my father’s death to swallow some of the negative traits that were still living on in my (new) current partner. Allowing my new man to father me in ways my own dad had never done was healing to my soul. I insisted that he love me the way my father had always done – unconditionally.
The beautiful relationships I had always had with women, I learned was because of the relationship I’d always had with my mother. Supportive, natural and loving.
I began to hold my head higher. A new self respect coursed through me and I said goodbye to people that didn’t match my new vibration. I stood up for myself where I once had never bothered to do.
It was so profound, I couldn’t get enough of it. My understanding of my own life was becoming so much deeper, more stable and unwavering. Consciousness was awakening. I deepened my relationship with myself and my mood, and I grew and developed as a yoga teacher / studio owner. I shared the essence of what I experienced daily in the yoga classes that I taught.
The persistent depressive state kept me focussed on this task. It motivated me to practice, and push through hard times at work. Where it not for this, I never would have gotten through the times in becoming a yoga teacher that I didn’t want to get out of bed, go to class, pay the studio bills, work through evenings, weekends and holidays or live off very little income. Instead I would have been out having fun.
I voraciously studied what it was to be healthy, happy and successful. I watched my own nutritional habits and learned which nutrients my body needed. The relationships that I had with people I took greater interest in. Which ones were good for me and which weren’t? I studied everything that existed in my being, which things were uplifting to my mood and which things were not.
As I became more expert, I confidently applied this knowledge via teachings to my students. I could recognise talented and authentic teachers and hired only the best.
Thank you sadness & sickness – you are the energy that made me take interest in what it is to be happy & healthy. The study of happiness growing into wisdom. This wisdom a gift that I can share as I teach mostly what I have experienced and come to understand. You gave me the capacity to hold space for others experiencing the same.
Sadness, you gave me the empathy to know when another is hiding themselves from me and the compassion to understand their sensitivities. Sadness, you remind me to be gentle to another if I see they are walking the path that I once walked.
I would not be as happy as I am today were it not for the years I experienced and studied what it is to go without that luscious emotion.
Now sadness is simply something that may flow through me for a moment or two. I may be soft for a while so that I can have the privilege of being held by and cared for by another. To gather people in my life who are strong enough to hold my emotions for me for a while when I don’t feel like holding myself up.
I may feel it in a friend and hurt with them so they don’t have to hurt alone. I may feel it for a day or two when life gets a bit rough, a reminder to me of those tough years. This reminder keeps me humble and grateful for how far I have come and what I now have.
Sadness you baddass emotion – thanks showing me what it is to be happy. Thanks for being you.