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When Sadness Comes Knocking Unexpectedly

Sometimes sadness creeps up on us doesn't it? Last weekend we had a fabulous weekend away in Auckland, New Zealand's biggest city. It was fun and very enjoyable, however underneath, I felt a lot of sadness.

It wasn't that the sadness was overwhelming or that it changed my ability to be able to relax and enjoy my weekend, it was just there.

Taking some time to think about why it was there gave me the ability to connect with why it was there. In recent years, the time I've spent in and around Auckland has mostly been with my brother as he went through his diagnosis, treatment for brain cancer, and his eventual passing. Once I was able to link how I was feeling to an event, I was able to understand why it was there. This gave me something tangible as it was directly related to the loss of my brother.

Lurking in the background, it would at times surface to the point of quiet tears no-one knew about, and at other times it wasn't there at all. This is how sadness can be. It's the noticing and allowing of it that helps me work through it. I know from experience that this is the only way to move beyond my sadness.

If you're not practiced at connecting your emotions with the reason they are there, it can be tough. But it's certainly doable; it is possible to make that connection and over time it will get easier and easier.

Here is how I make the connection:

1. Notice a feeling. The first step is to recognise that you are having a feeling.

2. Name the feeling. All of our feelings fall into four main categories - sad, mad, glad and bad. Using these categories helped me to begin to recognise feelings when I first started this work many years ago.

3. Let the feeling be. Focus on the feeling you have identified without moving away from it.

4. Feel it fully. If you're sad, cry if you need to; feel your anger, let yourself feel low or completely joyful.

5. It will pass. Watch for signs that the feeling is starting to subside; this could take a few minutes, hours or days.

When we acknowledge and allow feelings, they move through us, we move on from them, and in doing so we are healed. We come to a new place of acceptance. We come to new understanding about ourselves, the circumstances of our lives, and others.

With love,

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