by Tammie Allegro
It seems every book and blog these days emphasizes the need for us to look for the positive in tough situations and put a smile on our faces. In theory, it isn’t terrible advice; however, there are times when we have to accept defeat or disappointment. In those moments, it is completely appropriate to be sad or angry. Not everyone is happy all the time. We all need to deal with our grief and disappointment when it happens. This doesn’t mean it’s good to curl up in a ball and cry for the rest of our lives. It does mean we are allowed to feel like we got the short end of the stick in life and even got gypped on occasion.
There is a need in each of us to mourn the losses in life. Even if it if just the loss of what we thought was going to be, it deserves our attention. What if someone made it OK to be mad sometimes? What if it was a proven fact that it is far healthier to get sad and grieve a situation? I can’t speak to medical statistics on this topic because I am not a doctor, but I can address the issue of getting angry, expressing our feelings and moving on. It seems to me that working through the emotions is much healthier emotionally that just “letting things go.”
I am not suggesting it’s a good idea to sulk and avoid making peace with the bad things that happen in life. Quite the opposite. With this in mind, though, it’s probably good to set some boundaries. Below is my list of some ways I’ve found to grieve appropriately and move on:
- Acknowledge the disappointments in life. Stop pretending like everything is great when you are sad.
- Share with a friend. The weight of anything is much easier when it is shared.
- Make fun of it; if you can find the humor in a situation, the pain will pass easier.
- Write about it. Journaling about how you are feeling can give you strength and courage the next time you face a setback.
- Be a crybaby. Just shedding a tear can set sadness free.
- Don’t let the sadness linger too long. The longer you stay sad, the more power the negative energy has over your life. At some point, it will be time to move on.
How do you cope with sadness and disappointments? Do you feel the need to wear a “happy mask,” or are you learning to be more honest during tough times?