Happiness and Sadness Coexist

Happiness and sadness can coexist. I am experiencing both right now. I am tired, and the week is promising to be long. This past month has been really hard for me physically. But I've got a knack for foraging that I’ve had since childhood, and I've been treasure-hunting moments of delight in the midst of fatigue and pain. I’ve been hunting and gathering small hints about the secrets and miracles hidden away in this unpredictable forest of real life.

Sadness is not a feeling to be feared. It is a feeling that needs to be allowed to happen, because acknowledgement is the only way to move forward.

I have gotten free enough to be able to say to my husband “I am sad,” and then to just let it be so. Not in a helpless way but in a let’s sit down with a cuppa tea, eyes meeting in empathy, hands holding with the pressure of presence. It is enough in a way that words would muddle, so the words should be left out except for “I’m sorry it’s hard,” or “I love you.” It doesn’t make the sadness evaporate, but it does make me happy in a contented sort of way, because I am cared for and I am heard.

I used to think it was too much trouble to ask for help or to ask to be heard. What I really believed was that I was too much trouble and I wasn’t worthy to be heard. It wasn’t my turn to have a crisis again already. Nobody would want to deal with my big feelings.

I am making an effort to put that way of thinking behind me. It is time to believe I am worthy of care. Josh has been showing me that for years, and it’s time I moved into acceptance that love is not a thing to be earned. It’s a force beyond man-made measurements. When I remember that, my happiness is renewed, even when I am feeling sad.

Jamie Bagley