I don't have to be happy all the time and that's ok!
"I've got the joy, joy, joy joy down in my heart. Where? Down in my heart. Where? Down in my heart. I have the joy, joy, joy, joy, down in my heart. Where? Down in my heart to stay. And I'm so happy, so very happy I've got the love of Jesus in my heart!”
If you were to ask my co-workers and friends they'd probably describe me as a bubbly, happy, always smiling gal. But, even this girl has days where I think of this song from my childhood and I want to scream “but I'm not happy” today!
Plain old sadness
Sometimes sadness just hits. Nobody died. You haven't been offended. Your cat is still kicking. You are just not “feeling it”!
Overwhelm can sap joy right out of you and lead to frustration and anger. I'm reminded of the verse "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28. Here Jesus doesn't say, "...and I will make you happy again." It says rest. When we are able to stop and enjoy the rest Jesus offers, often joy is the result. Read more about rest here!
Exhaustion is a big trigger of negative feelings for me. It's usually a cycle. I'm tired, I lose my patience more easily, then I get frustrated with myself, and then I become sad and discouraged that my actions and or responses disintegrated into negative ones. When all I need is just a few extra hours of good sleep! I know I know! I'm a Farm wife and mom too. Fixing exhaustion isn't always that easy, but sleep should be a priority for ourselves and our family!
Losing, forgetting, and plain-old not feeling like yourself
I've found this occurs for me after being sick sometimes. It drives me crazy not to bounce back the way I think I should. I recognize that not allowing myself the time to heal, by mentally berating myself for not being myself, is counterproductive and silly. But it still happens at times! ?
In a society where happiness, joy, love and positivity is key, how do you come to grips with and embrace times of sadness?
Sit with it, but don't wallow.
It's important to feel sadness. It's an emotion with which we have been created. It's important to remember that what causes you sadness may or may not be a cause for someone else and that is ok. So recognize you are sad, don't put a time limit on it, but don't wallow in it when you could take action and lift yourself out of sadness.
Know that even if you aren't happy, you still have the love of Jesus in your heart!
God doesn't love you any less. He loves us just the same, happy, sad, angry, mean, loving, bored, sick, you name it. He loves us. There are no exceptions! Be sad, but live like you know God loves you just as you are!
I know you've heard me talk about gratitude before, but I honestly can't say it enough. Gratitude makes a world of difference for just about everything! If you have to, just start saying the words “I am grateful for…” Even if your heart is not in it, saying those words is a start and eventually meaning those words of gratitude will follow!
Tell a friend
This is hard, because you have to be vulnerable. But the best things in life comes from being vulnerable. So pick wisely. Choose a friend who will sit with you in your sadness and then lift you up! Read more about vulnerability here!
Don't rehearse tragedy
When we are in a sad state of mind, it's easy to begin rehearsing things like, “Maybe I'm depressed.” “My friends won't like me if I'm sad.” “My cat is getting old and is going to die.” This is easy to do, but only is wallowing in our misery and borrowing trouble. So rehearse what you know is true! “I am loved no matter what!” “I am a child of The King whether I'm happy, sad, a wreck or not!” “I have friends and family who care.”
Have a good cry
I hate crying. I have never understood those that tear up over the smallest things. Crying to me is just so uncomfortable. But crying is an outward expression of feelings and sometimes that's all it takes to get back to feeling yourself. So turn on The Notebook or some other sappy movie, if you need to, and have a good cry.
Engage in daily self-care
Self-care activities are the things that you do on a daily basis to help ground and refill you so that you can give more and be the best version of yourself. As women it is easy to lose ourselves in the midst of dirty diapers, a million things on our to-do lists, the farm or ranch, community commitments, etc. Make sure that you are scheduling in even 5 minutes a day for self-care activities. Need ideas for self-care activities for your body, mind and spirit?Click here!
God loves us just the way we are. He doesn't send guilt our way for not being perfect or not feeling how we “should”.
Share in the comments a time of sadness you experienced! What was one thing you did, that helped during that time?