Recently, I spoke at a church about sadness. It’s not a topic we like to visit, but the truth of the matter is that sadness exists. It’s a real human emotion. Now, what makes different people sad differs. For example, some people might be sad about seeing a squirrel get hit by a car while others feel nothing about it. It doesn’t make either person right or wrong; it’s just their response.
Our preference would be that everyone is happy all of the time. It’s hard to see anyone sad, especially family members. Our first instinct is to try to fix it. But sometimes, we just can’t because experiencing sadness is a part of life. If we never felt sadness, we wouldn’t appreciate the thrill of feeling joy or happiness.
I’m sharing all of this information because we need to acknowledge that sadness exists, even in our homes. That’s why we fight so hard here at Winning At Home to help couples and families win at home. We know how hard it is at times to maintain our own relationships, and without help, the results could be tragic.
One of the first steps to take when feeling sad is to acknowledge it. When we keep it in the dark, it stays hidden and may develop into something more serious. If we bring it to light, we can see it and deal with it more appropriately. It might be we just need to talk about it. There is no shame in being sad—again, it’s one of our basic human emotions. Sadness can sometimes be fleeting, depending on the circumstances, or it can last a long time, if the circumstances are tragic or we keep it a secret.
I’ve experienced extreme sadness that bordered on depression because of events I’ve dealt with in my life. It’s not easy. But because of the love of my family and friends, my faith, and the assistance of trusted counselors, I’ve been able to work through it. I would guess many of you have experienced it too.
We live in an imperfect world with imperfect people. There’s bound to be sadness. Don’t live trying to avoid sadness. Instead, when it happens, embrace it for the emotion it is, and find a way to cope with it. That’s what will help you win at home.