SADNESS: The Water Bearer
GIFTS: Release ~ Fluidity ~ Grounding ~ Relaxation ~ Rejuvenation
WHAT YOUR SADNESS DOES: Sadness arises when it’s time to let go of something that isn’t working anyway.
WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE: Let go. If you can truly let go, relaxation and rejuvenation will follow.
THE INTERNAL QUESTIONS: What must be released? What must be rejuvenated?
Sadness is a wonderful emotion that arises when something needs to be released.
This might be an idea, an attitude, a possession, a stance, an ideology, a belief, a relationship, or a way of behaving in the world (etc.) that no longer works for you.
Sadness has a kind of alchemical magic to it, because if you can listen to it and honestly let go, you’ll find that you can relax and breathe again.
Sadness is about letting go
And letting go means that you’ll be freer than you were before (when you were holding on tightly to something that was honestly not working). When you can listen to your sadness and work with it empathically, you’ll experience relaxation, spaciousness, and a sense of rejuvenation.
Many of us believe that sadness is only about loss, but it’s not. Sadness is also about restoring flow, ease, and relaxation — because when you can finally let go of things that just don’t work, you’ll suddenly have room for things that do work.
Sadness doesn’t come to steal your stuff!
Sadness arises when you’re holding on to stuff that doesn’t work any more. This stuff — a thing, idea, relationship, or whatever — it might have worked in the past, but it doesn’t work now, and sadness arises to help you let go of it.
When you can let go, you’ll be able to relax, reassess your current situation and your current needs, and become aware of who you are and what you need now, today.
Sadness helps you let go, relax, rejuvenate yourself, and come fully into the present moment — not because you’re chasing after happiness or any other allegedly positive emotions (there is no such thing as a positive emotion), but because you know how to let things go and rejuvenate yourself.
And when you let go, your sadness will recede naturally (because you’ve attended to it skillfully), and other emotions will arise, depending on your situation and your needs.
What a sad, tense world we’ve created because we refuse to honor the gifts of sadness
Without our sadness, we can’t relax, we can’t release our tension in healthy ways, we can’t cry and restore fluidity to ourselves, and we can’t let go of things that aren’t working anyway.
If we don’t know how to access our sadness, tension piles up, unsaid words pile up, muscle tightness adds up, things we don’t need pile up, ideas we’ve grown out of pile up, relationships that no longer work pile up, and we find ourselves crowded out of our real lives by a bunch of unnecessary debris.
And then we can’t find the present moment with two hands and a flashlight, because we can’t find anything in all the clutter. When we don’t allow our sadness to do its proper work, we lose a great deal of our liveliness and flow; we lose ourselves, in a way.
The questions for sadness are What must be released? and What must be rejuvenated?
So let’s welcome sadness to our lives by remembering to breathe in and let the tension go. Let’s listen to sadness instead of swatting it away or toughening up. When sadness arises, let’s look for things that aren’t working anyway, and let them go.
Related post: A healing practice for sadness