There are valuable upsides in allowing ourselves to experience feeling sad and the so-called negative emotions.
Over the past couple of decades, there has been an increased labelling of emotions as positive and negative. As part of this, sadness has been seen as a negative, and something to be avoided at all costs. And, happiness is seen as a positive emotion, and one we are all striving to achieve. But, in order to live balanced, well-adjusted lives, we need to experience both emotions.
We think about and celebrate our mum’s on Mother’s Day. We are encouraged to do so. We think about what it means to be a Mother – the unconditional love, the care, and the support. And once we are mother’s ourselves, our appreciation for our own mother increases dramatically.
But what about when this is not your experience of Mother’s Day?
When I first moved away from home and lived overseas by myself for a year when I was 18, it was the days of mix tapes (yes, I know – the dark ages!). I guess these were our version of a playlist, but we couldn’t adjust them without frantic use of the fast forward or rewind buttons…
Anyway, I prepared for that year by making two mix tapes specifically to help manage my emotions. The first one was called “happy songs” and the second, “sad songs”. Hmm, not such a master of creative naming!
My parents, siblings and boyfriend of the time all thought I was crazy to create a sad songs tape.