I recently saw the movie “Inside Out” and was profoundly impacted by one of the messages I took from it – the idea that we are often told things like, “Keep your chin up!” or “Put on a happy face” which give us the impression that it’s important to hide our feelings, especially when we’re sad. Add to that the habit of prescribing medication for people that are apparently more sad than we think is the normal allowed amount of sadness to have, and we have a real recipe for hiding out.
What we learn in the movie is that sadness is the catalyst for joy. Sadness is what makes people feel connected to us, and when we feel sad, people want to help us. When we allow that help, we can move from sad to happy.
So, I have to wonder, are we just so afraid of feelings that we actually medicate them away instead of actually creating the process for the connection of sadness and joy to be normalized? What is it about sadness and emotion that scares us so much? And, why do we tend to hide and prefer to be alone with our sadness and think it’s a burden on others?
Seems to me that we should just feel what we have to feel and learn that it’s ok to tell people we are sad when that is our truth.