Sadness+Grace=Compassion

After mentioning that healing can come through identifying, owning and embracing whatever sadness resides within us, several friends have mentioned sadness in their lives. As I allow myself to feel sadness, I’ve begun to sense our connection through this basic emotion.

If my sadness turns inward, it can be expressed through addiction or some other self-destructiveness. If I project my sadness onto others, it can be expressed through withdrawal, through passive/aggressive behavior, or through violence–verbal and/or physical.

Our social, political or faith responses to sadness may differ wildly, but the sadness underneath our differences can become a common bond when we can be gentle with ourselves and others. How can we creatively direct the grief, pain, or anger that flows from our sadness?

Is grace–a basic gentleness in the face of life’s struggles–the critical ingredient that moves our sadness toward compassion? I think so. What do you think?

From “What Does It Mean to ‘Be Gentle With Yourself’?” by Jolissa Skow, Still Mothers, July 10, 2017

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