In the popular family film, Inside Out, Joy, Fear, Anger, Disgust, and Sadness all live inside Riley’s head and take turns controlling her emotions and reactions. Sadness Inside Out is a way to help children understand that when Sadness, a normal emotion, takes control and pushes Joy out of the way, rather than serving as a balance, the imbalance causes her to feel angry and depressed. Let’s talk about sadness inside out | why we feel sad.
What Causes Sadness?
We can all relate to this. There are many causes of sadness – various conditions that cause sadness. This sadness may push us to be empathetic, help others, share a hurt, be a comforter, or join a noble cause. It is only a hard heart that never feels sadness.
Jesus, the Son of God, while on earth, was saddened over the hate, cruelty, and unbelief controlling mankind. He identified with those who were sad because he bore our sorrows. In his humanity, he experienced sorrow and need. As Max Lucado pens, “Our Master knew what it meant to be a crucified carpenter who gets thirsty.” Jesus understood sadness. He understands our sadness. He is the answer to all of our needs.
When we identify with the deeply sad condition of others who are suffering a loss of a loved one, a job, a dream – it is then that we can offer them hope and joy because of our past experiences, and because we know the truth of Eternity’s promise of peace and joy. You can read more about Joy here.
Why Sadness is an Important Emotion
Sadness is an important emotion to feel because it can motivate us to do something about a distressing situation. We recognize it as sadness because of the contrast with the internal joy that we also know. We know a spiritual joy from God, his promises, his beautiful world, the awesomeness of being alive. And it becomes a more humanly joy because of the love of others, of abilities, of opportunities, of family, friends, jobs, a helpmate. A balance.
Sadness is a part of our being. Without it, we would not realize the depth of the joy. However, a constant sadness that depresses us, immobilizes us, defeats our will to action, even to the point of suicidal thoughts, needs immediate medical attention. “Feeling depressed” and having clinical depression are very different conditions. Let’s talk about sadness inside out | why we feel sad.
If you are considering self-harm, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text HOME to 741-741, the Crisis Text Line.
Sad and Grieving
Sadness following a major loss needs to be openly identified and dealt with. When we do not grieve early and hard, that grief and sadness take up residence within us, and will not heal but fester and grow, becoming a complex emotional problem. Seek help with your grieving, find a friend who will listen, obtain more professional counseling if needed, or join a recovery group. We want to come through these situations stronger and more resilient. Let God into the deepest areas of your grief and experience the healing power and the strength to again find joy.
We all feel sad or blue when bad things happen – whenever we have a major loss or disappointment. Or when we are walking alongside someone who is experiencing a major loss. That’s okay. Sadness is a healthy emotion allowing us to cope and soon recover. It helps us to understand how to help someone. It helps us to identify the level of loss in our lives. It helps us to befriend the grieving and point them forward in their thinking. It should also be rather short-lived.
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