I just want to be sad for a bit

This letter writer is struggling to love and accept herself. 

Our elder says it’s fine to stay with your feelings for a while – but not forever. Here are some tips on how to move on.


Dear EWC

Dear Elders, I realize no matter where I go I’m unhappy. I’ve had a difficult childhood and adulthood, but I’m not sure how to heal. I’ve tried so many things and now I’ve decided to just be with my sadness and accept it. It makes me just want to be alone and rest, but in a way it’s comforting even though it’s painful. I think I feel tired from all my life trying to do and be something I’m not. I’ve been through a lot and I just want to be sad a bit. Any advice for healing or how to feel content internally? “No matter where you go, there you are”. How to love and accept myself no matter where I am or what phase in life I’m in? I also have another challenge where I feel people don’t respect and value me and again this could be a reflection of me not valuing and respecting myself? How to not let other people influence how I feel about myself? Many thanks.


Dot replies

I’m sorry to hear that you are struggling right now with sadness. I think there is a lot in your letter that is unwritten, so I will try to address the things you ask about. 

First, feeling our emotions is an important part of life and processing things that we are dealing with. I think it is fine to rest in your sadness. Feelings are neither good nor bad. They just are. I wonder though if you have talked with a professional counselor to help you deal with and work through the difficulties of your childhood? I have found that it was hard to experience happiness without expecting the other shoe to drop when there were things in my past that have been unresolved. I have worked with a therapist at times in my life to understand how those things were affecting me. It was so helpful to have an objective person to listen and give advice as to how to live a more fulfilled life. A life less fearful. 

As I said, dealing with sadness is a normal part of life, but we aren’t meant to live there forever. I want you to realize that you are doing the best that you can right now. I’m glad that you wrote to EWC for advice. I think that is a healthy first step. I recommend that you try to connect with a mental health professional for guidance. 

“Wherever you go, there you are.” What an interesting quote! For me I thought, how true. Whatever I’m thinking, that’s where my mind is. If I’m focusing on a negative thought, I’m going to feel negative. If I’m looking at beauty, I’m seeing beauty. If I’m focusing on a goal, I’m working towards that, and so on. It’s important to deal with the past, but more importantly to live for today. Practicing mindfulness is a way to do that. Maybe you could journal. In your journal write three things every day that you are thankful for. It may be as simple as a beautiful sunrise, a hot cup of coffee or the love of a pet. Focusing on thankfulness can keep you grounded on where you are going instead of where you have been. So where do you want to focus? Do you think you could find a few things each day to be thankful for? I really feel that it changes my focus. 

One thing that also helps me is volunteering. I find when I focus on the needs of others, my problems seem less in the forefront of my mind. It really does help me be more mindful to count my blessings. Dealing with problems is always going to be a part of life, but I can tell that because you have endured some serious difficulties growing up, that you see the strength that you can go on. Remember that you are “good enough.” You are doing the best you can. No matter what others think, the most important thing is what you think. In that journal you could also write about your good qualities. Replace those untrue negative thoughts with affirming thoughts such as: I am ready. I have the power to make the right choices for me. I have faith in my abilities. My efforts help me succeed. I am getting better every day. I let go of all that no longer serves me. I have the power to create change. I am capable of overcoming any challenge I face. I am allowed to feel upset, angry, and sad sometimes – that’s part of being human. I am enough! Whatever rings true for you. 

There are many websites that provide daily affirmations. It can be helpful just to check in to see where you are really at on a particular day. We all need to be told these things, but some of us never heard them growing up or as an adult. So it is our responsibility to give ourselves the grace we need to be human and understand our strengths. I have confidence that you can move forward. Please do feel free to write back to let me know how you are doing and if anything I have shared has been helpful. I will be thinking of you and sending warm hugs! 

Article #: 500485
Category: Other

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