For anyone that's into personal development, you may think it's strange that I'm telling you that it's OK to be sad.
I mean surely the whole point of self-development is so that we can be happy more of the time? We want less of the negative feelings and more of the positive feelings, right?
But here's why I believe that the focus shouldn't be on the 'positive' and 'negative' feelings, but rather, on the source of these feelings. Because when we understand the true source of our feelings, we can experience a different type of 'negative' emotion. We start to:
- Feel hurt without feeling heartbroken
- Feel sad without feeling distraught
- Feel lonely without feeling despair
- Feel upset without it needing to drag on for days, weeks or even months
When we realise the true source of our feelings, we experience a peace around even the most 'negative' of emotions.
I use inverted commas because I don't actually believe there are negative and positive emotions. These feelings are all neutral and what we perceive as good and bad feelings are actually a normal part of life. If the Prophet PBUH experienced every single emotion out there, then we know its sunnah (tradition) to also experience the same.
But there's a small but very important distinction in how we experience them.
When we know the true source of our feelings, we welcome these moments and stop looking at them as negative feelings. We experience them for what they are and avoid slipping down the slippery slope to despair, heartbreak and depression.
We're no longer battling against ourselves to stop experiencing the 'bad' and trying so hard to experience more of the 'good'.
Because there is good in it all and it's this understanding that allows us to experience life events such as the death of a loved one, in an entirely different way. In a way that brings us ease, peace and grace in the most challenging of circumstances - and with this comes a deeper connection with Allah.
To experience this for yourself, make your first stop my 5-part online Effortless Relationships training programme.
It's designed to help you have a more beautiful relationship - with yourself. And I've made the first module available here for free 🙂
P.S. And if you needed any further convincing, here's my favourite poet Rumi with a strikingly similar message 😉
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, depression a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes,
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honourably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.