Friday, May 25, 2018

Shrouded in a cloud of melancholy

Sadness is an inherent part of the human condition. 

Even if the modern happiness industrial complex is bent on eradicating melancholy, selling us shiny new technology to eliminate suffering in all its forms, the reality is, truly happy people are not somehow immune from feeling sadness. They actually embrace it. 

Moore had a great phrase for this. 

Shrouded in a cloud of melancholy

What a perfectly poetic and visual reminder that sadness, like everything else in life, is impermanent. It passes eventually.

Feelings are like weather patterns, drifting in and out of the atmosphere, each of which has a beginning, a middle and an end. 

The other day I experienced a moment of unexpected and uncontrollable sadness. It was the strangest thing. All of the sudden, my gut felt hollowed out by grief. With every song I heard, every message I received and every article I read, the sadness weighed heavier. And I have no idea why. 

But unlike the typical response, which is to cheer myself up in an effort to rescue myself from sadness before actually feeling the sadness to the extent that it needed to be felt, I simply told myself that it was okay to be really, really sad right now. 

That I was going to survive this feeling, and it didn’t mean it was always going to feel this way. Sadness takes many forms, and all of them are conquerable. For now, I simply open myself up to it. 

Honoring the feeling as an emotion that serves to remind me of what matters most. Remembering that the momentary discomfort is far less painful than the prolonged suffering that comes from avoiding it. 

Sure enough, within an hour, the cloud of melancholy had lifted. Because for once, I wasn’t so intent on outsmarting my own pain. I wasn’t so consumed with escaping my own misery. And I wasn’t obsessed with trying to eliminate suffering in all its forms. 

Next time you feel hollowed out by grief, instead of searching for a misery salve, lean into the sadness and find out what this feeling wants from you.

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
Isn’t there something sad about a world without sadness?
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Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.  
scott@hellomynameisscott.com
www.nametagscott.com


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