Today I am sad. That is a simple sentence that we probably don’t say often enough. If you are like me then you repress all of those sad feelings because you don’t have time for them, it would be an inconvenience to someone else if you expressed them, etc.. There are many reasons that we put on our happy faces when we are less happy inside.
One of the best and most influential men in my life taught me one of the most important lessons. Every morning I would come to work and sometimes I would beat him in, sometimes he would beat me in, but I would always say “Good morning” when I saw him. After that I would follow the typical southern greeting of “How are you?”. Most of the time we get these polite, one word responses from people. People say “fine”, or “I’m fine”, or “great”, or “ok”. They never say how they actually are, and we never expect them to. This man was different. If he was feeling bad he would say that, if it was a great morning he would tell me, but no matter how it was he would always answer the question honestly. That taught me a few things. I learned to actually listen to the response when I asked how someone was. I learned that it was acceptable to not be”ok” all of the time. I learned that the honest answer to that question means something.
I’m sad today. It is acceptable to be sad. I don’t have to “fake it till I make it”. I can be sad and deal with that. I can be sad and not be ashamed of that. There are many things to be happy about and I know that. I will be in better spirits before the day ends I am sure, but right now I am going to deal with the grief that comes with the knowledge that a loved one is dying, financial insecurity, and venomous words spewed at me out of the blue and all of the other sad realities that plague us in day to day life.