Monday, May 11, 2009

I Want to be Sad

Those are the words my 2.5 year old told me the other day. He had a moment when things were not going his way and he wanted to be sad about it. I gave him permission and suggested his room would be the perfect location for this sad time. He went to his room, grabbed GeeGee, GaGa, and Blanket (his comfort items) and started to cry. My wife and I looked at each other and did not know what to do. We even laughed a little.

It is our parent philosophy that we want him to have permission to explore his feelings. We want him to express his happiness, anger, sadness, and other feelings in healthy ways. We don't want him to suppress these feelings. I guess when he said, "I want to be sad," he took us at our word. Eventually he forgot what he was crying about and got too emotional. Mom came to the rescue and all was good again.

Being sad is okay but I think we don't give ourselves permission to be sad. We feel we have to put up a front all of the times to suggest that we have it all together. We have to show the world that we know what we are doing and everything is OK! But that is not life. That is not a true reflection of what life is. Life is not always happy. There is sadness. We need to learn to deal with it.

I need to take a lesson from my son. There are times when I personally am not sad or I should say, I don't allow myself to be sad. I suck it up and move forward. That is what men do. Right? Emotionally unhealthy men at least. When Christ invited us to have life more abundant, that didn't mean it would be full of ice cream, roses, and candy apple gumdrops. No, life is happy and life is sad. Life is joyous and life is tragic. Life is thrilling and life is terrifying. Christ gives us life more abundantly because he gives us a heart to feel those emotions more deeply. For we are welcomed into a family of faith, the Body of Christ, which goes through all of these emotions together. We need to learn to be comfortable in all those emotions and to rest assure that God is there with us in those moments as well.

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