"We should bear our sorrows with greater confidence than our joys. For they are the moments when something new, something unknown, has entered into us. The more patient, quiet and open we are in our sorrowing, the more deeply and the more unhesitatingly will the new thing enter us and the better we shall deserve it." —Rainer Maria Rilke
As part of my year of love, I promised myself I would be more vulnerable. In life AND on this blog. As much as it scares me, I am committing to letting you in a little more - to show you the sides of me that aren't always shiny and happy - even though for the most part I like to focus on joy, practical tips and positivity.
But alas - in the name of vulnerability, today I bring you a note on sadness. Sadness over a romantic relationship ending. I'll leave it at that, because this post is about feelings, not details.
Processing Feelings: The Turtle Method
When I am sad, I tend to hide from the world - including my friends (and twitter followers and blog readers). I retreat into my turtle shell and won't come out until I can be happy and put-together again. I'm not endorsing this method (it gets lonely) - it just happens to be my first line of defense.
Yesterday I retreated into my "I'm fine!" turtle shell, and today I feel like someone reached down from the sky and plucked the whole thing right off. Sadness exposed. Written on my face. Tears welling up at unpredictable moments (for example: as I write this in the middle of a crowded coffee shop).
And yet - I am grateful. I am happy that I'm sad, because it represents the fact that I lived and I loved and I felt alive. I am sad that the wonderful experience is over, but so happy for the connection and the countless moments of bliss.
Weather Report: Cloudy with a (very good!) Chance of Sunshine
The weather in the SF Bay Area today is grey and drizzly, with intermittent sunshine and respite from the rain. That's exactly how I feel. Quiet and lightly sad (not the full-blown so-depressed-I-can't-move kind), with many moments of fond memories and gratitude for everything I learned and experienced.
If I ever shunned sadness or pushed it aside, I am not doing that now. I am giving it a free pass to hang out with me today (and for as long as it needs to, really). I took it to breakfast, to coffee, on a long walk and even all the way to my blog (it should feel honored!). I know that only by letting it in - and airing it out - can I really move forward.
I am a Quote Machine (But admit it - that's partly why you love me)
There are two Rilke quotes I send to friends when they hit rough patches. In addition to the one I shared above, they are:
"Perhaps all the dragons of our lives are princesses, who are only waiting to see us once beautiful and brave."
"You must think that something is happening upon you, that life has not forgotten you, that it holds you in its hand; it will not let you fall."
—Rainer Maria Rilke
Sadness, vulnerability and love are more beautiful than I ever gave them credit for. Because they are real and raw and part of living a big full life. And so is letting people in.
So even though I'm a little sad today, don't be too worried about me. This is nothing that eating a dozen Red Velvet Cupcakes in one sitting can't fix!*
*Kidding. I think.