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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Why Am I Sad?

Question: Do I deserve to be sad? Do I deserve to cry? I mean, there are a lot of people out there who have worse problems, worse situations than I do...

Answer:  Many clients often come into therapy asking this same question. The concept of happiness is widely misunderstood. And, the idea of accepting that sadness and crying may be a normal phenomenon is also an area of human feelings that often leads to guilt.  You have guilt that you are sad despite all the good you have in your life.  We suffer because we have so much to experience. We can live deeply in thought and feelings and because of this, we can suffer greatly.  We can not always understand the suffering and this frustrates us.  But, we can decide how we want to respond to the suffering.  You must tell yourself it is ok to be sad, it is ok to cry.  It's normal. When sadness is not normal is when it takes over your life and you are no longer able to function in the realms of work and self-care.  When this happens, it is depression, and it must be treated by a professional.  

Aristotle taught us that happiness is an activity, a process and participation in something that brings us fulfillment.  Happiness Aristotle says, is a byproduct of living a life that has purpose and a life that helps and supports others.  Happiness comes from finding your talents and putting those talents to use for the overall benefit of mankind.  So you see, it's not about the material things you have, it's about your life purpose and helping fellow humans. When you find this within yourself, your sadness will lift. 

And always remember, if it is a sadness that consumes you and keeps you from living, then it is a medical issue called depression. And all medical issues need professional intervention.