Have you ever wondered why negative emotions are a part of our psyche from day one? When we’re born, our brains are already set with the capability to feel a broad spectrum of emotions. It’s only a matter of time before we access all of them. But, there’s only one emotion we are taught to avoid: sadness. It’s instilled in us from the beginning. From our childhood shows, to our parents hiding our eyes from tragedy. Obviously, sadness is not pleasant; it’s painful, it’s scarring. At times, sadness can feel inescapable. When we are at our lowest, all we want to do is get out of it. But to avoid sadness altogether can be damaging to our spiritual and mental growth. Michael Stuhlbarg’s character said it best in Call Me By Your Name when he was talking to his son. He said, “In your place, if there is pain, nurse it. And if there is a flame, don’t snuff it out. Don’t be brutal with it. We rip out so much of ourselves to be cured of things faster, that we go bankrupt by the age of thirty and have less to offer each time we start with someone new. But to make yourself feel nothing so as not to feel anything ― what a waste!”

When I first heard this quote, I remember the weight it had on my heart. It was convicting in a way that stuck with me for a really long time. I started to wonder, “Why are we so quick to shut down our sadness?” Sorrow isn’t something we experience for no reason. I believe that when we experience hurt, grief and everything in between, we gain something. Perhaps it’s a better understanding of the people around us. Without going through hard times, how could we relate to one another on a deeper level than simply our interests and hobbies? I tried to remember conversations I’ve had with my friends and family that led to deeper discussions. It was equally puzzling and comforting that a lot of memorable conversations stemmed from relating to each other through hurt.

By avoiding the bad feelings we have, it forms a callus on our hearts. It’s a toxic cycle that can eventually lead to hurting our relationships. Doing life alone is impossible.

you are not a burden

Living life in aloneness is already hard, but being alone while being sad is even worse. Surrounding ourselves with a loving community during hard times is the best thing we can do. You are not a burden for sharing your true feelings with those who love you. They want to sit with you through whatever you’re going through. If you are in a season of trials, whether they’re emotional, mental, or spiritual, don’t let yourself endure it alone. Bonds are made stronger when we’re honest with our loved ones. And our loved ones want us to hear what’s on our hearts, even if it’s sadness.