4 May 2020


Today I want to explore Sadness, an emotion that I have kept away from me for a long time for Fear of not being able to handle its intensity. I’ll tell you now, so that you can read this article with the awareness that the writer does not see the world through the filter of this important emotion: my Sadness has been soiled with Fear, so my job is to clean it so that it can shine its purest color!

Since I made friends with Sadness, I realized that my greatest Fear was to feel weak, vulnerable, powerless, dependent. I was afraid of being Sad. Accepting Sadness and learning to feel it in a healthy way reduced the strength of Fear. Sounds like a wordplay, doesn’t it? That’s exactly what happened to me!

Sadness is characterized by a feeling of lack, a state of inner discomfort, distrust and vulnerability. It can have many causes but, generally, it is linked to the loss of some person or object with whom we had a strong emotional connection.

Sadness is an emotion that invites reflection and forces us to stop, to consider what happens to us. The problem is that, because it hurts a lot, we usually try to avoid it at all costs, but the emotion doesn’t go away, it keeps knocking on our door until we are willing to see it, feel it, accept it, and then let it go.

We often put a lot of energy into avoiding a situation, or in this case an emotion. Why don’t we instead learn to use that energy to see things as they are and accept them? Only when we accept a situation is it possible to let it go, to create space for something new, right?

The moment I saw how much sadness I had been holding back for years, how many tensions had accumulated in my body, how many inconsistent behaviors I showed so as not to be seen as weak, I felt tenderness for myself. In accepting that weak part, I became aware of deep aspects of my being, of my past. As a result of this awareness, today I feel more complete, more authentic.

Sadness puts me in touch with vulnerability, with my limits, my imperfections, but also with the most beautiful and human characteristics, with empathy and compassion for others.

Different will be the experience of those who feel Sadness as the main emotion, who perhaps would like to see the world colored by different shades. For this reason I think it is fundamental to develop a good relationship with all primary emotions, training us to enter and exit emotional states without being trapped by them. Every emotion gives us intense tones and delicate nuances if we can see it, welcome it and then let it go. If we remain stuck in it, we risk living a monochrome life without even realizing it.

How do you feel in your body when you’re sad?
As an energy, Sadness tends to contract, fold and lock itself in on itself. An energy that makes us become introverted, that invites us to stop, reflect and feel pain or sorrow. We can feel it as an oppression to the heart, a knot in the throat, a weight on our shoulders, a sense of fatigue and general weakness, a sense of emptiness, a lack of strength.

How do you recognize Sadness?
It’s easy to understand that it’s Sadness when we see a person crying, isn’t it?

The expression on the face also helps us: the lips curve down, the eyebrows rise and many tremble.

Something or someone is missing. There’s a lack of motivation, enthusiasm. We lack strength, we feel fragile. We feel lonely. We realize we are Sad when we often think about the past: melancholy, regret, nostalgia.

There are many other ways of expression, less obvious: some people don’t show physical traits, they feel apathy, discouragement and demotivation.

The intensity varies from apathy, to slight malaise, discouragement, bitterness, pain, despair.

Sadness is also a primitive emotion, less nuclear than Fear, and characterizes the nuances of emotional characters or sentimental characters, i.e. those characters that easily contact and manifest emotions. Characters in contact with suffering, with the pain of experience, with the need for recognition that is particularly intense in them. If we think about the fear of abandonment, the fear of not being enough and the fear of not being loved, they have a lot to do with the typical sense of lack of Sadness than real Fear.

Among the emotional characters there are different ways of living the Sadness: some live everything through lack, others deny their needs so as not to risk seeing them dissatisfied, others still give up feeling themselves to be accepted by others. Driven by the need for recognition, they renounce parts of themselves, and it is precisely that renunciation that generates Sadness.

During the online workshop on May 6 we will explore Fear, Anger and Sadness through creativity, a playful and effective way to make friends with these emotions that sometimes make life difficult for us. Book your place!