Amidst Life’s Sad Moments

“The word ‘happiness’ would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness.” Carl Jung

It’s only human of us to want to take someone’s sadness from them, but sadness is a part of life, a part that can’t forever be ignored. We think of sadness as a negative emotion, something that we shouldn’t feel. I don’t think that’s necessarily true.

What I have discovered this past week is that it’s okay to feel sad. Sadness in itself is not a bad thing. It is a part of life. In fact, it shouldn’t be ignored especially when we have a truly valid reason for our sadness. I’ve discovered it is best to allow ourselves to feel these emotions before moving on. The quote from Carl Jung speaks of balance and it makes sense to me in many ways. I’m almost certain that in order to experience happiness we do need to experience sadness. Otherwise how would be come to appreciate those happy times to their fullest? Happiness would be a continual state of being, not something to be cherished. It would just be.

The amazing thing about those times of sadness are those flashes of happiness that exist and persist, those little moments that arrive unannounced right out of the blue whether we wish them to or not. We, of course, have to be open to recognizing those flashes for what they are. If you’re not paying attention you could very well miss them.

I’ve experienced some moments this week that have gladdened my heart and made me smile, made me forget the sadness I was carrying for a brief time—a robin in the early morning struggling to pull a worm from the ground, the little story my granddaughter told me over the phone about a bunny, the peonies from my mother-in-law’s garden coming up through the ground, the kind words and acts of family and friends.

Death has a way of opening our eyes to life, giving us the opportunity to reflect, to examine what it is we want for our own lives. It gives us a time to retreat for a bit and contemplate the meaning of each day, and what we have to offer the world.

Thank you all for your kind words and cyber hugs. Everything’s going to be okay.

Those Gold Star Days

Are you having a gold star day?

Remember back in grade school how wonderful it felt when the teacher affixed a gold star to the top of your work? It meant you’d done a terrific job, you answered all the questions right, you were number one, and you had something to show for all your hard work.

Back then, that gold star no doubt put a smile on your face and sent a warm fuzzy feeling coursing through your bones. You probably haven’t thought about those little gold stars in a long, long time, have you?

I can’t help thinking how delightful it would be if an editor stuck a gold star on my manuscript, sent it back and said, “You did a terrific job. We want to publish your book. You’re number one!” Even if they were unable to publish it, having that gold star would at least bring a smile to my face. They truly liked my work!

I wouldn’t mind having a box of gold stars for myself. If I had some I’d stick one to the calendar page each time I had a gold star day. That way, when I’m down and feeling sorry for myself, I could look back at all the gold stars I’d collected along the way and still feel that sense of accomplishment. I sound pretty confident, pretty sure that there would be plenty of stars, don’t I?

It’s not that there are so many outstanding, wonderful moments of accomplishment in my life. In fact, I do lead a pretty simplified life by some standards. I usually tell people I’m about as ordinary as they come, and I mean it. But do you know what? When I’m paying attention to life, and looking for the good, rarely a day goes by when something doesn’t come onto my radar, something that gives me that same warm feeling I’d get when the teacher was giving out gold stars.

It would be easy for me to say that my gold star day would be when I get a phone call telling me my latest manuscript has been accepted for publication, or that I’d just landed my dream job, maybe even won the new home from the latest QE11 lottery. Well, sure all those things would definitely win me a gold star. But does it have to be that big? That exciting? I mean how many times in my life will I receive a welcomed call from an editor? Win big on the lottery? Find my dream job?

But you know what? I don’t want to have to wait for just those moments to get my gold star. And who ever said we only deserve gold stars for something REALLY big. Perhaps we spend so much time looking for those huge big gold star days that we forget that there are a lot of smaller moments of gold in our lives. What about the kind words we send to a friend who needs cheering? The smile we flash a total stranger who is looking hurried and frustrated? Those moments when we are on the receiving end of someone else’s kind deed?

If you’ve had a gold star day recently I’d like to hear about it, big or small, put a smile on my face…Earn you own gold star!

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  • Publication date April 30, 2020. Available for pre-order NOW.

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