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movement toward happiness


Rainy day (25:365)
photography: amy | amy bean |

Sadness signals change. It is an intermediate emotion, a feeling that is going somewhere. Like a seventh or a ninth chord in music, it is rich in subtle tones that tend toward resolution, lean toward home…You will know the real thing by this sense of movement toward happiness…Sadness is like that moment in a rainstorm when the rain has not yet stopped, but there is a perceptible brightening…Sadness is hopeful…It is a soft and relaxed presence, a comfortable garment for the heart. Mike Mason, Practicing the Presence of People (Colorado Springs: Waterbrook Press, 1999), 98.

Why do we run from sadness, in ourselves and in others? Cheer up!, we say. Sure we mean well, but perhaps we are pushing one another into premature birth, the result of which is weakness. What if we were content to sit beneath the grey heaviness and be still long enough for true joy to birthed in our hearts again? Something we can not do on our own. What if we were content to wait?

You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you. Matthew 5:4, The Message paraphrase

10 Comments leave one →
  1. 01/26/2010 1:59 pm

    oh, i so agree with this. I really don’t like the words “cheer up”. there is a time for everything. and everything in it’s time.

  2. 01/26/2010 2:41 pm

    How timely — I just finished posting on how I’m feeling the blues. Actually, very sad and lonely. Hopefully it is moving me to a better place.

  3. 01/26/2010 5:41 pm

    I have a friend who is going through a break-up. She wants me to make her a mix of songs to soothe her soul…things that won’t make her cry.

    I can do that, but I have found, from experience, that sometimes listening to lyrics that express current emotions is cathartic. It has always helped me work through the pain.

    There is a time for sadness. And that’s OK. It’s healthy.

  4. 01/26/2010 8:09 pm

    this is a great read. only when we allow ourselves to be broken.. can we be reshaped and made stronger.

    i just came upon this part of the blog and i am going back to read more.. very special and neat. thank you all for sharing.


  5. 01/26/2010 9:58 pm

    Very well written.. and so applicable to me. My father suddenly passed away two months ago (tomorrow!) and sadness is something I’m in a constant struggle with. He was only 51, and I feel cheated.

    Sadness is a hard emotion b/c it is just simply no fun to feel – and there’s almost no relief from it when it’s so overwhelming. There is a feeling of needing to get over it quickly just to move on with life, and as to not burden those around you. I agree that when we rush through our sadness, it often means we’re not dealing with it at all. It only comes back to bite you later. Better to deal with it at first rather than live your entire life with that pain.

  6. Elizabeth F. permalink
    01/27/2010 1:02 pm

    I remember when I was pregnant with our 1 year old son. Oh, how much I worried in the beginning about losing him as I had lost so many before him in the 1st trimester. My husband made a profound request. He asked me to live in the present moment and allow him to share in the joy of carrying our child but he also asked me to share my sorrow should we lose him. I realized then that aside from the marital embrace, there was nothing more intimate in marriage than sorrowing together.

  7. 01/27/2010 1:41 pm

    Beautiful post and I love your photography. Now to go ponder what you wrote.. so true. Thank you for visiting my site today and I’ll take your tip on framing some of the illustrations from our vintage books 🙂

    • 01/27/2010 1:47 pm

      Thank you, Sarah. The image in today’s post is actually Amy’s. She’s very talented!

  8. 01/27/2010 11:43 pm


  9. Mandie permalink
    02/02/2010 9:21 pm

    I thank you for this post. Over the past month I have been going through the various emotions that result from the ending of a relationship. I have been greatly blessed in life and have never experienced a pain as sharp as this. Still, I have been able to see the amazing blessing of loss. Loss has caused me to mourn and to search in a wild and frenzied manner for that which is dependable and meaningful, and I have found True Meaning in God. Somehow I am going to survive this dark night but for now it is cleansing to cry my tears. I am finding myself in my pain. I am delving into the sadness and not running from it. I am at the bottom of my next mountain right now only slowly beginning to climb. The peak will be reached not immediately but eventually through constant rugged plodding. I think sadness, deep resonating sadness, shouldn’t be sprinted through but rather gotten through in steady strides as in a marathon.

    Thanks for conveying the importance of embracing sadness. What great encouragement!!

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