.028: There is no JOY without SADNESS

Before we get started with this week’s episode, I wanted to remind you about the Daily Memories Journal Workshop happening next week.

One of my favorite ways to acknowledge the happy times and the sad times that are a normal part of all of our lives is in the daily scrapbook I keep.  I started this the year I turned 49 and I did it every day until I turned 50.  I decided I loved it so much that I’ve kept doing it.  If you think that every memory I write down in there is all happy stuff, you’d be wrong.  Days are hard!  Whole weeks are hard!  If I didn’t write down my real thoughts about the hard days, what’s the point right???  If I didn’t write down the happy things that happen, how would I continue to have hope when the hard things come.  That’s why both are essential! 

I am teaching a workshop all about what I do and how I do it.  It will show you some easy techniques to start doing this yourself and in a way that doesn’t take a lot of time.  It has to be 30 minutes or less for me each night.  It’s usually closer to 15 minutes if I’m completely honest.  In the workshop, I’ll even be giving you a template for dates and pages you can print out if you want.  What could be easier than that????  I hope you’ll join me.  It’s $25 and that includes the template!  January 19, 2022 is when it opens.    I’m changing the format of these since the majority of you like to watch them on your own time.  Now, you can sign up for them and I’ll send the workshop to your inbox the day it opens!  I hope this works out better for all of you.  I’m trying to listen to you all and meet you where it helps you the most!  Make sure you check out the bundle option for the year as well.  When you buy more workshops at once,  you’ll save more.  I’ll put the link in the shownotes below for you to check out.

On today’s episode I wanted to continue a little deeper into what we talked about on our last episode.  That was Episode 27: Building Creativity Through Play.  I learned so much from the movie, Inside Out by Disney.  The more I’ve watched it, the more I’ve learned, and I think there are some really important things we need to add in our study of becoming Overburdened No More!

I am mostly intrigued by the connection that happens between the two characters Joy and Sadness.  I found a synopsis of the movie that breaks it down pretty good so I wanted to share it with you but I did change out some parts with my own wording so it made more sense in our context here.  Here it goes:

“In the Award-Winning movie, Inside Out, the connection between Joy and Sadness is the climax of the movie.

Joy is the emotion at the wheel of Riley’s Control Console. She and the other emotions, Disgust, Fear and Anger can’t figure out what role of the emotion Sadness has to play and what her purpose is in Riley’s mental health.

Joy and Sadness get sucked out of the Control Center and into the vastness of Riley’s mind. Knowing that Riley’s mental state is not what it normally is, Joy is desperate to get back to the Control Center so that Riley can be happy again. Joy thinks she’s the answer to everything and that Riley needs to be happy all the time. 

During the adventure that takes place, Joy still can’t figure out what purpose Sadness serves even after witnessing Sadness comforting a crying Bing Bong(remember Bing Bong!!) when Joy was unable to do so.

Bing Bong and Joy end up in the Memory Dump and risk being lost forever. In the Memory Dump, Joy reminisces about Riley’s Core Memories and laments that all she wants is for Riley to be happy.

Sobbing, Joy picks up a core memory involving Riley’s teammates and parents dancing after a big hockey game. Joy had always thought this core memory was a happy one, but after rewinding the memory, Joy realizes that initially Riley was sad. But her sadness is what caused her parents to reach out to console her and with the help of Riley’s teammates, they were able to make a sad scene a happy one.

Joy had never realized that a memory could involve both sad and happy emotions.

Riley and her parents had moved from Minnesota to SanFrancisco, and she was having some difficulty fitting into her new life. Longing for home and life in Minnesota, her Core Memories of happy moments became a touchstone of sadness as well. In Joy’s world, memories cannot be happy and sad and happy memories cannot become sad ones and vice-versa.” 

That’s the end of the movie synopsis I found.

Intriguing right???

Are all our memories meant to be happy ones?

What is the point of sadness?   Don’t we just want to be happy all the time?

Joy sees herself as the ultimate goal which is kind of self-centered.  She sees all the other emotions as subservient to her.  Like we should be happy all the time and if we’re not, something is wrong that needs to be fixed.

I’m pretty sure you realize that we’re not meant to fix everything and pretend like we’re happy.  That is not the way emotions work.  We are meant to feel all our emotions.  That’s why we have them.

I mean, positivity is great and all, as long as it’s real.

The movie Inside Out taught me, more than anything else, that a big part of childhood is that you have to deal with hard things and that’s how we grow emotionally into adults.

I also believe that continues as we mature.   

If everything we experience in our lives is all happiness, there is no opportunity for growth. 

Some of the hardest times in my life were brought on by deep sadness.  Those hard times were not fixed just by laughing and moving on.  What they did, as I worked through them, and not always patiently, was to bring on a new layer to my life which created more growth.  Like it said in the synopsis, it created a touchpoint with sadness that actually helped me to be happier.  My mind opened up in ways that wouldn’t have happened otherwise.  And when I look back, I wouldn’t change a thing.  I am definitely happier because of what the sadness taught me.

Have you had times in your life like this?  Have you taken the time to look back and see what you learned from the experience? 

If you’re still holding on to the sadness and allowed it to turn into anger or fear or disgust, may I suggest that you’re not done learning from that situation yet.  It is only adding to the feelings of being overburdened. 

Allow yourself the opportunity to become something new. 

Growth hurts. 

Yep.  It really does.

But when you can see how the sadness actually gave you the opportunity to feel more joy in the end, it’s worth the painful journey you had to go through.

Sadness is also the price that we pay for love.  The only way to never feel pain is to never feel love.  That’s not a life worth living.

I recently experienced this with the passing of my Dad.  That was one of those times where the great love you feel for someone becomes greater as you experience sadness.  The joy I felt from him being here with me was worth it.  Those memories are still happy but they have a touch of sadness with them now too. 

But I want to feel both. 

Both give depth into who I am as a human.  My joy becomes greater as I allow myself to feel sadness deeper.  They balance each other out, giving more depth to each, and it is truly amazing.

I’ve also felt the opposite when I had my darkest days with depression.  There are all different kinds of depression.  Mine was caused by a chemical imbalance but continues situationally as I’ve gotten the chemicals balanced out. 

In the movie, depression was represented well by the blacking out of the control panel of Riley’s mind.  The emotions were trying to hit a knob or a lever to get the light back on but nothing was working. 

I have truly felt the same thing. 

To me it was not only dark, but really, really heavy. 

I don’t know how else to describe it but dark and heavy.  Like walking around with cement shoes and cement shoulder pads and however you’d describe a heavy brain.

Depression makes it so you can’t feel anything.  It literally feels like your life has shut down and it’s completely broken. There is no light in the control panel of your brain.

You can’t pull yourself out of it. 

When helpful people try to tell you to get up and get going, to shake it off, they don’t truly understand what depression does.  But that’s ok, that’s why we need more education about this.  This episode of the podcast isn’t about that, but I did want to mention it.

Dementors in Harry Potter represent depression too.  They described it as Never being cheerful again.

Riley needed to be able to feel something. And believe it or not, Sadness was the answer. 

Sadness HAS to be felt.

Joy couldn’t fix it. 

Neither could Anger , Fear or Disgust. 

Sadness helps her to realize that she needs her family because she was hurting, not just being completely shut down. 

If you remember in the movie, when she was in depression, her face was dark.  As soon as she felt sadness, a light came into her countenance. 

She was feeling something. 

It doesn’t have to be joy to get you out of depression.

Here’s what I learned about Sadness.

-It helps others to reach out to us and Sadness helps us to better recognize the joy.

-Sadness creates the contrast to Joy that makes it possible to feel both deeper.

-The only way to never feel sadness is to never feel love.  I don’t know about you, but I’m not willing to give up the love I have in my life.

– There is great importance in feeling grief and sadness, but it is not the same as despair or depression.

– There’s are types of love that can only be experienced through sadness and there’s an aspect to joy that is only felt through grief.

Here’s an example of that for you:  When we give each other comfort, when we show compassion and empathy for each other, that’s the most beautiful type of love there is.  You show someone that you see their suffering and you’re not going to leave them.  You see they are struggling and let them know that they’re not alone.  This kind of love is deeper and more profound and lasting, than any other kind of love.

So, I hope that this brings a new awareness to you that there is no happiness without sadness.  They are intertwined.

If you’ve never felt sad you can’t appreciate what joy is and that creates a beautiful contrast that makes all emotions more useful to our growth.

Here’s my advice that I want to leave you with, listen to your emotions, all of them. Even the ones that are perceived as “negative” are valid, and when you feel an emotion it’s your body and mind trying to tell you something.  You should listen instead of ignoring what you don’t want to feel. Because if you keep ignoring the negative emotions, eventually they’ll make themselves be heard.  Emotions buried down deep make us feel Overburdened.

Thanks for being here today with me my friend.  I hope you’ll come back next week for the next episode of Overburdened No More.  If you haven’t already, will you do me a favor and Follow this podcast and leave me a rating and review while you’re there.  SHARE THIS PODCAST WITH SOMEONE YOU THINK WILL BENEFIT FROM IT!!!

When you do that, you tell Apple and all the other platforms that they need to help others find us.  I really appreciate it.  Make it a wonderful day!!

.028: There is no JOY without SADNESS
Tagged on: