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The Garden of Sadness

Posted by Simon Parke, 25 June 2018, 8.53am

The Garden of Sadness is not a place anyone wants to go.

We’d always prefer to be happy than sad, and so we try and avoid it. We choose another route home.

Perhaps we feel we have to keep up a brave face for the sake of others; or perhaps we cannot admit the feeling to ourselves.

Some of us, when young, were told, ‘Oh, that’s nothing to cry about!’ which can prove disabling if it closes us down to our true feelings.

Everyone has to go to the Garden of Sadness sometimes, because there’s so much loss in life – whether it’s a person, a hope, a relationship, an injury, an illness or a dream.

Everybody hurts, and react in different ways.

Some will distract themselves, becoming busy to avoid their feelings. Others will say to themselves, as they were told as children, ‘Oh, that’s nothing to cry about!’

And so the feeling is repressed, which often leads to depression.

(And note what we’ve done here. We have made another person’s voice from our past our own voice to ourselves now, which is a most unfortunate transaction.)

Some others avoid sadness by saying ‘Oh, there are people in the world worse off than me!’

But we’ll be more creative in the world, more adaptive, and kinder, if we look after our feelings, for no one else can.

And if we allow ourselves a visit to the Garden of Sadness, push open the gate and sit there a while, allowing ourselves to feel what we feel, we’ll find we leave by a different gate.

Here is a place of strange healing, a garden to pass through on our way back to health and happiness.

We’ll live it in our own time and in our own way…

...but the Garden of Sadness, so often avoided, is a corridor of hope.

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