Hanging In The Balance of Sadness

Hanging In The Balance of Sadness

It never makes sense to me; when people try to comfort others by telling them, don’t be sad, it’ll get better. Whether or not they’re aware of the circumstances, people can hardly handle the sadness of others.

Anger, joy, and excitement, on the other hand, have a mixed crowd – but hands down, sadness disturbs most.

Sadness perplexes me when it hangs in the balance, like animated suspension; a place in between – in between what, I’m not sure. Of all the emotions, sadness seems to be the one that has the hardest time offering perspective, yet there’s a quality of wisdom and timing to it, which sets it apart from the more expressive emotions like anger and joy.

Don’t bother rushing to the phone or emailing me to make sure everything is all right, or, to tell me everything is going to be all right, I’m not sad, not today anyhow. It was a movie I saw that reminded me, vicariously, of some aspects of sadness.

In fact, I can’t imagine being in the grip of sadness and also capable of having any of these thoughts about its nature. It’s not that sadness is altogether consuming, but it does leave the brain with limited resources. Perhaps a strategy of sadness is to resist the influences of the thinking mind, which might create interference, while a person lies in wait.

The new thought I got while watching this movie, was that sadness, for those who endure it more often than most, can hold the person in place until they are capable of making, or receiving, the next move in their life. A little like a game of chess, sadness is the long pause between moves, and checkmate.

I’m curious if there are specific ways sadness differentiates from melancholy or depression. Is there a parent emotion to which the others are sub-emotions? Or, is there a spectrum of sadness, signifying varying degrees of it?

Whatever the case, I think it’s complex, which is why people are so quick to get over it, or usher others out of it. It’s an emotion least understood, and most likely underestimated.

On that sad note, have a pleasant evening.


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