If we never felt sadness, we wouldn’t ever appreciate what it feels like to be truly happy. With nothing to compare and contrast against the positive emotions, happiness becomes a constant state of being, synonymous with what it means to be human. Our lives would become dull. Yet, despite me being able to recognise the important role sadness plays in my life, I still struggle to accept when I feel anything other than content. I don’t allow myself to be sad as often as I should, because I don’t feel like I deserve to be sad. For the most part, I live a wonderful life. I’m surrounded by incredible, supportive and understanding people; I have a roof over my head, food in my belly and a bedroom filled with art supplies and books. I have so much, whereas others have so little, and so I tell myself that because others have it much worse, I’m supposed to be happy. But it’s okay to feel sad. Life isn’t a straight line that we follow until we reach the end of our road; no, life is an obstacle course that we’re thrown into blindfolded with no clue how to navigate our way through it. Even the most privileged of people will struggle at times, and that’s okay. Every single one of us will experience moments of both extreme joy and pain throughout our lifetimes, regardless of what kind of childhood we had or how much money we make. If a child breaks their arm, we don’t tell them to suck it up and stop crying because others are dying of cancer. We love and support them, and do our best to ease their pain. Sadness can’t be fixed with a bandage because sometimes it demands to be felt.
“Everybody wants happiness, nobody wants pain, but you can’t have a rainbow without a little rain.”