Love’s Mandorla

Sadness quietly crept into my life and changed everything. She had visited me before, but this time was different, because I invited her in and asked her what she wanted. And then I listened, really listened.

I had always seen sadness as a negative, a nuisance, something to divert my attention from. But a quiet, sacred voice within told me to refrain from succumbing to my evasive inclination, to hold the moment in respect and to ask the question, “Are you, Sadness, gift or misfortune?”

“I can be either; I will let you choose,” she replied.

I was surprised. She asked questions, as if she wanted to be my friend. In that encounter, it felt to me as if she had always known when to appear and then correspondingly, when to leave.

In this life, sadness is inevitable. Even so, did I want to personalize her, befriend her? After all, I had hid her, shoved her away and even given in to being a faithful martyr, lugging her around. Ultimately though, I befriended her.

In that encounter, I began letting the streams of joy and sadness flow together. Odd as it seemed, when I finally befriended sadness, deep joy was birthed in me. That was the moment too; when my optimism became the more reliable hope.

Is it possible to nurture a loving heart and not hold some sadness? And can any of us be fully alive without dancing, draped in the very joy that we could not know without certain losses in our lives?

The space that negative emotions provide can be difficult, excruciating at times; however, befriending the emptiness finally brings with it, richness, beyond measure.

Sadness invites us to a sobering ritual, reverencing the things that were precious, and now lost. At times Sadness may offer the paradoxical rite of transforming an ill remembrance into a treasured one. At her finest, this negative emotion assists us in considering threshold crossings.

Only in quiet aloneness, through these passages, can we focus on our deepest and most sacred needs, separating them from the paralyzing sighs.

With Sadness, I rarely laugh or mindlessly twirl, but I know that in her, I have a friend who will sit with me through a ceremony of letting go or walk hand in hand with me into another season or new land to explore.

When Sadness knocks on your heart’s door, consider that she may want to gift you; or quite possibly, she is waiting for you to tell her that your grateful heart is full and she will have to come back another time.

Sacred Ruminations*