In the past week alone, I have received about three comments with the same premise, “You look so happy, your life seems so perfect.” I’m not saying this to brag but I’m saying it because it couldn’t be further from the truth. I’ve never been the prom queen and my life has always been a battle about what I feel and how I should act.
I’ve always thought that being sad was a crime. I always thought that being sad over things that were clearly not meant for me meant I wasn’t being “hopeful” or “positive”. I always thought that crying meant I wasn’t living out the faith I so clearly based my life on. So unintentionally, I found myself putting on masks. I didn’t want people to see that I was hurt out of the fear that being sad meant I wasn’t being grateful. I feared being sad because i have been told countless times to put my head up, be thankful, and soldier on. And on most days, I do solider on. But sadly, this has led to a pattern of bottling up my feelings in order to ignore them.
But today, I came across this truth from the best Pastor on the planet: it’s okay to admit that you’re not okay and that you’re beaten up. In the same way that we don’t require people to make us happy, we must allow ourselves to feel pain without blaming other people for it. It’s not a sin to feel sad, in fact countless characters in the Bible have said that they have felt loneliness, sadness, and even the sting of unanswered prayers. We’re taught to always “think positive” but sometimes all you can do is sit by the sidewalk and just sigh over something you’ve hoped for for so long that didn’t happen. It’s okay to grieve a relationship that has run its course and it’s okay to just be sad.
It doesn’t make you less of a person or doesn’t lessen your faith. In fact, the doubts and the questions should strengthen your faith because if we accepted all that was given without questioning, then it wouldn’t be faith right?
So today, I’m just sad for no particular reason. I’m owning this sadness for once in my life and hoping that when I wake up tomorrow or even before I sleep tonight, the sadness will go away and in accepting this sadness and this god awful rejection, I do hope that I become a better soldier.
Ironically, the more put together my life is, the sadder I am on the inside. Maybe this sadness is the realization that we can have everything on the outside and still be completely empty. So maybe that’s the first step and maybe it’s completely ok to admit that you don’t have it together and maybe this is what makes me human.
But until then, soldier on.