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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Can I Feel Sad and Grateful at the Same Time?

I recently read a blog about someone who had experienced a bitter disappointment.  It wasn't life-altering, but still deeply saddening and yet this woman then explained away her sadness by comparing her loss to others who seem to have much greater things to grieve.  The thought of "It could be worse," often shames us into denying when we are hurt, sad or disappointed.
I have this in my kitchen to daily remember the good.  Available at Dayspring.
Of course it isn't wise to wallow in our misery and heap more and more pain on ourselves.  But I have learned we have to acknowledge our loss in order to process and move through the emotion, otherwise we land in the place of denial.  Stuffing our emotions down now only means they will pop back up with more power and less control later.

Maybe this Thanksgiving you are experiencing disappointment or sadness.  Perhaps it won't look or feel like celebrations in the past.  Maybe you won't get to visit extended family or it might be your first Thanksgiving where your children are with another parent.

Let me give you permission to feel sad for what you have lost and know that it is okay to feel bad when dealing with a hard situation.  Yes, I'm sure it could be much worse, but that thought doesn't help to process and accept what is.  Accepting your loss allows you to move forward and away from the wounding.  As you identify the ache, you can also note the gifts and find much for which to be thankful.

And as my friend reminded me in her own blog, you can be grateful for what God has given you while being sad about what has been lost.  God is big enough to handle all our emotions, not just the pretty ones.

I'm thankful to you, anyone who read, comments and interacts here.  It really does mean so much!