Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Happy and Sad

I used to think you couldn't be happy and sad at the same time.

When my children were young, I found myself deep in a pit of depression. But, for a long time, I didn't recognize that for what it was. I could still laugh. I could still recognize humor. So I thought that, if that were the case, then I couldn't be depressed.  Wouldn't I just be sad all the time? That's what I thought it was.

Or the time that a very good friend of mine died early and unexpectedly. On the trip to go to her funeral, we laughed. We thought of all the things that were uniquely "her" and we laughed a lot. And was that somehow sacrilegious to her memory? That we could be so broken over her death and yet so filled with laughter for her life?

And so I've learned that you can be sad and you can be happy, and both of those things can exist at the same time, in the person, in the same place. You can be sad about one thing, and happy about another, and they don't cancel each other out. You can even be happy and sad about the very same thing.

They're both true.

This is okay. It is perhaps the beauty of the human experience that we're not just one thing. We are complex and layered and sometimes feel or say or do things that seem completely conflicting.  And yet they're all true, jumbled up inside of us.

And maybe that is us.  Jumbled up, confusing, but beautiful.

So today, I embrace the happy. And I embrace the sad. I embrace the mad. And I embrace the grateful. And I accept and appreciate that all these things can exist inside me all at the same time.

And it's beautiful.

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