The Endless Fall – Choosing Sadness

Thinking about Sadness

Many people have good health, wealth and opportunities for happiness but they choose to maintain what others would perceive as misery. Instead of asking questions about what we need to do to find happiness, maybe we can think about why we choose and seek out sadness.

Personally speaking, there have been many occasions where I’ve been afraid of happiness. If I were to attain happiness, what would happen to destroy it? How long could I be happy for? Do I deserve happiness? Why does happiness feel like something to achieve aside from something to simply be? Really, what does it mean?

On the other hand, sadness is easy to achieve. I can simply be sad and I don’t have to work hard for it. I don’t have to worry about attaining sadness and I certainly don’t have to strive for it. It is just there like an old shoe. I can snuggle up to it like a warm blanket and hide from the world under the veil. I don’t have to explain how I got there as everyone knows sadness. At least as we currently have defined sadness in a common way.

It is so easy to break things. It is so easy to look in the mirror and critique myself. It is so easy to focus on the patch of the lawn that does not grow vs the whole other areas that do.

When we seek out unconditional love, we are looking for acceptance. We are looking for someone to see past our scars, our hurt and pain. We are looking for someone to see past our failings. If we don’t love ourselves unconditionally, we can run towards sadness easily. It reminds me of why some people react so well to service animals. There is nothing but acceptance.

It is easy to jump into a black hole with an endless abyss of sadness and misery. What it would take for someone to save us may go beyond measure and human capability. This is why many people look to some form of religion, the universe, G-d or Gods.

I am not looking to challenge or promote belief here, I am simply stating that we may fall seemingly into an endless hole and we may not be able to come out of it.

For those who seek out comfort in sadness and misery, they may have at least some desire for happiness. What I am questioning continues to poke at the definition of happiness. Sadness, or perpetual misery as articulated by some people create this question. We don’t require drugs to be addicted to fleeting good feelings and happiness relative to our comfort of sadness. In our modern world, we still face the same questions, issues, concerns of our human condition. These are amplified by our technologies and our ability to communicate publicly behind a mask. We may not be anonymous but it still may feel like we are as we type behind the mirrored windows of our devices.

As we have become more connected, we have also found more ways to be disconnected. We do have options and we do have choices. We do not have to put ourselves in a position to fall indefinitely.

Some would say “Don’t tell me what to do with my sadness.”

Some studies show that happiness is at least in part due to our genetics. https://www.trackinghappiness.com/how-much-happiness-is-genetic/ If this is true, whose to say that sadness or other states of being are also in part due to genetics. Do people have a natural comfort in the state of sadness. Do they need happiness or was this something that sociologically we all are taught to want?

If we were to consider natural sadness, I wonder how the health community would respond. Sadness drives and inspires people to do great things.

While it may not seem positive, the ideas associated with positive and negative may not be aligned with our natural affinity. If we stop to consider sadness as a natural and desired state, it is possible to recognize that some people do not want happiness as others may define it. They may be content in their place and space which in some way aligns with their desired state of being.

I’ll put this in the same category as telling people what to do with their lives. You should try this or that. The “if I were you..” comments. Some people love jumping out of planes, some love horror movies, some love dogs and some love insects. These are all very different. What makes one person happy may make another unhappy. Regardless, it is interesting to consider that some people choose to be sad and may be happy in their sadness because they feel comfortable and acquainted with it.

The reason I chose the topic of this post today is because I myself have made the mistake of assuming what would make someone happy. It is important as both a learning exercise and a lesson for others to consider that we do not have shared qualia. This means that as much as I’d love to feel someone else’s experience, I can’t. They cannot feel mine either. We are together in our aloneness but we can share thoughts and ideas and consider this as we engage each other.

2 Replies to “The Endless Fall – Choosing Sadness”

  1. With respect Howie for your feelings, I think what you described as happiness could be just the reverse. It is not as much receiving unconditional love as giving others unconditional love. I think this is the key to happiness that we humans forget because it is all about our feelings which subjects us to pain beings bad. But the fine line is pain and suffering out of love, is sacrificing or sacred as that is how G-d showed us how he loves us.

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  2. Great post Howie. Made me think. Is it genetic? Unconditional love? Not sure there is one answer, in fact if sense that there is not one answer as we are all unique. I get happiness from loving others [my moto is: To love is to make the time] and that comes in various forms. It’s ok to be sad, i lost my brother and was sad. Well, thanks agin for making me think.

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