True, there are reasons to be sad most days. The news of deaths in Somalia and ongoing losses in Puerto Rico and California and everywhere where there is suffering from natural disasters or manmade violence makes us sad.
Other things make us sad, too. Disappointments in our work or at school. Regrets about what we now realize we could have done, perhaps should have done.
But today in our family we are sad because Ralph, who belonged to our daughter and her family, has come to the end of his life. He was a rescue dog, about fifteen years old, and was a gentle companion with a sweet nature. Everyone in the neighborhood knew Ralph because his favorite spot was the front yard where he received pats and rubs from many who passed by. None of us were ready for this loss, but I suspect Ralph was.
And so the family said a reluctant good bye, and now is a time to be sad.
Marianne Williamson in her book Everyday Grace, Having Hope, Finding Forgiveness, and Making Miracles retells an old Buddhist story about a monk who cried at his master's grave. He was asked why he was crying. Wasn't he enlightened? He responded, "Because I am sad."
In order to transcend our grief, we need to feel it. "No situation can be transformed until it is accepted as it is."
But some days it is too early to see glimpses of what we are to learn from our sadness, even if it is the gift of becoming more compassionate to others in their grief. Some days are just sad. Some days we are just meant to be sad.
What has made you sad recently? Did you allow yourself to be sad? I would love to know.