I bear a few swords and other various weapons.
I am a collector of war and a collector of words.
Sadly, (meh) I have found seasons of life that I allowed circumstances to consume my joy and reap a harvest of sadness. The irony is that most people claim that my joy and attitude are infectious slayers of sadness. Funny how our self-perception is often a lie.
There is a time to be sad. Sadness is also a part of a healthy human experience. Sadness is unavoidable. The questions that come in the realm of tears are at times unrelenting. “So what?” “What now?” “How long?”, “What do I do?”, “Will I ever be happy?”
These moments feed the cycle of lowness and depression, causing apathy and surrender to “what may come” rather than asking for help. While not everyone has these same feelings, in the same way, every person deals with them and some people don’t “feel” the drag of their thoughts like others.
When I say I am the “slayer of sadness” it’s a fun way of garnering attention to one of my primary goals: to help others navigate the emotional exchanges of life. For a time, I provided across-the-desk counseling for thousands of people. Other people’s thoughts and emotions are easier to see than my own. I even worked in my professional education to secure more tools to assist me, yet, as my story unfolded, I realized that there are a few things that truly help and some that just don’t.
I am not a magician. Well, I am, but I do not have real powers. I am not very smart but I love learning. So, not every person’s sadness is approached or helped equally or in the same manner. So what are the weapons that slay sadness?
I’m glad you asked. (You wondered about weapons from the onset didn’t you?)
Hope – In whatever realm of darkness, there is always a light, somewhere. When we are able to listen to other people’s concerns we are better equipped to help navigate them toward an answer, not always a resolution. Hope is a promise of better things, and answers. Hope pressures the despair to know it is temporal. This is a key to slaying sadness; knowing that the dark is fleeting.
Wisdom – When we are lost on a trip it feels good to ask someone local, or a seasoned journeyman for directions. We can trust what they say because they have been where we are going. This is a simplified way of understanding wisdom. Wisdom rests on the foundation of sound repetition, sound resolution, and sound hope. “Hey, you’ve been here before, remember? You’re gonna make it!”
Humor – I laugh in the face of despair! Not really, but learning to laugh at humorous things helps. It may not be a laughing matter when we find ourselves alone in the woods being chased by a snake, but it sure is funny when the snake falls off the cliff into the alligator pit. We are surely able to laugh that we ripped our pants, but we made it out alive! Humor equips the tears of sadness with a reprieve. It gives a small break in the pressure of darkness, shines a light, then makes the journey a bit more palatable. Even when the humor falls into the “funny, not funny” category. It’s still a smile.
Guidance – Giving guidance is like giving directions. From wisdom flows good advice. Advice without wisdom is not guidance, it’s a nuisance and often dangerous. Guidance partners with DIRECTION and PURPOSE and carries a weight of HONOR and RESPONSIBILITY. When we give good advice, centered on solid foundations, other people begin to not only hope but see. This seeing is the stuff goals and dreams are made of!
Passion – This may sound odd, but passion is something that we share. It is not something that we can give to others. In 2008 I said, “We cannot give to others that which we do not personally possess.” So, without our own passions, we are helpless to invite and empower others toward their passions. I like saying that our passions petition the heart and mind to see and discover value with focus.
In another post, I will expound on seven other areas I feel round out this idea.
In short, the next is intimacy, taking the one and partnering with others with a common goal. Next is understanding, partnered with kindness, empathy, and patience. Finally, it is advocacy. Not just on our part as slayers of sadness, but also teaching others to stand and help those around them too.
When you are what you are and you give what you have and it doesn’t help others, it is not on you. Empowering people is about equipping them to see and savor that which is beyond them. It is about expressing the opportunity, not a pipe dream, to discover the beauty of striving while suffering. In the end, we are the gift to those who want it. We cannot be THE answer.
Which of these most resonates with you? How do you see yourself making a difference in the lives of others?