Saturday, June 25, 2016

The Importance of Sadness, Mourning, and Anger

There have been a lot of very saddening, heart breaking, and rage inducing events recently. It has been a really rough few weeks and for many of us, it will take a while to return to something approaching normal. But even as these horrible, miserable things have unfolded, I have seen and heard a lot of people telling people who are upset or angry to "get over it" or "move on", especially on social media. And I think that is totally wrong.

In my opinion, it is incredibly important to accept and feel your emotions, even if-perhaps especially if-they are negative. We need to let ourselves be sad. It's healthy and necessary, for mental health and for our general well being in the long term. We need to go through a process of mourning-whether it is for something as big as the Pulse shooting victims, Jo Cox, Britain exiting the EU, or more personal things like a dead pet, a broken relationship, a lost dream. Don't wallow in misery at the expense of your quality of life and health, but take the time you need until you feel like smiling again. Indulge in lots of self care. Cry if you need to. Lie on the sofa under a blanket bemoaning the state of the world if you need to. Get angry if you need to. And then once you feel better, get up, make time for more self care, and do something about whatever has been making you feel this way. Talk about it. Work for change. Raise awareness. Help others who are feeling the same way.

It is more important than ever that we manage to find the joy and magic in life, and unite to create more of that joy and magic and chase away the darkness and the hate. But denying your feelings of sadness or anger is, in a way, almost denying that anything is wrong. We feel those negative emotions for a reason, and we need to recognise those feelings and why we are having them, not just try to keep going like an emotionless robot. On a personal level, they are an indicator of what is wrong in our lives and in the world, a reminder that we are human, and a vital wake up call. And in terms of politics, denying our emotions and just carrying on "as normal" is the path to becoming desensitised, which is exactly what the media and the darker forces at work in this world want. They want us to meet horrific events with a shrug, and to carry on as if nothing had happened and not talk about it.

So feel whatever you need to feel, and talk about what has upset you for as long as you need to. And don't ever, ever guilt someone for feeling a full spectrum of emotions, and not being happy and cheerful all the time.


  1. Aww, Polly, this is just what I needed to read right now. As well as all the things you mentioned, someone who was my teacher, colleague and friend died quite unexpectedly, and a man round the corner who I often saw walking his dogs was murdered in his own home. I did feel that going to my friend's funeral and chatting to others who knew him helped me a lot. It's been a heck of a month, and I'm taking lots of time to relax and think, and planning some nice things to do this summer. xx

  2. Good thoughts <3 My life has been pretty crazy recently, so this definitely hit home. Hope things are on the up and up for all of us soon!

  3. This is such a good read and so pertinent at the moment. I swear, every time I turn on the news or go on Twitter (which is strangely where I get a lot of my news), there's another awful event happening. It's really disheartening to see it every day and it's so tempting to just become cold to it and accept bad things as the norm. I totally agree that it's important to express your emotions, even if they are more negative. There's nothing wrong with being upset or angry sometimes.

    - Courtney