For a few very hard years this word was my mantra.
The word means
-undismayed; not discouraged; not forced to abandon purpose or effort
-undiminished in courage or valor; not giving way to fear
But the truth is, I was often dismayed by everything that had taken place, and I did battle discouragement. I battled fear and doubts. I hurt and was angry, and sometimes "undaunted" sounded more like a mockery than a mantra, and I was determined to be real about all of it in these posts, thus the name, Undaunted Reality. More than that, though, I was determined to live undaunted, not because I'm so great or strong, but because my God is, and no matter what this world looks like, He is the only reality that matters.
I pray I live the reality of Him beautifully undaunted.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

The Sad Fact...or the Fact of Sadness

Today my brother and I took the kids to see Inside Out, the new Pixar movie. Let me just say, the trailer lies. It makes it look all cute and funny, and there are parts that are, but the movie as a whole is heavy and a bit dark. And yet, it is a good movie. It is a needed movie.

In the movie, Riley has been uprooted from her home in Minnesota to live in San Francisco due to her dad's work. Really, that is the whole thing about Riley. The real movie is about what happens inside Riley. The main characters are her emotions: Joy, Anger, Fear, Disgust, and Sadness. In Riley's life, Joy has always had the controls. Riley is happy and easy going and...Joy-full. All the other emotions are good with this. However, after the move, there is a problem. Sadness starts touching things she shouldn't touch. Memories stop being happy and turn sad, and no one can figure out how to turn them back. Then--oh, my lands--the most horrible thing happens. Riley cries in front of people. So, the emotions do what people tend to do. They try to stop Sadness from touching things. They try to keep her busy reading books, stick her in a "box" which in this case is a circle, and keep her distracted. No matter what they do, though, Sadness keeps wandering around touching things, and Riley becomes...sad.

Now, I'm not going to give you all the details or powerful imagery because that is just cool detail by the writers. The powerful moment happens when Riley's imaginary friend realizes how much things have changed and consequently how much he's lost and will never have, and he begins to cry. Joy jumps right in to make him feel better, to see the bright side, to distract him with something else. Nothing helps. Then Sadness sits down by him, listens to his broken heart, and says, "That is sad. Your heart must heart" (I forget the exact words, sorry, but you get the point), and she hugs the friend while he sobs, and on the other side of the sobbing, he's better.

And Joy gets it.

Sometimes the only way to being better is through sadness.

Isn't sadness the right way to feel when things have changed so much and you realize what you had hoped for and dreamed of simply aren't going to happen? Isn't sadness the right response when all the things you loved are left behind and missing them is so great that instead of feeling joy when you remember them, it simply aches because you want them back?

In the movie, Joy and Sadness end up away from headquarters trying to find their way back...trying to find Riley's way back to being happy. It's no mistake the two are together, and it's no mistake they are both trying to make Riley happy again. You'll never have real joy for what you have until you feel the sadness for what you've lost.

If you go back and read my blogs or my journal, you'll see where I often talk about the importance of grieving. One cannot move forward unless one grieves. But until today, I didn't really understand what grieving really meant. I had in my mind that grieving meant addressing the anger and denial and coming to grips with the new reality. It does, and I did. But there is another vital part I needed. I needed to be sad.

One time I made the mistake of telling a person I considered a good friend at the time that I had been weepy for three straight days, and she informed me I needed to go get "happy pills". I asked, "You expect me to be coming out of all that has happened and be happy/" She replied, "Well, I just don't think you should be sad."

Except, sometimes, sad is exactly what a person should be.

And "happy" isn't a pill. It's a place where sadness does its job and lets the heart move on.

May you always choose to grieve--and be sad--well...

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