Why Being Sad Can Be So Good For You

Have you ever wanted to not feel a negative emotion, like sadness or anger?   

I certainly have!

Just this past weekend, I learned, again, what happens when I am not completely authentic with my emotions.   

I was completing master-coach training with Martha Beck. The training was capped off with an amazing retreat at a gorgeous horse ranch in the Blue Ridge Mountains.  

One exercise I was asked to complete involved standing near a horse in a round pen – a horse I had never met. Before entering the pen, I was instructed to think about a clear intention with the horse.   

My intention was to “connect and play” with him. 

When I entered the pen, I petted the horse, walked near and far from him, and I tried to coax movement.

The horse wouldn’t budge.

When the facilitator started asking me questions about other things happening in my life, including a situation with one of my kids, I burst into tears. 

The horse immediately walked across the barn and came up to nuzzle me.

After connecting with the horse, I was able to easily direct the horse throughout the pen using my energy. 

It was a powerful moment. 

Horses are super-sensitive animals and know when you are not congruent with your feelings. 

While I had the intention to “connect and play” with the horse, it was almost impossible to create that intention while I was feeling very sad about a situation.   

Once I was authentic about how I was feeling – and not trying to force a different feeling – the horse complied. I was able to easily “connect and play” with him, which was my original intention. 

And you know what else happened? My sadness passed.

But the truth is, once we acknowledge all our feelings, the good and the “bad,” they become more manageable and can help to clearly guide us.

So often, we run from our true feelings because they can feel overwhelming, and we don’t want to feel them. 

Don’t run from how you are “really” feeling. Allow it – and watch how quickly it can pass.

To all you moms out there … Happy Mother’s Day! 

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Kathy McCabe
Master Certified Life Coach