Happy to Be Sad?

April 14, 2008 | 21 Comments »

Okay, I didn’t want two tv posts in a row, but I can’t stop thinking about the girl interviewed on Dateline late last month. 

Did anyone see the family whose teenage daughter was injured in an auto accident where five other girls died?  She sustained severe brain injury and they sat by her bedside for five weeks before they realized this wasn’t their daughter. 

This was one of the other girls in the vehicle that everyone else thought was dead.  The identity of the two girls were mixed up.

That’s what the show was about – the other family getting the phone call that the daughter they thought they’d buried was alive and in the hospital. 

Incredible story, but what was most amazing to me was something the surviving misidentified girl said in response to a question about how it felt to be cared for by strangers who were calling her the wrong name. 

She said she didn’t remember any of that; had absolutely no awareness of it.  She didn’t remember the accident at all, and barely remembers even going to work that day.

She went on to say that it was some time before she could feel any emotion at all.  I’m thinking that car wreck must have done a number on her brain, or it was some sort of survival mechanism that led to her emotional disengagement.

But she talked about happy she was the day she cried again.  I don’t know specifically what made her sad, but something did, and it made her cry.  She said she was relieved to feel emotion again.

I never heard anyone more convincingly talk about their gratitude for “negative” emotions.  I totally got it.

I talk about this a lot – about how we’d be bored to tears if we didn’t get to feel the full range of emotions.  That it’s often the “negative” emotions that make the positive ones so enjoyable.  But I never realized that even just having NO emotions would be a flat, lifeless experience.  That just being able to be sad again would be incredible relief. 

Did anyone see the clip?  I’d love to hear your recollection and thoughts on it if so …

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21 Responses to “ Happy to Be Sad? ”

  1. Rick says:

    I LOVE that you’re stepping in to this one, Jeanette.

    Firstly, for those that want to see the Dateline interview, it’s in parts at youtube here:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-nvuAsNP3T4&feature=related

    Now to my point:

    I resonate so much with this post Jeanette. When I witness the best of me or anyone else, it has not been the pleasure or ease in our lives that created it.

    Now having said that, I also acknowledge that without ease and pleasure, there is no room for our beauty and wisdom to grow or to manifest at the right time either.

    I LOVE how we are so PERFECT as we are: everything we are are born with and use combines to be a perfect tool for experiencing and growing.

    And, remembering your experience with chocolate, I think you might resonate with my own experience that while dessert is AWESOME, we can’t survive for long on an exclusive diet of it.

    The Universe is so loving that it keeps leading us back to our own health.

    And then there is Love. What an extrordinary relationship there is between Love and those feeling and experiences thath ‘draw blood’.

    Anyway, these are just MY thoughts, but I so much appreciate your wisdom and presence her so that I and so manny others may benefit.

    Thank you!

    Know joy!

    Rick

  2. Leslie says:

    I tend to be a very tolerant person, so the pattern is tolerate, tolerate, tolerate and then have a meltdown. It seems to build up so that it looks like the meltdown comes out of nowhere.
    I used to be embarrassed by my meltdowns or any emotional outcry. I mean be stoic, be ladylike and certainly don’t draw any attention to yourself.
    So now that hormonal life has destroyed any illusion of having the appearance of never having a hair out of place I am now grateful for the times I meltdown and be ridiculous.
    From a law of attraction point of view it’s a major clean-up of thoughts and vibes that aren’t serving me and it seems to help me contact my heart’s needs and desires, which I buried well.
    What I am actually beginning to realize is that emotions are meant to be moved through, for me in the past I have had a holding pattern on some emotions, particularily sadness. I would feel sadness and think oh I have to stay here.
    Now I don’t think or act that way. When sadness comes up for me I move through it, I walk through it and with a timeframe in mind – like in this lifetime!
    Truthfully for me emotions have always been like I farted in public and I am hugely embarrassed. But progressing on with life I have gotten over that and now I notice when emotional fires come up I have gifted myself with insight because I have got caught up in a storyline or perception that my spirit is saying is not serving my highest good.

    Love Leslie

  3. Thanks for the link, Rick. Now that you point it out, I can easily see how it isn’t the pleasure or ease that brings us to our best. Interesting observation, considering pleasure and ease is what many aspire to.

    Hmm.

    Good food for thought.

    Here’s to our continual and eternal perfection! 🙂

  4. Leslie, I love it! “Grateful for meltdowns and ridiculousness!” ha ha! What freedom and liberation, huh?

    Congrats on letting your emotions serve and guide you. That’s a big pattern to change, and it sounds like an overdue one. I especially appreciate your generous time frame for moving through sadness. Way to set yourself up for success!!

    You’re my hero in many ways, Leslie. Thanks for sharing yourself here!

  5. Leslie says:

    I feel the same way about you Jeannette. Thank you.
    I watched the dateline show thanks to Rick and what a story, that was some contract those two families had with one another. The one family did the intense immediate grieving for the two families and the other family did the intense tending to the broken body for both families. As if they agreed to help one another with their strengths for awhile.
    Imagine loving a stranger with such intensity and devotion, I would imagine there would be no way you could stop loving that person after you discovered she was not who you thought she was. You would have experienced love has no boundaries big time by that time. It seems to me in the bigger picture no mistakes were made just a whole lot of healing and profound connections being made.

    Love Leslie

  6. Leslie says:

    P.S. I guess what I question is was it really mistaken identity. Who is to say that Laura wasn’t there as well maybe even in that broken body for awhile. Love comes in many different services, we just see the tip of the iceberg.

    Love Leslie

  7. Leslie, I couldn’t agree more – what a wonderful opportunity to practice, to EXPERIENCE unconditional love for a complete stranger. Yeah, I didn’t think of it that way – but how beautiful!

    What also trips me out is the story of coming back from the “dead.” You know, there are lots of examples of that (Jesus’ resurrection, near death experiences, that time with Sadie which is a story I don’t repeat, etc.) -this is another one of many.

    It’s amazing how many “limiting” beliefs we hold when we really look for them, isn’t it? Like – how long our bodies are supposed to last and how we can’t walk through walls and such. SO much room for opportunity when we really start having fun with this deliberate creation thing! lol

    Thanks for posting, Leslie. Your perspective is always an enlightening one.

  8. I too watched the Dateline report and was fascinated by it. There were so many lessons to learn. I think that it is so amazing that once we have a belief we will always look for things that support our belief and rationalize away things that don’t support what we believe. And there were many examples in this story. The parents were told that it was their daughter that was in the hospital bed and they believed that. When they noticed that her teeth were different, they simply said, “how odd the the accident changed her teeth.” Then when she could identify everyone in a picture of her and her friends they said, “that proves that our girl is getting better.” Then when she said the phrase “false parents” they again dismissed that as a lingering effect of the accident.
    To me, that is what the law of attraction is all about because what we believe becomes our reality, and if we want to change our reality, we have to change what we believe, EVEN WHEN IT IS OUR NATURE TO LOOK FOR THINGS THAT SUPPORT WHAT WE ALREADY BELIEVE.
    In my case for example. My greatest desire is to be married. But I have a deep seated belief that “all the good ones are taken.” And everywhere I go I find attractive MARRIED women to support that believe. Even though logically I know that they can’t ALL be “taken,” I seem to be blind to only those things that support my deep seated belief.
    Anybody got any pointers on how to change what I believe?

  9. Rick says:

    Okay, the Universe has smacked me upside the head and reminded me that it is ANY experience that we are willing to learn from that teaches us. It used you guys to do it.

    There are no good or bad experiences. Just people who buy into limiting beliefs. (moi)

    Thank you guys. Really

  10. Wow, good point, Robert. How easy it is to see what we expect or WANT to see. Hmm.

    Yeah, I got a pointer on changing your belief. Find some new words that sum up the story (or belief) you’d rather be telling. And start telling it. Don’t let reality stop you.

    AND – use the first half of the http://www.psych-k.org process … give three answers to each of these four questions:

    (Think of your goal, imagine it’s happened.)

    What do you see that shows you you’ve achieved this?
    What do you hear others saying that show this is achieved?
    What do you say to them once you’ve achieved this?
    What do you feel (physically or emotionally) once you’ve achieved this?

    It’s a powerful vibe-shifter. You do that once a day and you’ll start seeing good ones that aren’t taken. 😉

  11. And Rick – what was that about? Do tell!

  12. Leslie says:

    We can certainly learn from these families who made their perceptions work for them at their time of need.
    I was thinking of Robert’s core belief that all the good ones are taken and thinking but we can always put in a clause.
    Here it is Robert…”All the good ones are taken except the one coming my way!”
    Don’t you love it, it’s like stepping over the negative talk and probably as you get excited about the “clause”
    you will fuel less and less energy on the first part.
    So there you go as soon as that old thought enters your head add the clause.

    Love Leslie

  13. Thank you Leslie. I LOVE IT!
    You’ve heard of the movie, “The Santa Clause?” Well, I’m going to call this my Angel Clause.

  14. Trust Leslie to offer an Angel Clause. 🙂

    Nice way to sidestep tricky gremlins! I’ll be using it myself next time the opportunity arises.

    Thanks for an engaging discussion, Leslie and Robert!

  15. Nicholas says:

    Though I didn’t think of it that way at the time (as though it were oh so long ago!), I grabbed on to “Something’s Coming” from West Side Story (which I think was mentioned in a different post’s comments) as a way around the very difficulty Robert is experiencing. Well, not the same issue, but the problem of getting around core beliefs that even the brain agrees doesn’t make sense, and being OK with not knowing what’s coming – just realizing that it’s good.

  16. Nicholas, your comment is brilliant and reminds me of something Pete Carroll (USC head coach) said in an interview last year. He said he “lives life as if something good is about to happen.”

    What a great vibe! We’ve all had that feeling before, right? Like when we did really good on a test and we know we earned an A, or when we had a REALLY good date and we know a second one’s coming, etc.

    Just thinking/knowing there’s something/someone great around the corner is a nice way to let it in.

    Great post, Nicholas! Thanks for joining the conversation!

  17. Paul says:

    Me, too, Nicholas! (I used to think it was a little weird so I’m glad to hear that I’m not weird.)

    I find songs and certain music to be a great way to amp up my vibe. My current favorite is “Let the Joy Rise” by Abigail, especially the club remix. That sure drowns out my negative self-talk and reverses bad vibe spirals before they can get a hold.

    I also love Leslie’s “clause” to short-circuit the initial negative belief. I’m going to have to consciously try that technique.

    And, Robert, a game like to play when I’m in a similar situation (but with a different issue) is to marvel at–for instance–how many attractive women there are who want to be [happily–my addition for me] married. “Wow! Who’d’ve thought?!” Sometimes, if I can allow myself to get excited by that thought, it’s a short step to being grateful for recognizing them. If I can really get myself going, the Universe seems to supply me with many more encounters and I can then hopefully use that feeling and “overlay” it (I think that’s the Abraham term) onto marvelling at how many available “attractive women who want to be etc., etc.” A nice side effect, for me, is that in that state of feeling I’m less self-conscious (and, therefore, less of a social clod) when I do cross paths.

    But, again, thank you, Leslie, for a handy tool that I’m sure will help nip some of my unhelpful thinking in the bud!

  18. Zoe Routh says:

    Geez J, I’ve been missing your posts! I’ve been immersed in my latest project, but it’s so nice to read your awesome stuff again.

    Sending you much appreciation,

    Zoe

  19. Nicholas says:

    Aw, thanks, Jeannette! I’m just cheery about having something to contribute! Loads of wonderful thoughts and ideas are swirling around on your blog. What a great place!

    Paul, if you’re weird, we’ll be weird together! Though I hesitate to reference myself too overtly here, I’ve been collecting song lyrics on my own little journal with a running title of “The Lyrics of Possibility”. It’s not just music that makes me feel great – there’s any number of songs that do that – but songs I love that specifically have to do with good vibe/manifestation/related topics. So far I’ve posted:
    “Something’s Coming” (from West Side Story, by Stephen Sondheim)
    Higher Power (by Boston)
    and a curious pairing of Natasha Bedingfield’s “Unwritten” and Aerosmith’s “Dream On”

    I’m going to have to look up “Let the Joy Rise.”

  20. That’s as beautiful an example of deliberately managing thought as any I’ve seen, Paul. Thanks for sharing that!

    And Nicholas, are you talking about a mashup?! Where can I hear the “curious pairing” you referenced? I’m off to listen to Abigail for now …

    Thanks for all the great info, guys!!

    PS – Zoe, so nice to hear from you again! Congrats on your latest product launch! Maybe you could post a link here to it next time you check in?

  21. Nicholas says:

    Heh. No, not an actual mashup. That would be something, wouldn’t it? I just noticed that the songs’ lyrics are… well, not 2 sides of a coin, exactly, but they complement and augment each others’ sentiments. It was interesting to me, so I posted them as The Lyrics of Possibility, parts 3a and 3b.

    Hm, speaking of mashups, I seem to have done something wrong with the italics in my last post. How embarrassing.

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