I was pretty excited the day I realized I could watch kids' shows with my little boy (I'm still a fairly new mom, so I'm not tired of them...yet). Channels 7 and 11, just like they were years ago when I was a kid. One of our personal favorites is Daniel Tiger. I love it because it is a tribute to Mr. Rogers, so it reminds me of when I was a kid.
Each episode Daniel, and his various family members and neighbors, sing a different song that teaches some sort of lesson. (The best part is when Jason Mraz sings it at a certain point each episode.) They have a new song each time, each is geared to teach your child a certain thing: "You've got to try new foods 'cause they might taste good!" "When you're feeling frustrated, take a step back, and ask for help," and many more.
One episode was really sweet and made me think. Daniel and his friends sang,
"It's okay to feel sad sometimes. Little by little, you'll feel better again."
I love this.
I used to feel guilty when I would feel sad. I thought I was being ungrateful or childish. I thought to be sad was a sign of weakness. I didn't want to be a "Debbie Downer." I didn't want to be considered "hormonal" or "moody" or any other title we tend to give sadness. I thought I always needed to be bubbly and, if I ever was sad, it needed to be short and hopefully seen by very few.
Thankfully, through time, I've realized we are humans and we were created with all sorts of emotions. It's important for us to listen to our emotions and work through them. All of them. Sadness, jealousy, fear, anger, etc.
Sadness does not equal weakness, it is a powerful emotion that we all experience. (Side note: if you haven't seen "Inside Out," don't rent it. BUY IT. You won't regret it. And, it teaches you all about the roles of happiness and sadness. In fact, I should do a whole other blog post on it. Or 5. Thankfully, my sister wrote one! Read it here.)
Little by little:
The other day, I was pretty upset about something. Even though it was seemingly insignificant, and I felt a little immature that it was upsetting me so, a situation was causing me to feel left out and just S-A-D. My sister knew what was going on and actually texted me the words of cute and silly little Daniel Tiger's song. In that moment, I really appreciated the words, "little by little." There was really nothing I could do to fix the situation, so I just needed to feel sad for a little while. I held onto the thought, "little by little, I'll feel better again." In my case, it only took a day or two to feel much better, but I realize (and have experienced) many situations that take much longer than that. Just hold onto the thought, "little by little." The progress might be slow, but it's still progress.
I've been trying to have a new quote each week hanging in my house for my family to read/look at. (It's week #2, and so far I'm at 100%! ;) ) This week, it reads:
"God didn't design us to be sad. He created us to have JOY!"
God yearns and works for us to be happy, but He also knows life is hard. Sometimes we are sad. There are times of sadness all along the road of happiness. I think this quote by President Uchtdorf (read the full talk here) is reminding us that we are sad sometimes, but we aren't designed to stay that way. We are designed to be very, very happy. (Isn't that a wonderful thought?)
I have realized it really is okay to feel sad sometimes. And, it's after we are sad we can truly appreciate how good it feels to be happy.