My Life with God

Beautifully Sad

The text said, “Beautifully said.” I misread it as “Beautifully sad.”

There is such a thing as beautiful sadness.

We sometimes attach our experience of an emotion to the emotion itself. Of course, we don’t like to be sad, but that doesn’t take away the necessity for sadness at times. No sadness indicates callousness, not a sad-free life. Can we get too overwhelmed and burdened by sadness so that we need help to emerge from underneath the weight and confusion of it all? Yes. But there is a lot of in between, where we are neither calloused nor crushed. And somewhere in that gap is beauty.

Sometimes sadness reminds us that we are real. We have feelings. We have the capacity to experience the world. We are engaged and connected, and when we experience fractures and loss in our circles, we feel sad. We can feel sadness in a more communal way as we experience fractures and loss as communities and society. We can be sad over a loss that isn’t specifically tied to a person but a loss of progress, ability, or opportunity.

To be beautifully sad rarely means we feel beautiful as we are sad. Ugly crying is definitely not pretty. But beauty and pretty aren’t the same things. Beauty has deep roots, and perhaps that’s how we can be beautifully sad—when sadness has deep roots in something more, something beautiful.

I know we can’t always see it, and we definitely cannot feel it much of the time. Moments of beautiful sadness can be a lot, almost too much. The journey of beautiful sadness can be enough, almost abundant, over time.

May you experience the beauty of sadness sometimes.

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