Can sadness be not only appropriate but productive? Sometimes there is a gulf of misunderstanding or non-communication between us and someone that we love very much. It can create sadness. What to do? This whale thinks that there are times when sadness is appropriate, in a context of appreciating the abundance of life. Then the sadness can be experienced and shared in a productive way.
I feel sad when I think of my relationship with my daughter. It’s a sadness that we are not closer, that she still doesn’t fully trust me or want to share my life or the aspects of my world that mean the most to me. If it had a color it would be dark blue; if that color congealed into a shape it would be a whale.
Whale: “I’m swimming happily in the ocean. My nature is that I’m a solitary animal. The ocean is a big place, but I communicate with other whales with song and sometimes we travel together in pods. So right now I am hunting for krill and squid and I’m happy!
I am perfectly adapted to my environment. I feel joyful. Life is abundant. I don’t lack for anything. I feel supported by my world. When I want companionship I can find it and when it’s not there I am still content.”
“I personify John’s ability to experience balance, equilibrium, and equanimity in his life.”
Whale: “On a scale of zero to ten I would score myself a ten in confidence. What’s there to be scared of? I know about fishermen and whale hunters. If I get caught I get caught. I can’t really worry about that. I have probably an eight in compassion toward myself and the same toward others. They are all trying to get along just like me. I am a ten in wisdom because I’m sufficient to my niche in the ecosystem. I would score myself tens in acceptance, inner peace, and witnessing.”
Whale: “If John scored like me I don’t think he would be much different. I think his sadness is pretty appropriate and healthy.”
Whale: “My life is very simple. If he were to live his as I live mine he would not get too identified with his thoughts and feelings, like he practices doing when he meditates. It would help him to do that more in his waking life.”
Whale: “I recommend that John observe his thoughts and feelings and know that he is on the right track. It’s good to know that he has a plan about expressing his feelings toward his daughter. I am in his life as a way of reframing that sadness as something that is natural, harmonious, and a part of his greater self. He can benefit from becoming me when a strong feeling like sadness comes up. To do so will make it relatively insignificant, yet not repress it. Becoming me will help to put the thoughts and feelings into a broader context that will help him not to take them too seriously.”
John: “What I heard myself say is that there is an emerging potential that accepts my sadness as a natural and appropriate response but does not dwell on it or allow it to define life. I will benefit if I focus on the big picture and trust that I will find a way to share my feelings that will work for both of us.