Room for Sadness


By Refuge Intern, Julie Burge

Sorrow is better than laughter, for by sadness of countenance the heart is made glad. Ecclesiastes 7:3

In Chip Dodd’s book, The Voices of the Heart, he explores and examines eight core emotions. One of them is sadness. He asserts that “If you wish to experience life to the fullest, your heart requires that you be willing to feel sadness. Sadness is the feeling that speaks to how much you value what is missed, what is gone and what is lost.” This perspective coupled with the verse from Ecclesiastes acknowledges an important truth. It is only through feeling the deepest sorrows that we are also able to feel the heights of joy.

Sadness from Disney Pixar's Inside Out

In today’s society, there is not a lot of room for sadness, or grieving, for that matter. Most of the time, permission to grieve is only extended to those who have experienced an obvious loss, such as a death. And oftentimes even then, there is a time limit for how long one should grieve and express sadness. For other types of loss (a miscarriage, a beloved pet, a breakup, a job, etc…), most people are told they “should just get over it”, or “it could’ve been worse”, or “God will never give you more than you can handle”. While these comments are probably meant well, the truth is they ignore and avoid the truth of what is going on in one’s heart. It can be scary to surrender to the waves of grief as they wash over us, however, by acknowledging the truth of what we are experiencing and feeling, we are ushered into a place of peaceful acceptance over time. This acceptance “is a result of working through the pain of life problems, in hope that good will come”.

If you are in a place of needing to work through the pain to get to the good, the counselors at The Refuge Center for Counseling would love to walk beside you in your journey. For more information, please visit us at or call us at 615.591.5262.

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