The Thing About Sadness
In the new movie Inside Out, Sadness is a problem. She is the opposite of Joy. She is the one no one wants to be around, the one who isn't allowed to touch memories for fear of destroying the happiness surrounding them. At one point she is delegated to standing in a circle that is drawn on the ground as an attempt to contain her. But it's impossible to contain Sadness, change it into something it isn't, such as Joy, or ignore it, as anyone who has ever felt sad can tell you. In the movie, without even meaning to, Sadness can't help touching the things around it, creeping its way into the happiness that Joy has worked so hard to make. But the thing about Sadness is, it needs to be felt. It needs to be heard and validated. It needs to be sat with and paid attention to. In our work with children and families, loss can take many different forms. Helping a child process loss, grieve and express feelings surrounding loss is crucial to allow for healing to begin. In the movie, Joy finally gets this and once she lets Sadness have a role and be felt, she discovers that there is room for both of them in life's memories. It's no wonder I found myself both crying and smiling by the end of the movie.