7 Comforting Quotes to Deal With Sadness…for when there are no other options
Here are 7 comforting quotes to deal with sadness that challenge everything you think you know about it. Let’s steer away from the pithy or glib towards a new goal: to open the possibility for making sadness your friend, the way a skillful teacher hopes to reveal the beauty of a difficult subject by challenging all your assumptions.
This doesn’t mean to be sad all the time! What we want is an experience of sadness that comforts and transforms. Ready? Here are a few of my favs.
An Epic Stoic on Sadness
“There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power or our will.”
I worry about things I can’t control. Honest. Hardest thing in my life. And because I’ve been doing it for so long, I’m too good at it – it’s a habit that’s tough for me to break. Epictetus is very direct about this: if you can’t control it, don’t worry about it. It’s almost like Don’t Worry Be Happy by Bobby McFerrin. Can it be that easy to be happy?
The Roman Empire Falls While A Roman Emperor Thrives
Marcus Aurelius thinks so, and he ought to know because he presided over part of the fall of the Roman empire. While he wasn’t a loser, the world was completely crumbling around him.
“Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself in your way of thinking.”
Again with the thinking! If that dude could find happiness, show us how. Bottom line: change your mind.
But that’s still a bit harsh. I want some empathy here!
Dr Jung the Dualist
“The word ‘happy’ would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness.”
I wanted empathy and you give me Jung? Yes: the universe is dualistic: good/bad, light/dark, happy/sad. I get it. But move me out of my mind and into my heart, please. My heart is where it hurts.
Sad Songs with Elton and Bernie
“Sad songs say so much,” sang Elton John. Now we’re getting there. This is a real gift – this guy really gets me…and my grief:
“If someone else is suffering enough oh to write it down
When every single word makes sense
Then it’s easier to have those songs around.
The kick inside is in the line that finally gets to you
And it feels so good to hurt so bad
And suffer just enough to sing the blues.”
There can be real beauty in suffering. This song makes the case for feeling bad on purpose: it can feel so good to hurt so bad. The trick is suffering just enough….
How much suffering is enough?
So You Wanted to Meet the Wizard?
“Don’t let the sadness from the past and the fear of the future ruin the happiness of the present.”
No one wants to hang with me while I’m living in the past or worried about the future. It takes discipline to stay present, especially when my present gets messed up.
There’s Gold in Grief: Poet David Whyte
“Sometimes it takes darkness and the sweet
confinement of your aloneness
anything or anyone
that does not bring you alive
is too small for you.”
A lot of our resilience comes from relationships that have either ended or need to end. David Whyte offers me gentle assurance that, even in grief, there is treasure waiting for me.
But why does waiting out that grief so often happen alone? How do I overcome this loneliness? How do I reconnect with happiness?
Dr Wayne Dyer and the Secret Promise of Happiness
“When you seek happiness for yourself, it will always elude you. When you seek happiness for others, you will find it yourself.”
Yes, we can silence your worry with willpower, welcome the balance of universal tension that gives our universe its richness, allow the music of grief to play, and stay rooted in the present. That’s a pretty good recipe to reliably get out of our heads and into our solitary hearts.
But the real work – the transformation of sadness to joy – begins when we accept the treasure of our aliveness and seek joy for others. For others. Each of these quotes is about you, not the author. Each one is about your happiness. Use this.
Are you solitary, worried, sad, afraid? Good. You are perfectly ready. Here’s your assignment:
To be happy yourself first seek happiness for others.
More Comfort for Sadness
Think carefully: you may already know how to deal with sadness! These skills are built-in, and they improve with practice. You can work alongside us to help supercharge your process. Contact us here.