Someone recently asked me if I was always happy. Certainly not. But I do think I am almost always in a state of well-being. One can have a feeling of well-being even when feeling sad.
Well-being comes from so many arenas. One of course is pleasure, the pleasure of something yummy or cozy or funny. But pleasure is fleeting and dependent upon the thing or event or person who is pleasing us.
A more profound sense of well-being comes from being actively engaged in whatever you’re doing. A deep sense of serenity comes when you feel that you are one with the music…or one with the whatever. Some of the most rewarding time spent, for me, has been when I am so absorbed by the project that it is as if time has stopped. Then of course I see a clock and L.O.L. realize a ton of time has flown by. When you are engaged and focused you are able to absorb the experience more fully and enjoy it in a deeper way than the way you enjoy pleasure. And yes, you can be sad and yet engaged, sad and yet have a feeling of well-being.
In the midst of being deeply engaged in a task, well-being is at its highest. Perhaps even higher, if the activity is creative. Perhaps even higher, if the activity is for a greater good. Both creativity and working for the good beyond ourselves, make us feel worthwhile…worthy of love and of belonging. Both help us to answer, “yes” to the question “Are we good enough?”
So when experiencing sad, I think you just need to experience it. No need to try to make it go away or deny the feeling. But, it is equally important to decide to continue to do the things you need to do, and to do them well. Know that you will gain a sense of well-being through the doing.
P.S.: I hope you’ll take a look at my Children’s Book of Optimism: