Four Ways Depression can be a Blessing:

{Here is my original post that I shared over at The Shine Project this past Thursday:}
Hello Shiners!  My name is Jessi and I blog over at Hopes and Dreams. 
I Am:
And I am one happy lady.  I have a compassionate husband, a son sent straight to my arms from Heaven’s, and a beautifully simple life that overwhelms me with gratitude. After all, these are the things that life is all about. 
But today I want to talk about something else.  I want to discuss a topic that is avoided all too often in life, with it’s pressure and expectation—on women particularly—of sporting a cheery disposition.  What I want to discuss, though, is something that is just as real and important as embracing joy.  Today I want to talk about being sad.
Yes, the world is full of cynics.  Yes, too many people are selfish.  And yes, we could all benefit from looking on the bright side of things.  But I hate to think that someone who is struggling for one reason or another–or for no reason at all–might not feel allowed to share those feelings for fear of inconveniencing someone else.  I would crumble at the thought of someone feeling alone in their sadness.  After all, life is also about helping lift one another and lending an empathetic ear and a shoulder to cry on.  It’s about helping each other shine, even when our spirits feel tarnished and torn.  And no matter how perfect a life may seem, everyone feels sad sometimes.  I have been there.  Recently.  And sometimes I still go there, for reasons I can’t really explain.  But as I’ve experienced and explored different emotions, there is one thing I have learned for certain:  It is okay to be sad sometimes.  And here’s why:
Experiencing sorrow teaches us to be more empathetic to others who are struggling.
No one ever “knows” what someone else has experienced, but life gives us each our own reference points of pain.  When a heart has known pain, it can remember that experience and empathize with others as they describe their own pain.  By so doing, hearts are knitted together and both are buoyed up. 
Experiencing sorrow teaches us of our true character.
Abigail Adams, wife of Founding Father John Adams, said it best in a letter to her son:

“These are the times in which a genius would wish to live.  It is not in the still calm of life that great characters are formed.  The habits of a vigorous mind are formed in contending with difficulties.  Great necessities call out great virtues.  When the mind is animated by scenes that engage the heart, those qualities that would otherwise lay dormant wake into life and form the character and the statesman.”

Experiencing sorrow teaches us how to let others serve us.
Those who have served others know the value those tender experiences have on a heart.  Allowing someone to give of themselves to you is one of the greatest gifts that can be given.  Additionally, as the recipient, we are humbled and tenderized, which is extremely valuable in the healing process.  So everyone wins!
Experiencing sorrow teaches us about hope.
One thing I’ve learned from past trials is that things always get better.  Even when I have felt that they never could.  There is great empowerment in taking the lessons you have been given in life and actually applying them when they are most needed.  In the depths of despair, we can remember that it will only be for a small moment in the grand scheme of things, and that one day—soon—our hearts will heal.  And that realization in our sorrow is the first step to that healing. 
While life truly is beautiful, and can be the majority of the time—and I sincerely hope yours is—let’s remember to cherish the times when our hearts are heavy.  We can’t discount our feelings because society expects us to always be smiling.  After all, there is still so much beauty in rain clouds and windstorms.  We can experience a beauty all our own in our darkest times.  And recognizing that beauty will guide us like a compass today, through the rain and the wind, until we feel the sun on our cheeks tomorrow.



  1. Sierra says:

    Wow. I know (and I think others) can relate to this wholeheartedly. I struggle with this quite often. Thanks for sharing this.
    P.S. I would love to do a button swap….I’ll email you back soon! Hah

  2. Sierra says:

    Wow. I know (and I think others) can relate to this wholeheartedly. I struggle with this quite often. Thanks for sharing this.
    P.S. I would love to do a button swap….I’ll email you back soon! Hah

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