I was sad as a woman who has been groped and called derogatory things and followed late at night and intimidated and talked down to.
I was sad as a person in an inter-racial marriage, who has dealt with ignorant and sometimes judgemental comments.
I was sad as a person currently waiting on the results of an important medical test, the outcome of which may now determine whether or not I can get insurance in the future.
I was sad for all the people I know who now fear for their own wellbeing and even their lives.
I was sad as a lover of fantasy literature, which endlessly echoes the mantra that love, kindness and goodness prevail.
I was not feeling grateful. But then, I realized, ironically, that I am grateful for sadness. I am grateful that I know and understand that holistic mental health doesn’t just consist of positive emotions. I am grateful that I am able to feel and express a variety of emotions. I am grateful for a country where I have the freedom of speech to express those emotions. I am grateful for my writing passion which gives me an outlet to express those emotions.
Gratitude is important to happiness. But, so is sadness, and so many other feelings. Most importantly, being honest with ourselves and acknowledging the validity of our own feelings is vital to the human experience. It doesn’t mean that we are bitter or hateful or disrespectful. It just means that we feel sad.
So today, I am grateful that I don’t have to feel grateful. That can wait for another day.