Emotions of Lent- Sadness

Bible Passage

From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over all the land. About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).

When some of those standing there heard this, they said, “He’s calling Elijah.”

Immediately one of them ran and got a sponge. He filled it with wine vinegar, put it on a staff, and offered it to Jesus to drink. The rest said, “Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to save him.”

And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.

At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people.

When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, “Surely he was the Son of God!”

Many women were there, watching from a distance. They had followed Jesus from Galilee to care for his needs. Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of Zebedee’s sons.

Matthew 27:45-56

Reflection

How do you imagine Jesus’ friends and family were feeling as they watched Jesus on the cross? I can imagine that they were a little bit scared but mostly sad. Here was someone they loved and cared for and they couldn’t protect him from this.

Have you ever felt sad? I am pretty sure all of us have at some point. One of the first things we expect from a baby when they are born is for them to cry because coming into this world is not easy and doesn’t make us feel safe. The world is foreign and change comes with uncomfort and often sadness as we miss what was before.

It was okay for Jesus’ family and friends to feel sad, it was to be expected. Sometimes all we need is a good cry and the safe space to do that, with someone we feel safe with. No one has to act tough all the time, including boys. No one can over show emotion. Emotions are there to be felt and sometimes we just need to feel sad. But if the sadness starts to take over we need to seek the help and guidance of someone else, be that someone you trust or a healthcare professional. There is nothing wrong with seeking help, especially if we are feeling sad.

Reflection for Mum’s

It is so easy as a Mum to want to protect our little ones from all that could harm them or upset them. We are the ones that are quick in there to stop the pain from there most recent tumble or to tell them that everything will be okay. We hide when we are sad, desperate to protect them from the harsh world beyond and let them remain children just a little bit longer. Yet as their biggest role models we are the ones to show them how to cope when they are sad. Because it breaks us to see them sad we do everything in our power to change this (and I am just as guilty of this). But this week I strive to be better in letting my daughter know that sometimes feeling sad is okay. That she doesn’t have to straight away cheer up for the sake of worrying that I might get upset or that even I face times of sadness. The world is often harsh and there are always things to be sad about but that a period of sadness is okay in order that we can then rise up and face the things we can change. And Mum’s (or anyone else reading this) if your sadness is overtaking your life, and you feel like you cannot get out of it, seek help; be it be a trusted friend or healthcare professional. There are people who want to help you and admitting sadness is not a weakness but emotional strength and maturity of knowing when it is time to seek some guidance.

Response

There are often times we feel sad in a week, be it because we have hurt ourselves or because of injustice, and the feeling may come and go in the flash of an eye or stay for longer. Below are just a few ways that we could explore sadness with week at whatever level you feel comfortable to explore it at. Try just one all week or a different one each day in whatever style you desire:

  1. Talk about or write about the things that make you sad. You may wish to talk about some recent news or something more personal . How does it make you feel? And is there anything you can do that makes you feel more positive? Maybe you need a period of time within that sadness and that is okay.
  2. Look at where characters are sad in books and TV. Why are they sad? What do they do about it? Do they seek help or are they able to work through the sadness on their own? You could also create some happy and sad faces that children can hold up when they see or hear a different emotion.
  3. Watch the film Inside Out. This movies is great for all ages (in my opinion but if you have really little children it may be best you check it out before watching it with them) and it explore many emotions. However, in particular it looks at the fact that sadness isn’t always a negative and sometimes we need sadness to be able to really appreciate the joy in our lives.
  4. In what ways do you handle sadness when it becomes a big emotion and is there anything new you could try? For example, listening to music or exercising.
  5. Make a sad monster. Get a paper plate and create a sad face, decorating your monster as you see fit. You could make holes for the eyes to turn it into a mask. Opening up the opportunity to discuss why the monster may be feeling that way.
  6. Print off some pictures of people looking happy or sad and ask the children to separate them into two piles. Discuss why they think the person looks happy or sad.
  7. If you have older children you could explore emotions through slime or playdough. Choose a couple of colours linking emotions to the colour, for example red for anger and blue for sad. Then explain that the child can pick more than one colour at a time and that sometimes we can feel more than one thing at a time and that is okay.
  8. Talk about how you are feeling today. Or create a chart in which people can put how they are feeling each day. You could even try this one at school or where you work.
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