The Brilliance of “Peaceful Sadness”

There’s a certain feeling that I do encounter sometimes when I reach states of immense pondering or neutrality. I do not know how to describe this feeling with a certain phrase other than “peaceful sadness.” It seems paradoxical by nature; however, I do believe it indeed exists. I believe it is indeed possible to be both at peace with yourself and the world around you, yet simultaneously feel no other emotions except for the tiniest hint of melancholy.

Some might say, “You’re not sad. You just feel happiness in minute amount and you think that that is sadness.” If someone said this to me, I would disagree. I think that if you feel sad, you actually don’t feel happiness in any form in the moment in which you are sad. Sadness, often brings negative thoughts. If one were “peacefully sad” as I call it, they would have reached a point in their emotional spectrum where they are fully aware that they have no reason to feel sadness and yet still feel a bit glum, while acknowledging that they do not feel consciously happy.

When in this state, they also become able to meditate on negative feelings and thoughts without fully embracing the somberness attached to them. This state of mind is quite a unique one. We often like to think of emotions as categories and we sometimes forget that emotions are more like a three-dimensional space in which no one emotion leads directly to another and yet any one emotion can be reached from another.

I actually felt this tonight. What actually sparked this state of mind was simply willing myself to feel this way. Oddly, I enjoy this state of being. It allows me to let my mind wander, while still being fully attached to my current and healthy entity. However, it is quite hard to keep myself there. In fact, if I will myself to feel this way, I require some stimulus to keep me locked in this state of mind. Unsurprisingly, I use music as my stimulus. On the other hand, if I happen to naturally come into this frame of mind, it is because some thought has pulled me there and I need to ponder on it and understand it before I can leave that mind frame.

Interestingly, I would say this emotion (or state of mind really) is more efficient at contemplating and understanding complex topics than, let’s say, “peaceful happiness.” When in a state of “peaceful happiness” (at least for me), I often wish to only think positive thoughts and cannot easily shift my thinking to contemplate topics that are not joyful in their natural context (and remain happy.) The beauty of this grey zone of emotion is that the mind can balance two conflicting forces in order to achieve goals.

In any case, this feeling is a wonderful one. I am not here to downplay or to keep you from avoiding and detesting this feeling. In fact, I encourage you to give it a try. I must caution you however, for it can easily go from “peaceful sadness” to simply sadness. It is a feeling that teeters between something dangerous and some beautiful but if one is to be pulled to one side, let it be beauty (peacefulness.)

Anyway, just wanted to come and talk about that for a minute. This is another one of those posts that are unedited and spark of the moment. I have said all I wanted to say for the moment. Until next time, cheers!


Have you ever reached this grey zone of the emotional space? How has it helped you? Do you think it is a positive thing? I would love to hear your thoughts on the subject. Please leave your comments below.

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2 thoughts on “The Brilliance of “Peaceful Sadness”

  1. I linked these two emotions when travelling back home after a couple of days away with some good friends. Admittedly I was listening to a new music album that spoke out to me better than my own thoughts can sometimes (the wonders of music and lyrics ay). The thoughts may have been stimulated by the music in this situation but I’d say it was only a small nudge towards my own conclusion of “peaceful sadness” and on the most part it’s been the same thoughts and emotions I’ve had over the last months that really got me there. So with this thought I googled those two words and surprisingly found this blogpost that made a lot of sense to me.

    It’s hard to explain in words why I’ve felt peaceful sadness but with reference to this three dimensional space of emotions you write about; the sadness is mixed with a numbness and the peacefulness is mixed with acceptance. It therefore allows me to assess many situations I find myself in or many emotions that I feel whilst being totally disconnected and at peace towards each of them.

    However, I can still feel this peaceful sadness even when I know the source that’s making me sad. I think that’s more of an acceptance of your own emotions towards something and even an understanding of events that have lead to a specific outcome. A controlled sadness?

    “I believe it is indeed possible to be both at peace with yourself and the world around you, yet simultaneously feel no other emotions except for the tiniest hint of melancholy.” – I love this description, thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. NJT,
      First I must thank you for your reply. Honestly, your experience lines up rather well with this phenomenon I’ve termed. I am glad that this post helped you out in understanding this feeling. It is a strange one but it exists.
      I think it can even be healthy to get to this state. As long as you are not consumed by these feelings but can acknowledge them, you will feel a sort of acceptance as you say.
      Thank you again for commenting. 🙂

      Like

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