There is this sadness inside me that I’m not in touch with at all. I know it’s my ego. But I get so tired of people telling me that I look sad. When I feel happy they still tell me that there is this sadness there too. I just don’t know what to do about it.
Do one thing. Whenever anybody says it, accept it with deep gratitude and tell them that they are right, that you are sad. You are avoiding the fact. That’s why you are feeling hurt; otherwise you would not be. If somebody says that you are beautiful, you are not hurt. You feel grateful, it is a compliment.
Why do you feel hurt when somebody says you look sad? Because you don’t want to be sad, and you are, and you want that nobody should know that you are sad, even if you are.
Accept it. Hang a sign around your neck:
I AM SAD. PLEASE GO ON REMINDING ME.
It will do wonders. Make a sign! For three days you have to wear this.
Accept it. Nobody is hurting you; nobody wants to hurt anybody. People are beautiful. If they say that you are sad, they are simply saying that they would like you not to be sad...they would like you to be happy because your sadness will make them sad also.
Whosoever comes near you – a friend, a neighbor, a lover...if you are sad you make him sad also. You create a sad situation, and if someone enters your arena he is bound to become sad. If he goes on laughing in spite of your sadness, it will be offensive. Even if he wants to laugh, even if he had come to laugh with you, he cannot – just to be polite, as part of etiquette. And if you are really sad and the person feels for you, he will feel for you. When he says you look sad, he is simply saying that it is not good that you feel like this.
You feel hurt because you were trying to avoid the fact, and now he comes and brings the fact before you. Thank him! Feel grateful that he brought it to your notice. And don’t try to hide it. What can you do? If you are sad, you are sad. Don’t smile and hide behind it; don’t create any screen, camouflage – no facade.
Once you accept it, you will find that by and by there are moments when you forget that you have to remain sad, and you have become happy. Just a moment before, you had forgotten. When I told you to hang a sign around your neck, you had forgotten completely; you were not sad at that moment.
Sadness is not anybody’s nature; just a mood, a habit, a pattern. It can be broken. It is because you have chosen it. But the way is not to fight it. The way is to transcend. So accept it. Be really sad for three days. If you find yourself becoming happy, immediately become sad, because you have to follow the sign; otherwise people will ask what you are doing. If you catch yourself getting a little smile or something, feel guilty!
It is just an old habit that you slip into again and again. A habit needs unconsciousness, a habit lives in unconsciousness. If you become conscious of it, it disappears. So for three days you be consciously sad, consistently sad, persistently sad. Don’t go here and there; immediately catch hold and come back and be sad.
You will fail!