After a breakup lying on the ground in front of my meditation altar tears pouring out of my eyes. Feeling alone on an empty beach watching the sunset in a soft and quiet sadness. Sitting on a park bench in Germany feeling confused in what to do next in life, unable to move as grief flows over me. These were a few of the many times of my life where loneliness, sadness, and grief have washed over me.

In so many of these times of sadness the interesting thing is that the emotiondoesn’t arrive alone.

When I have allowed the loneliness and sadness to be fully alive within me, a secondary feeling arrives, a sense of sweetness wrapped up in an underlying longing to be free.

There is a gentle mood of reflection when the sweetness arrives.

I could also describe it as a sort of tender melancholy. I’m not referring to the kind of melancholic depression or emotional resignation, but rather the feeling of being emptied out. The act of “allowing” invites a sweetness to join hands with the sadness. When I’ve been in resistance to the pain then the sadness turns sours and creates a self-judgmental loop.

As a man this was not something I was taught, I had to move through endless amounts of pain and sadness to figure this out. And through my years of work as a coach and mentor I’ve seen countless men experience the same.

The way through resistance is surrender.