I appreciated Tigger when I was younger. He was energetic and always brought the
party to his friends. Sometimes his antics got in the way such as when he would knock out any of the Thousand Acres Woods’ characters, but they always forgave him. Now that I’m older, rather than Tigger I appreciate, it’s Eeyore.
I adore Eeyore because he’s okay being sad and being by himself. Being sad is uncomfortable for many people, but he exists with it. He doesn’t force his sadness upon other people, but is straight forward with how he feels. The great thing is his friends, Pooh, Rabbit, Piglet, Tigger, and the others don’t force him to be happy. Sure they may try something to see him smile, but if that doesn’t work, they don’t throw up their hands in the air and give up, they let him be.
An important lesson I see from A.A. Milne’s characters is that when we treat people who are depressed or just not having a good day, rather than trying to force happiness, why don’t we listen to them? I find that people quickly want a solution to erase negative emotions, but that’s not always possible. Sometimes we have shit days, and someone trying to tell us to chin up could make it even worse. Sadness, anger, frustration, anxiety, resentment, and other difficult emotions aren’t there to be annoying, they are there to tell us that something is wrong. By tuning into those emotions rather than suffocating them, they give us insight on how to fix what’s troubling us.
I don’t like feeling uncomfortable emotions, they just well, make me uncomfortable. I always hear positive things with keeping your emotions to yourself, or putting on a brave face. I understand that there are situations where it’s inappropriate to have a meltdown, such as during work or a meeting, but not expressing them is unhealthy. I want to be like Eeyore, accepting that uncomfortable emotions are healthy and a part of life.
Photo Courtesy: “Extreme Eeyore” by JD Hancock via Flickr. https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/legalcode