“I can’t save you from being sad….” reflections from Ted Lasso
Beloved fictional football coach Ted Lasso has these words to say to his team when they’ve just experiencing a crushing defeat: “I can’t save you from being sad.” He validates their feelings rather than giving them a snappy pep talk. Coach Lasso then adds “look around the room at your teammates ……. you are not alone. ” After a pause he brings the message home: “you do not need to be sad alone.” He leaves them to process their feelings together and then on the way out the door he turns and adds some version of “take tonight to be sad together and then you will show up to the next practice renewed, refreshed, and ready to give it your all.” These words remind us that when we take the time to grieve and feel our feelings–our feelings will be metabolized and we will be ready to show up again in life present and ready for the next thing.
In our culture, we often don’t give ourselves the time to feel our feelings. To keep with the football metaphor, after a bad defeat many coaches or players would think like this: we’re failures and as such don’t deserve the luxury of grieving. We need to be even harsher on ourselves, double down, work harder, sand maybe even suffer more. Until we can prove ourselves on the football field or wherever else we have to prove ourselves we aren’t worthy of being a card carrying human being.
We all long for a Ted Lasso in our lives — a mentor who cares more about our development as human beings than our wins and our losses.
this kind of self care we are allowing ourselves to heal and we will naturally be ready to re-engage in life again.
But you don’t need to be sad alone.” And then he asks them to look around the locker room and adds: “You are not alone.” He then tells them to take some time to feel sad together, to lick their wounds. And after validating their feelings, their grief, he tells them some version of “and then you will show up to the next practice renewed, refreshed, and ready to give it your all.”