Some years ago, I took a personality quiz where the outcomes were divided into four categories:

I ended up scoring high on the melancholy profile, not really a surprise.

Of course I romanticized it, thinking being melancholy likely meant being highly sensitive (in a good way of course), intuitive, reflective, artistic, just to name a few.  Some good traits indeed!

I had enough sanguine traits to take the edge off…

As I recall, the sanguine characters were outgoing, happy, charming…so a mix of the two is not a bad thing.  Although I always get confused whether I am an introvert or an extrovert… depends on the mood and the time of day. 

Cholerics are born leaders, bossy, take charge kind of people.  They get things done!

And Phlegmatics are those easy going sorts we all love… nothing much ruffles them.

At least that is the simplistic version of what I remember!

We were commenting on my bent for melancholy recently and I decided to look up this word.  I love words and I duly noted that the last part of the word is holy, that should mean something good!

But I was disappointed. The word in the dictionary is utterly sad… to the depths of despair.  Pensive sadness.. The synonyms listed are a sorry bunch:  discouraged, crestfallen, disconsolate, wretched, glum, morose… shall I go on? 

Just reading that was enough to crush my spirits.

So much for definitions.

I can be
What’s in a word?
It’s quite absurd
that labels thrust
can be unjust.
And yet I see
That I can be

Sometimes it is a good thing to laugh at oneself.

In seriousness, depression is a very difficult condition to live with. I recognize there are varying degrees and a sad state does not always equal clinical depression, which needs treatment. And those who are seriously depressed need hope.  This is an illness, not a personality trait. 

But some of us have a bent for sadness, the Eeyores of this world, longing for the carefree personality of Winnie the Pooh, or the bigger-than-life personality of Tigger. Life can often seem heavy, instead of light.  We can take things far too seriously.

It is good to understand ourselves. I have completed other personality tests, all helpful in understanding how I’m wired, my strengths and weaknesses.  It is good to celebrate strengths and work on weaknesses. 

Someone I loved used to tell me… I can’t help it… it is just the way I am!  I disagreed.  I think we all can help it to some degree… and understanding ourselves is often the first step.  In no way can we use our personality uniqueness to be an excuse for bad behaviour. 

On the other hand, we do ourselves no favours by longing to be someone we are not. And on a day where I feel particularly sad or melancholy it is good to be kind to myself, as I try to be kind to others

We are wonderfully and uniquely made!

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