What the Rav said:
The main thing is not to forget even for a moment the greatness of the concept of happiness, and the significance of distancing bitterness and sadness.
This is what Rav Natan says in Likutei Tefillot (49): “Help me to continuously overcome sadness and to overcome sadness with happiness, and not to ever let sadness come close to me.”
That’s to say, that we need to be so very wary of sadness the same way we would be wary of the biggest enemy we have, and not let sadness ever get close to us at all.
We all get sad. Life is tough. Stuff happens that isn’t very nice.
So, we get upset. That’s just the way it is, right?
The world maybe ok with sadness, but Judaism, and Rabbi Nachman’s teachings in particular, are not ok with it.
Sadness is not just another emotion. Sadness, says Rabbenu, is the ‘bite of the snake’ (he means THE snake). Sadness leads to apathy, depression, giving up and abandoning Torah, Mitzvot and life itself.
Thus – it is not good, ever. Period.
We need to treat sadness as public (and private) enemy number one!
Stay well away. Do not let it into your home.
Flee from sadness like you would flee a VIPER!