Monday, May 12, 2014

A Good Cry

So often we tell ourselves, our children, and others, not to cry.

Truth is, sometimes, a good cry is just what we need. Just as yoga practice and quiet time in nature can be healing, so can letting tears cleanse us, letting them wash away the residue of rejection and hurt and loss and disappointment.

Still, when we see tears in the eyes of others, or feel them forming in our own eyes, 'Don't cry' is the mantra we reach for. There are even songs about not crying, how big girls don't cry, or someone won't cry over someone else.

Crying is not a bad thing, however. Children know this, and yet we train it out of them at earliest age we can. Perhaps to cry all day for series of days is not healthiest reaction to a situation, but to give in to a good, cleansing cry in a moment of deep hurting can be healing on many levels. If nothing else, it forces us to confront our feelings.

 Grief, disappointment, rejection, sadness, all of these emotions are painful. They hurt. Sometimes, it's almost physical. Crying is our bodies natural response to these emotions, and because I believe in the body's ability to heal itself, I believe it's perfectly natural, healthy response. Why people fight it, or see not crying as a sign of strength, I do not understand. 

Perhaps it is more the opposite. Perhaps confronting our feelings is, even when they bring tears, is actually strength.

This morning, I cried for a good long time, and as I sit down to write this, I feel more focused, stronger than I did before. The pain is still with me, but as this day progresses, I can take little steps forward, because I am not afraid to make space for this sadness. To sit with it, confront it. Not with anger, not with blame, not with denial, but with the knowledge that I must adjust to this 'new normal' (post on adjusting to a new normal coming soon). I must allow space for how I am feeling, I must give it presence so I can process it, and let it go. If tears are part of the experience, well, it's just my body's way of helping me move forward.

So next time you experience sadness and feel like crying, go to some quiet place alone and let your body help you in the natural, simply way it is designed to do. 


Virginia ("Ginn") said...

Crying is cathartic. I often come in contact with people who seem angry, belligerent...I believe they are masking issues. A good cry could purge them of their pain. When I was actively grieving I learned to set a timer for a designated amount of time each day and then I used that time to vent my anger and to weep to wash away some of the pain. When the alarm rang, I washed my face and walked out into the world feeling brand new. - Ginn

Kathleen Manley said...

Amy, this post came just in time for me. I had 3 days of a good cry. I was able to face Monday with a renewed strength that helped me make it through a dark time.-Kathi