Saturday, September 18, 2010

Crying Is Good For The Soul - Letting Go of What We Do Not Want

Angel loves to try to make me laugh. She is slender, in her mid-thirties and angry much of the time. Until she begins to cry. Then, suddenly, she becomes humorous. "Oooh! I hate it when this happens! Makes me feel like a fish out of water, gasping for breath, only to realize I have two hungry fishermen looking at me, ready to skin me alive and eat me for dinner. I hope they choke on my bones!" She laughs, and looks at me expecting me to laugh too.

She knows it is a distraction, and is using it to the best of her ability to keep her self from feeling foolish. The ache in her eyes is obvious, however, and when I do not respond to her self-depricating, dismissive humor she slowly stops. This is when she allows her self to cry with out stopping it. Then, another defense comes out. Instead, of humor, she begins to get angry, lashing out. When I don't respond to it either, she finally begins to calm down and says to me, "You're not playing fair."

This is when I smile. "I know. But, you need this." And, she does. Angel has grown up not allowing her self to show pain, because showing pain was showing vulnerability. And, those that loved her (her father and grandmother) would attack her for it. Who wouldn't learn to dismiss their feelings and express their pain in angry ways? I know I would. And, I have.

But, I also know that it didn't work. I still felt miserable. I still felt unhappy. And, I knew that I wanted it to change. So, I cried, allowing the hot tears to fall down my stinging cheeks. They were my outlet for release.

Release is a good thing. It is not always important to cry, though the body needs it from time to time as there is a toxin that can only be released through our tear ducks. We can also release through exercise, being creative, sleeping, writing, talking to someone we trust, laughing, etc. They are all healthy releases for pain.

But, sometimes, the best thing to do is cry. Let it out. Let it be ok that you are crying. Choose a safe place to do it at first. It helps us realize that we do not have to feel shame for expressing our pain, that maybe showing our pain is a strength, instead of a weekness. It frees us up even more and we no longer feel constrained to express how we are feeling. That release. Letting go of what we do not want: pain, sadness, fear, grief, loss, etc. Letting them go is one of the healthiest things we can do. And, crying is one of the healthiest ways to do it.

Homework: Find time to cry. Let it out. Choose a safe place that you feel comfortable in. Dont' force it though. Allow it to come when it is ready. Trust the process. Trust your self.

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