I think the entire world would change if we said this to everyone who cries in front of us. “I hope your crying is cathartic.”
The other day a good friend of mine apologized for crying when talking about a really hard week she had. Laid off from a job and lived through a tornado ripping through her land and living without power. She had gone through a lot! Still releasing all the emotions that get buried while we have to function during a crisis.
It struck me that she still had that urge to apologize for very understandable tears.
No one has to “deserve” to cry in order to deserve to cry. Being ashamed of our tears is a result of the hyper independence we are taught by the white hetero capitalist patriarchy. When I say evict the cop from your brain, this is one example of the way we are taught to police ourselves, to deny our emotions for other people’s comfort.
Crying is our body’s natural way of closing a stress cycle. We are born with the whole breadth of human emotions and no way to know how to navigate them other than our natural release! Dr. Brene Brown (a Scorpio) has mapped 87 emotions as part of her Atlas of the Heart work.
Somewhere along the line we are taught our emotions are “bad” and the expression of them is “inappropriate” in front of other people. We lose access to the instincts that help keep our meat sack healthy and close stress cycles.
When we don’t feel our feelings they end up manifesting as stress, anxiety and disease.
I am on this planet to perfect my loving; loving myself and of other people.
There isn’t a person in my life I would think poorly of if they cried in front of me. In fact, ever since I picked up the line “I hope your crying is cathartic” on instagram dot com I have used it! I encourage my friends and family to cry as a release whenever possible!
Personally, I cry whenever I feel it coming through because I actually dislike it more when I feel like I need to cry and cannot cry. I want my body to relearn how to feel safe releasing emotions when they need out!
I teach a move at Fat Kid Dance Party Aerobics in every class that is a great option when you feel like you need to cry but it’s not coming. (Linking a video here.) Just two minutes and those feelings can flow out of you and you can experience life on the other side of that emotion.
When a big feeling comes up and you don’t process it, our body stores it away so we end up having to feel it later–with interest.
Part of the work of healing is releasing the hurts we weren’t able to process at the time. Sometimes a big wave will come up on me out of seeming nowhere that’s actually about something that happened 33 years ago. In many ways it is a compliment that I am a safe enough space that my body can release what she’s held onto with a tight grip all these years.
Most of what we are afraid of is how we are going to feel about something. It only takes 90 seconds to feel a strong emotion. I learned this in a book by Martha Beck right before my fiance broke up with me four years ago. WOW did I sob during those early days and like clockwork it was less than 90 seconds for each wave to pass. (Even today I let some tears loose during Brandi Carlisle’s “Every time I Hear that Song.” I’m not judging my grieving, everyone loves differently and everyone grieves differently.)
I felt liberated with the knowledge that even when I feel like I am going to die during a big emotion, if I can just keep breathing I will get to the other side of that wave.
Every morning I do a five minute tapping video that results in tears. Some part of the waking up process means my eyes leak. My beloved Grandmother Anise would leak tears when she went out into sunlight in the morning. I feel her in me when I get my morning leaks flowing and I feel way more emotionally balanced every day I do that tapping video.
Crying is cathartic and it is an important function of your body! I hope all of your tears from here on out are cathartic! And if you’re crying alone imagine me as a fat fairy godmother flying around your head cheering you on for releasing your feelings!
In sum, remember every time you feel shame for something human your body does, you are experiencing the patriarchy from the inside out. You were taught that shame. And it is optional.
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