Go Ahead and Have a Good Cry!
My neighbor Judy and I were talking last night about our various losses in the last few years. I've lost both my parents in the past five years and she lost her husband two years ago. Her son is also fighting pancreatic cancer right now. We were saying that there are times when we just "lose it" and start sobbing. Sometimes it can come from a memory or reminder, or sometimes just from out of the blue. I can be washing a dish out in the sink and just start crying for what appears to be no reason. I'm not totally crazy because she says she does the same thing, and I've had others confess this too! What struck me was that if anyone is around, I immediately say "I'm sorry". I feel almost ashamed that I'm crying, like I'm some sort of weak, overly emotional, pathetic mess. And it suddenly hit me...why do I feel this way? Why is showing emotion so unacceptable these days?
I know it can be uncomfortable to see someone cry. A lot of people don't know what to say or how to give comfort. But what I am seeing more of is a sort of impatient, I just don't want to deal with this attitude. They say that you find out who your true friends are in a crisis. I found out that certainly is the truth. When my parents passed away I lost a lot of friends and now realize they were "fair weather friends". I wasn't my usual happy self and I had the gall to be depressed and sad for longer than a month! They didn't offer the support I expected and so i let the distance become permanent. I needed that support and if they couldn't give it, then I didn't need them in my life. I learned that in most cases if I wanted to cry, I did it alone. I find that so sad, that out society is that insensitive.
If it hadn't been for the crying I did, I probably would have never made it through a lot of things in my life. Crying is important. It's a stress reliever, a cleansing of sorts, a huge release. It is so important to your mental and emotional health to get it all out. I have no problem seeing someone cry. It makes me sad to see them in such pain, but I know how vital it is for them to do it. I don't cry to everyone, don't get me wrong. I still find I keep a tight control on it when I'm around others. But I also encourage anyone I'm around to cry if I see that they are welling up. I tell them it's ok, I totally understand, and to let it out. I have been amazed at how relieved they are and appreciative. They too have been feeling guilty crying in front of anyone.
We seem so afraid of emotions that we deem as "bad". Tears, grief, sorrow, sadness, depression, anxiety, etc... all perfectly normal, but ones we try to hide. Maybe it's the "never let them see you sweat" mentality. I don't know, but I hope people become more compassionate, but in the meantime, if you feel like crying...go ahead and make it a good, long one. Your mind and body will thank you for it. And if someone else cries, just put an arm around their shoulder and let them get it out. We need to respect ourselves enough to know that we have earned the right to cry.
I found this quote and loved it and wanted to share it:
Perhaps our eyes need to be washed by our tears once in awhile, so that we can see life with a clearer view again. --Alex Tan