I have been crying a lot lately. But that’s not why I’m writing this.
I’m writing this because, for years, I didn’t cry.
Like most of us, I’ve had sorrow and trauma in my past. But instead of feeling it, sharing it and releasing it, I buried it. I tucked my sadness and grief deep and away, convinced that, if I didn’t feel it, it would disappear.
My biggest fear was that, if I started to cry, to FEEL my sadness, that I would never stop.
And so I denied it, avoided it, numbed myself with pot to prevent myself from feeling any kind of vulnerability.
And if something happened in my life that did poke at my vulnerability, I quickly busied myself to avoid confronting any deep feelings.
This “worked” for a long time.
And then it didn’t work at all.
I was always agitated. Crabby. Needy. I wasn’t allowing my body to ebb and flow through ALL of my emotions.
Just like the body needs to laugh and sleep and breathe clean air, the body needs to cry.
Crying is the only mechanism the body has to release certain toxins and chemicals.
Dr. William H. Frey II, a biochemist at the St. Paul-Ramsey Medical Center in Minnesota, analyzed two types of tears: the emotional ones (crying when emotionally upset and stressed) and the ones arising from irritants (such as crying from onions).
He found that emotional tears contained more of the protein-based hormones, prolactin, adrenocorticotropic hormone, and leucine enkephalin (natural painkiller), all of which are produced by our body when under stress.
This explains why we usually feel better after a good cry.
Now I cry with ease. I allow my emotions to rise up past that place in my throat where I used to barricade my feelings. I let the tears carry the sadness up and out of my body. I FEEL the feelings as they move through me.
And then I feel a whole lot better.
I invite you to try it. The next time your feelings poke you and you’re tempted to hold back from crying, breathe into the sadness and then breathe it out.
Trust that you’re not going to drown yourself in an never ending tsunami of emotion.
Ride those tears to a new way of release.
I’d love to hear your comments. Click on the comments button to share your thoughts.