Crying is a natural response to emotions. How we react to them. It is how we deal with them. When you were little you cried to communicate that you were hungry. Or sad. Or cold. When you got older you cried because you fell and hurt yourself. You’d cry if you lost something or someone. It was a natural and instinctive response. As we grow older the rules don’t really change, but we do.
When we cry, it is because we are feeling something. Something that is too big to keep inside. It is an emotion that needs your attention, so it cries out. It needs you to notice it and give it space. And if you do – it either changes into something you can use or it goes away.
But if you don’t let it surface, if you don’t let it come up and out. If you neglect to listen, give it space and really feel it – it grows. And spreads. And of all the things it does from this point, disappearing is not one of them.
Unfortunately most of us don’t know when our feelings are settling in our bodies. Some of us don’t even notice that we are suppressing them. We push them away as instinctively as they surfaced. Something along the way taught us that crying doesn’t’ lead to good things. It leads to more pain. More confusion and doubt. More unsafety.
Don’t cry, said the brain to the heart. It only makes it worse. Just don’t.
But what happens when you put all of these feelings away in boxes somewhere? One thing that happens is that you eventually run out of space. You fill it to the rim and then it pours out over the edges. And all of these emotions come flooding to the surface, all at once. Every little or big thing you didn’t want to feel, now comes rushing at you. They force you to feel them and acknowledge their presence. Only now they don’t make any sense. It is all just a blur of emotions to overwhelming to sort through. So you finally just cry and cry. And you feel helpless.
Another thing that happens is that you start to lose sight of what feelings to put away. All of a sudden you begin to put the good ones there as well. Because they also seem scary sometimes. So you don’t acknowledge them either. You don’t listen to them and you push them away with the others.
The thing is – there is a fine line between the different emotions. The ones we usually recognize as bad are there to take us to a better place. They are there to teach us about the good ones. They are all connected. You can’t have one without the other because they complete each other.
When you neglect some of your emotions you are denying yourself other ones. The feelings that make you feel sad, angry, confused or scared – feel them. Notice their presence and give them the space they deserve. Only then will they offer you something better in return. Whether it is a lesson learned or simply the gift of disappearing.
Cry, said the heart to the brain. It is the only way to be at peace. Just cry.