I’ve Learned It’s Okay to Cry
Why do some have to be alone to cry? Rather why do we think it is something to hide? Why can’t we share crying like we share laughter? Is it because we are ashamed? Don’t want to make the other person in our company upset? Is it uncomfortable? Is it uncomfortable to console a crying person? Do we talk ourselves out of it? Do we brush it off and tell ourselves we are okay? Do we think we are too strong to cry? Do we think we are being irrational because that is what we have always heard? Are we afraid to be vulnerable so much that it’s holding us back from expressing those tears when we so desperately need to in order to connect to others and heal? We all do it differently. Some really do seem irrational because they have let it build up so long that by the time it comes out they may need to check into a mental ward if it were witnessed because that’s how confused you can get if you don’t release it as soon as you can. As soon as we realize and understand. As soon as we understand our individual reasons and what we are going through, the more we can pin point your exact source of the pain/problem. It can and will manifest in other ways such as abuse, tearing others down, becoming numb or apathetic, paranoia, you name it, and all can happen before you even become of aware of the way it has made you. And then again some people do cry anyway, but still don’t understand because it is still a process. You can’t just go through the motions of crying without gaining the insight and healing it allows you to do. Without fully succumbing and becoming one with the process. It is intense and some people even procrastinate and continue to do so out of fear or laziness because they don’t wish to go through that again. They know what they are about to face and would rather avoid it in order not to understand but what they are missing is all the ways it helps afterwards, if only they would just keep going.
Some use it to manipulate others and they don’t have to be alone to do it. I think that is a big difference. (and other times we only think they are being manipulative when they are being genuine). Not everyone has a motive, some just need to have shoulder to lean on. Some have to be alone because it is such a powerful and personal thing because they really mean the tears that they cry. Which is even harder in a world that says vulnerability is a weakness. We sometimes have to be alone to cry because it’s that personal and it means that much to somebody. Whereas some people cry to get what they want, manipulation, so they have to be in front of people. Whereas those who cry alone need that space as if it is an almost sacred act. But to truly have people there for you to console you is sometimes all you have. I’ve seen those close to me break down in front of me time and time again throughout my life and sometimes that is all a person needs. To be seen, to not feel alone in their pain. But that pain is really only theirs to feel and then it helps to have someone witness it in order for that person to move on.Plus they do it in hopes that they can be cheered up in the process. I almost always try to have them laughing by the end which is another purpose it serves. Or help find a solution or something they aren’t seeing. Some don’t even know why they begin to cry but then continue to do the same things to hurt themselves anyway. Sometimes they just tell me afterwards, after they’ve cried and need to tell someone. And sometimes life’s circumstances are not in our control at all, like death, which is the most prevalent reason we cry. Sometimes all you can do is be there.
For example, I remember when my first grandparent to pass away died and that was also my first experience with death in my family for me. My mom woke us up for school that morning except she said we weren’t going to school because grandma died. But to get up and get dressed. She did it in her usual way and was trying to stay as normal sounding as possible to not upset us, or herself, really. So without hesitating, I got up and started to get dressed. Then we went about the routine of family gatherings and funerals. But it wasn’t until much time later that I was lying in bed one night and just began to sob. I was angry at God and asked him why? It just didn’t seem fair to me at the time. She was all we had sometimes. It was an unexpected death which is another reason it took so long to sink in and such. I began to feel bad about all the times I didn’t listen to her even. But I did not confront the situation until after everything had already passed. I was never spoken to about death and what we were doing as I think my mom was just going through the motions as well. Although she stayed strong for herself and us, she couldn’t do it all. I remember seeing her upset on the couch and just wanting to hug her so tight but she was so good at being okay that I thought she was okay even though I knew she wasn’t. I just hung out for a bit until she got up. Anyway, that night in bed I cried so hard and long and after my angry conversation with God, I stayed mad at him for sometime after that by the way, go figure. But if I knew then what I knew now, I would have immediately, when I saw my mom upset on the couch, I would have sat next to her and hugged her and we would have cried together. But instead I cried alone some time after her death instead of right away. It’s just the way things were and are for the most part. It always takes time but why should it take us so long to react? There are many factors but if you react right away you set the stage for healing right away.
Then some families instantly console each other after a death. Later in life, I once knew a family who did that in my presence and I immediately felt uncomfortable even though I was basically part of the family myself. I wanted to let them do their thing but sure enough they pulled me into the hug but I could not cry. I still had a delayed reaction and was trying to be strong for my boyfriend at the time. All I could do was be there.
Same thing happened when I watched a family dog die. I was with a family and we all sat around crying and consoling each other as the dog was lying on the living room floor. I had just walked into the room to see this. I found myself uncomfortable that time also and embarrassed to show emotion. I didn’t know whether to cry or laugh because of it. I wanted to make everyone laugh but at the same time I knew what they were doing is what they needed to do. And the next day everyone was okay because they reacted right away and was able to move on right away.
Many stories later and even later on in life, I began to accept death. I saw it as something not to be upset about but to embrace. But there is no escaping being upset I’ve learned. Life does move forward whether I am upset at the time or later. And life does keep throwing these things at you and each time I understand more and more.
Those who cry alone know the burden is theirs and theirs alone. Although, they don’t realize it doesn’t have to be. But even though I would listen to someone cry for hours doesn’t mean they would do the same for me. It’s true and funny enough, life eventually gives you people that you can do that with. You learn to console in a manner you see best at the time for the circumstance. You learn compassion is something that stays fresh in the present, despite what someone may have done in the past. Because when they call on you to cry to, you aren’t thinking about the past or if they would do it for you. All you know is that you are who they thought of when they need to cry because no one else they know would understand. They know you won’t think they are being stupid no matter how many times they try to convince you they are.
Those who cry alone can carry their burdens along with other people’s as well. I think that is the biggest difference.
When I cry I know there is no other solution. When I’ve gone through all the explanations in my head not to and searching for a way out of it. When really, I know now, that if my mind wonders as if it’s looking for a solution to feel better after an ordeal of some sort in life, and I still can’t think of why I feel so lost in my mind, that I just need to cry. It’s hard to convince myself it’s okay because I am always looking for ways to make things better but then I realized crying is actually the one thing that does make it better. And when I feel lost for words and can’t talk. The only solution is to cry and feel everything that I was trying to rationalize away in my mind as if I could take a paper towel and absorb the mess but instead I need to just let it go and see what I can find in the mess. Take notice to the formations, flow, and texture of the tears and how it feels good to do so. Recognize the images they bring to your mind. Grab onto the foreign feelings that come up until you can’t anymore. Have compassion for yourself. Rather than force yourself to think of a solution not to cry, think of all the reasons to cry because the images/feelings they bring are exactly why you are feeling stuck and why you are in confusion. Most of the time it is because we stay strong, because we know there is a time and place for everything. We do what we have to do but afterwards nothing else can be done besides to cry, alone, or with someone who will just be there, because that is the place you will find your answers, not through someone else giving you advice or talking but simply by being there. And sometimes, crying chooses the time for you, and when it comes is when it comes, all on it’s own timing. But now I know when there is no other solution, you must cry. There the answers reveal themselves. Because the tears have to flow out and be exposed to your skin and air then dry back into your skin in order to transform their very nature, which is rather a soothing realization that it’ll all be okay. Everything becomes something different afterwards. If only we can cry and not try to rationalize a million ways out of it because it isn’t irrational at all but the most rational and sane thing you can do at the time. Never keep the urge to control your tears, whether it be out of pain or beauty. Why do we see someone crying and think it’s an unusual and crazy act? Like the person crying is a monkey in a zoo and everyone else just stares or walks by. Never fight the urge to shed some tears. For they are as real of a solution as you can find and you won’t get such a headache from searching for a solution and reason as to why you feel so stuck, instead you’ll feel better. Because you just released all that was holding you back in the first place.
Whatever those reasons may be and all the various ways this can be said and done, just remember, it’s okay to cry.
Remember to check out my blog post titled “I’ve Learned Healing is Feeling,” for more in depth ways if you need tools to begin with or to help.
Copyright Kerrious 2014 with all rights reserved.