Good morning, friends!
It’s another beautiful day, and I’ve had so much going on lately. Last night I saw “A Star is Born,” and can I just say I must have a heart of stone or something? I swear I was the only one in that theater not crying at the end. I mean, I felt a little emotional but there were folks outright SOBBING as the credits rolled.
I must admit, I was disappointed. The whole reason I went was because I wanted to experience a good, emotional cleansing and I even brought tissues expecting a good cry-fest. But it turns out I only needed them when I spilled my water down my shirt. Anyone else love a good cry at a movie? I think the last movie I actually cried at was the whole opening story line of Disney’s “Up”. If you don’t feel a little sniffly about that beautiful montage of life and tragedy, I’m not too certain if you’re even human. I mean, you could be, but I’m just not certain.
But historically, I have never been much of a cryer. Which I’m working on changing recently. Did you know that crying is actually really good for you? In addition to relieving stress and pent-up emotions, it also provides a detoxification pathway via tears, kills bacteria, improves vision, and (no-brainer here) can elevate your mood.
Despite all the benefits (and the fact that crying is a normal human action) our culture has historically had such a stigma around crying, especially for men. And I get it. When I’m around a crying person (99.9% of the time it’s one of my kids) I feel this uncontrollable reaction to MAKE IT STOP. Make them happy and feel better RIGHT NOW. Why does crying cause such discomfort in the observer?
When I need a good cry, I just want to get it out and done. I understand that sometimes crying is the best therapy for me, and the quickest way to get from Point A (sad) to Point B (relieved and refreshed). And I am relieved and grateful when I have the space to just let my emotions out in peace and move on with my day. So if I’m good with my own crying, why can’t I be good with others’ crying? I can only conclude that it’s because I was conditioned all my life to believe crying means there is something wrong, and it needs to be fixed.
But that’s just not true. Crying can be many things. It can be from overwhelming happiness. It can be from anger or frustration at a situation out of my control. It can be from processing grief, which I know from personal experience that “the only way out is through.” And in the case of my kids, crying is a last resort when emotions don’t make sense or are just too intense and crazy. Because it’s always SUPER disappointing when you don’t get the red cup instead of the blue cup, isn’t it?
I’m on a mission to evangelize crying. At home, in public, at work, wherever. Now, you can be discrete (I’m not at the point where I can just sit at my desk and ugly cry yet), but if I need to excuse myself to squeeze some tears out in the women’s room, I tell myself that I’m a human having a human experience, and I don’t feel so ashamed when I get back to my desk with the lingering red in my eyes. When my kids cry I check in with them, ask if they need me or want to be alone, and let them have their feels. And especially when I find myself needing to cry around my kids, I am not afraid of letting them see it, letting them know that grown-ups can feel sad too and that’s okay. Just like when they’re crying and I offer to talk about their feelings, I tell them mine. “Mommy’s feeling overwhelmed. I need to stop and take care of myself for a bit.” or “I feel sad because I miss Grandpa.” They need to know (just like I need to remember) that emotions aren’t scary, and feelings do not require fixing.
So let the floodgates flow! The waterpark is open for business! Find a corner and let it all out. As I heard the other day, “Put your issues in your tissues.” Detoxification and stress-relief benefits with one simple exercise? I’ll sign up for that!
Go make it a great day!