12-27-18 - "My Tears Are Always Quiet…"

Dear Sweet Babe,

Today I want to talk to you about crying.

There are many ways you can cry, and many reasons for each tear. Sometimes you ugly cry, snorting with snot running from your nose, because you are hurting. Sometimes you silently weep, with individual tears glistening their way down you’re cheeks, because you are happy. Sometimes you gasp for air, with rivulets pouring out of all corners of your eyes, because you are overwhelmed.
For me it usually starts as a tightening in my chest. My heart feels as if it’s being wrung out like a washcloth and my lungs feel sore, like I’ve run too far. Then, my throat turns dry, as if all of the moisture in my body is being whisked to my eyes and sinuses, my eyes burn around my bottom lids, and all the while my brain is whirling as if placed inside a cotton candy machine. My tears are always quiet…but the thoughts that come with them are never so muted.

Crying is a release. That’s why we do it. When we cry we release the physical and emotional pressures that we’ve built up. Tensed parts of our mind and body release and out pours our tears, allowing us to recenter ourselves. Also, when we cry, we are allowed to steal away a moment from the hecticness of our lives in order to refocus on our inner equilibrium. Very few people place burdens upon someone they see crying. Crying is also just a great way to let others know that we are not in a place to be trifled with. Rarely is another’s emotional vulnerability a good sign for people to mess with you.

But still, with the clear benefits that crying provides, many people still feel like they shouldn’t cry. Some people have been told that they shouldn’t from a very early age. Whether it be because those whom they trusted weren’t comfortable with such an expression of feeling, or because others didn’t believe that certain people should show emotion (“real men don’t cry”), certain people have this stigma against crying so ingrained that they often find crying or even emotional release impossible…even if they may want it desperately. Others find that they just don’t trust others enough to cry in front of them. They see such an emotional vulnerability as too weak of a position to trust others with, so any crying they have to do is saved for when they’re alone, or is never indulged in. Yet still, others just don’t feel deeply enough about certain things to cry. Even though people expect them to cry at a sad film, a funeral, being dumped, or any other truly sad event, these people didn’t invest enough of their emotions into something, so they don’t feel any need to release any tension; to cry.

But, I want to take this moment to let you know, here and now, that you are allowed to cry. You are allowed this release. You are allowed to appear however you will appear to others, and then still cry. You are allowed to feel deeply about things, and to have their loss or abandonment hurt. You are allowed to be emotionally vulnerable.

But, I also want you to know, here and now, that you are not allowed to hold that in. You are not allowed to hold your tension until it hurts you. You are not allowed to concern yourself more with what others think of you than what you need and deserve. You are not allowed to shut yourself off from feeling because you do not like the results. You are not allowed to expect emotional invulnerability from others.

The world is a dangerous and scary place, but it is also beautiful and full of those who will protect you…and ways for you to protect yourself. When you fight, fight well. When you feel, feel deeply. When you cry, release, and find what beauty is awaiting you on the other side.


Erik SchneiderComment