For the last 4 1/2 years, I’ve had the privilege to add to my arsenal of energy work. During this journey, I remembered a period of time I found myself wondering if I was still in touch with my Heart. Things that would normally move me to tears just weren’t doing it anymore. Mentioning of my mother’s name (she made her transition back in 1995 due to cancer), observing a stray dog or cat wandering the streets, or seeing an elderly person in a room full of younger people and not one person talking to them, all would wet my eyes. But lately, not anymore.
My critical inner voice would heckle me with: “I’ve become cold-hearted.” “I don’t seem to care about anything anymore.” “I’ve lost touch with my soul.” Within a collective society, the majority of people are conditioned to believe crying is a form of weakness. Now it’s acceptable if you initially cry over unexpected bad news, but don’t let that crying linger on. “Real men don’t cry, they just handle it” (whatever ‘it’ is). It’s crammed down everyone’s throats to “be strong and tough”. “Don’t let people know you’re weak.” “Don’t show people you’re vulnerable.” All programmed collective B.S.!!
A little research shows there are substantial benefits to the art of crying. The tears we shed have chemicals within that actually make us feel good! Oxytocin and endorphins are released to help relieve pain and elevate our moods. Tears help to kill bacteria and keep the eyes clean with a fluid called lysozyme. Crying activates the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS), which helps us to relax. Little did I know of the physical benefits of crying, other than it usually feels good to get that ‘stuff’ out afterwords.
I remembered at that time a series of recent personal events all manifested within a 3 week period. One right after another, culminating with one of my best friends dying in a car accident, first thing in the morning on Valentine’s Day. As I was leaving my workplace for lunch, a mutual friend called me to let me know. After disbelief passed through me, I cried and cried and cried in the cab of my truck for the hour, not even touching my lunch. Memories flooding my brain with all of the times we spent together. How we met each other. How we hit it off immediately through the same sense of humor and observations. The mutual respect and admiration we had for one another. After lunch, I went back into work sobbing. For the next couple of days, I alternated between crying and sobbing. Reflecting, I was also aware I wasn’t only crying because I lost a best friend. I was releasing stress built up over all of the unexpected events that slammed me from the last weeks.
What was cool was I had made the transition from feeling guilty and self-conscious for crying to knowing it was my God-given right to cry…and I was proud of it! I looked at the ‘gifts’ my pal gave to me. His humor, understanding, and most of all, his humbleness. He was a very knowledgeable man who knew a little of just about anything and yet very humble. I guess you could say he taught me, by example, the virtues of humbleness. My friend’s passing couldn’t have happened on a more appropriate day, Valentine’s Day. He had a BIG Heart!!
I realized I had to ‘let him go’. I also realized dwelling on and on about the ‘news’ of his passing wasn’t fair to him as well. The stray animals, my mom’s passing, the elders being neglected…gradually I had to let them all go and not ‘hang on’ to them. Energetically it could be stagnating if I didn’t, for all concerned.
Acceptance gradually entered my life over the next number of months. Accepting that “everything is perfect the way it is”. And in accepting life as it unfolds, I come from the power of choice. Do I choose to engage in conversation with the lady in the wheelchair? Do I feed the stray cat at work? I wasn’t becoming cold-hearted or insensitive. Instead, it’s the opposite. I was becoming more accepting and compassionate without judgment as life’s events unfolded. I never did lose touch with my Heart. Out of acceptance, I was nurturing it.
All of these realizations wouldn’t have come to me if I didn’t participate in the ‘art of crying’. Pass me a tissue, please.