Why You Should Be A Cry Baby
GUEST POST BY REBECCA DETTMAN.
This week I had a really out-there experience, which made me realise something INCREDIBLY important: adults never cry, and this is profoundly unhealthy.
Let’s begin at the beginning. My husband did a mandatory Child Protection course a couple of months ago (read: seven hours of hearing about child abuse). Not a picnic, although clearly very important for assisting children. He came home physically and emotionally drained. I didn’t want to hear ANYTHING about it – let’s just say, for someone who is lucky enough to be able to say that I’ve never experienced any abuse in my life, I had a HIGHLY over-charged reaction to this subject matter. I immediately retracted back inside my Perfect World bubble and stuck my fingers in my ears and said La-La-La.
One of my favourite expressions is, “Do the thing you’re most afraid of.” Ironic, huh? Next thing I know, the universe is tapping me on the shoulder going, “Guess what? You have to take that course too!” I was doing some work with teenagers and the law said I had to complete Child Protection first. WELL. I was sooooo dreading that course. And guess what? Twenty-four after I’d finally done the bloody thing, I got sick. REALLY SICK.
So I’m driving home from a friends’ place (who had just given me a ‘Purification’ essential oil), and my throat is like razor blades and I’m hot-cold shivering and thinking about child abuse and purifying myself and all of a sudden I thought, “I think I need to cry!” Ten o’clock at night, in the car, just like that. So I did. And BOY did I cry. To be completely honest, I unloaded a whole episode of grief that must have come from a past life (something about soliders sexually harming babies) and the noises I made were EXACTLY the same noises I made when I was in labour!
To cut to the punchline, I processed whatever was coming up for me emotionally / spiritually over the following week. But the crying! After I had howled, sobbed, groaned, wept, cried out unintelligble things and trembled like a leaf for thirty minutes that night in the car, a strange calm descended upon me. I was through. I was done. I’d gotten it out. Whatever it was had passed and was gone… from lifetimes ago!
In the Western world, adults don’t cry. We bottle stuff up for YEARS. We don’t schedule in time for a good cry – and why?! Is crying really so embarrassing and bad and vulnerable? It is actually INCREDIBLY therapeutic as I discovered last week. And funnily, just like giving birth, even though it feels very intense and painful and overwhelming when you’re right in the middle of it, the moment it’s passed you feel FANTASTIC! Total buzzing endorphins! I look at other cultures who publicly weep and wail and show their grief very vocally (Middle Easterns, Italians, Africans) and I think how healthy that must be. We seem to close up and suppress our throat chakras in this culture, not truly expressing ourselves or giving our deepest emotions the chance to come out in a really healthy way.
Wouldn’t you rather a deep, cleansing, fulfilling cry than a bottled-up miserable feeling that is not released for decades and ultimately results in you numbly self-medicating yourself with drugs, alcohol and worse?
Footnote: I told a friend all of this, and she said, “Oh, I cry in the car all the time! I love crying in the car! It’s the BEST place.” Then she mentioned a friend. “Helen! You know Helen! Helen cries in the car too.” So, some of us might still be choosing somewhere deliberately ‘hidden’ and private to shed our tears, get all blotchy and screechy and erratic, but at least we’re regularly prioritising it! Go the car-cry, I say! If you haven’t cried lately, I highly recommend that you try it. I can’t convince you enough: as long as you really allow yourself to ‘go there’ without inhibitions, it feels AWESOME – and so will you afterwards!
When was the last time you allowed yourself to have a good cry? How did you feel afterwards?
Want to know more about the health benefits of crying? Click here to read Four Reasons To Have A Cry.
Positive affirmation for the day: I honour myself by allowing my emotions to surface.
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