I cry a lot these days. I cry when I’m happy, sad, angry and about 50 other emotions in between. I cry when I remember something happy, I cry when I have to let go of something important to me, I cry when my heart is breaking, I cry when a song comes on that explains exactly how I’m feeling. Like I said, I cry a lot.
Crying is good. It’s a release. I’d much rather cry and let my emotions out instead of ending up with a clenched jaw full of blood, an ulcer, or illness. I’ll take being sensitive over a burning fire within. And happy tears just feel good.
The issue with crying as much as I do is it makes others uncomfortable. They don’t know what to do. No one wants to see you cry or have pain in your eyes. Most will offer you an “It’s going to be okay” pat on the back or start offering advice on how to make things better. But what if you just need someone to be there? To witness the release and just be with you. To physically hold space beside you and not make shit awkward. Someone to hand you tissues and listen when you finally stop sobbing and find the words. To allow you to just be where you are.
I used to hide my tears from my daughters but then I realized they need to see this. They need to know that it’s okay to break down. It’s okay to be sensitive. It’s okay to release the energy inside them in the healthiest way possible. That sometimes being a parent, or adult for that matter, is fucking hard. That they’re going to have great days and terrible ones. And that feeling after you’ve cried until you can’t cry anymore. That small sense of relief as you feel your shoulders drop a little and your breathing return to normal. There’s strength in this. There’s strength in letting go and moving the darkness out.
A couple of years ago I went through a terrible breakup. I was an absolute mess. I tried so hard to keep my emotions in check and to be “regular mom” to my kids, but the sadness crept in no matter what I did. After a while, I just let it flow. I had to. They were feeling it anyway and knew something was wrong.
I sobbed as I told them that my heart was broken. They hugged me, held my hand, and rubbed my back. They helped me. Their little hands, hearts, and energy made me feel better. They reminded me what was important.
The next day, my oldest daughter asked her daycare provider and kick-ass family friend if she would watch her and her sister after I died as my heart was broken.
When she got home we had a discussion about the difference between literal and figurative and that although I said my heart was broken, it was healthy and working well. I wasn’t going anywhere.
She clearly understood as the next day, she fell off of the swing set in the back yard and came in crying that she “literally hurt her leg. Literally!” Kids are amazing.
I don’t want to be a stoic person. That’s simply not who I am. I’m emotional, intuitive, and not afraid to wear my heart on my sleeve (not literally). I want my kids to know it’s safe to express their emotions and feelings around me and I want my friends to know the same. I promise you I’ll listen, offer tissues (2 ply, not that 1 ply crap. That’s for newbs) and not make things awkward. In return, it would be cool if you would do the same for me.
Bravely Crying Forward