You know those times when you feel yourself welling up? But, you’re brave and strong; perhaps you’re in public, so you hold back the tears; you think about something else or tell yourself “it doesn’t matter” or “not again, I thought I’d be over that by now”, or “cry baby, suck it up!”; and so it goes on..
Whenever you stop yourself from crying; psychologically, emotionally, and physiologically you’re further damning, i.e. building bigger and higher that dam, which blocks you from having to feel those emotions (I’m sure you’ve investigated the word emotions before, e-motions, energy-in-motion). So, you stop yourself crying and you’re building that wall up a few bricks higher, a few bricks deeper, every time you need to hold back those floods. Every time you don’t allow the flow/motion of your energy and to let yourself feel, there’s that little bit more dissociation from what’s behind your pain, and therefore on the flipside, also what elates you.
When you may first break down a dam, the flow of water/energy may feel like it’ll destroy whatever is before it, there may also be a fear it might never stop. It can feel like it will overwhelm all of the people and the structures downstream, and depending on the setting and the qualities of those people or structures, it may well do. But, that doesn’t mean we need to keep bottling it up, it just highlights the need for ‘safe’ space, and reliable, flexibly minded people to be in ones life (a process oriented/relational therapist has been the BEST investment I’ve made, ever probably). Thus, we can unload this eventual mounting energy front, in a way which we and those close to us can tolerate downstream. Everyone has their challenges, but sometimes by communicating our challenges, in an adult to adult way, it can let those we love that little bit closer and also empower them to soften some of their walls too.
But does crying makes you weak, or a sissy? I couldn’t imagine anything further from the truth. To let myself cry, to consciously write (writing is my main processing outlet) down what hurts or angers me, some stuff from wounds which are decades old; this, THIS is powerful, and THIS is hard. To not distract myself with Netflix, weed, parties, South Park, shopping, Facebook, or [insert other external focus here], to sit and dig deep; to bring up some of my deepest pains has taken a lot of my strength and courage. There’s so much of my process which has been around softening. And yes, my body does feel more weak, in this moment, like a scab has been ripped off, and the fresh new skin is hella vulnerable. Every time I have a big realisation about the origins to some pain (and there’s been a lot), and I allow this to process with the flowing of my tears, it can take me a few hours to days to get my strength back. Draining that dam, is damn draining, but it creates so much fresh and fertile space to come more into the uninhibited self, a bit closer to knowing the real me, and what makes me tick.
All those hangups, those built up walls, all the old repressive sayings of “men don’t cry.. ..suck it up.. ..move on!.. ..crying makes you weak.. ..be brave, don’t cry.. ..stop crying or I’ll give you something to cry about.. ..dry your tears..”; they’re all blocking your flow.
If your flow is blocked; if you don’t allow your tears and keep building your walls, then you can never get truly through to you. You’ll keep getting in your own way. Let your tears show you what you need to process, what keeps getting in your way..
If you don’t have a good therapist, or people around you who can help, you’ve got yourself. You’ve got your gauge of what makes you upset, go into that. Write about it, feel it, and remember, this too shall pass. Be your best, get out of your own way..