I was once advised to hold off tears, to look up to the sky making it almost impossible to cry. We try not to cry because it reveals our weakness and vulnerability. Crying tells others that we have issues in our lives and we are less than perfect. We all want to be seen as perfect to the outer world. Crying makes our mascara run so we resemble a panda without the cuteness. What a load of rubbish! Crying provides us with emotional release and makes us feel better. It is not a sign of weakness at all. Rather than holding it in, call it out. This is the courageous and honest option. Tell people watching, “I’m going to cry and that is okay. I am cool with this. I have things I want to say so don’t you feel embarrassed. This isn’t about you. Listen to my words and not my sobs”. Let yourself show emotion and feel your humanity rise up. Tell yourself, “I am okay and I am a great person”.
I haven’t had a good cry for ages. Some people take medication which prevents them from crying – those same people have told me they would do anything for that wonderful emotional release. The best sight in the world is my partner, tears streaming down his face, laughing at his own jokes. He doesn’t care what others think at all. He thinks he is funny even if no one else does.
So we cry with extreme joy and with sadness. Sometimes it will be a sad movie or song which acts as the trigger. Perhaps it is pain or frustration. Whatever serves as the cause, crying can be good for you. The release as pent-up emotion rushes out is wonderful.
When I was 17, a school friend was tragically killed in a motorbike accident. I went to the Tangi (NZ funeral) and was shocked to see the wailing and open grieving that was happening. When I asked what the display of emotion was for, I was told that this was part of the grieving and healing process. “It helps us to say goodbye. Why would we not do this?”
Another time, another much more restrained funeral with little emotion displayed. Years on, relatives of the deceased person are still holding onto their loved one.
Have you ever said to yourself, “I’m so tired, I just want to cry. No reasons, I’m just exhausted. I’m crying tired”? Fatigue can send you heading for that tissue box. Don’t let yourself get to that stage. Take care of you first and rest up.
So if you feel like crying, tell people that this might happen, then let it out. You might feel a little exhausted afterwards. Your eyes and face might hurt but the release will be worth it. Know that it is okay to cry.