Built into your being is a physical mechanism intended to bring relief and inner healing. This mechanism scares a lot of people and is often avoided like the plague. The mechanism is those tears that flow from deep within.
Tears have been my friend during this recovery journey. At critical points along the way I have welcomed the presence of tears – sometimes awkwardly but always willingly.
Unfortunately, my observation has been that crying is misunderstood and under appreciated by too many people.
The message is this:
Deep crying helps heal the soul.
We are born to cry. Tears exist to make us well. Deep crying relieves the pain and stress we feel inside and is a critical part of the journey of grief.
To weep is to make less the depth of grief.
Those who do not weep, do not see.
Five months into my accident recovery I hit the skids both emotionally and physically. I had an unplanned emergency surgery to deal with an infection that was alive and well deep inside my leg. This screeching of the brakes that brought me to a dead stop there in the hospital room was heard loudly and felt deeply within my soul. My life was out of control and I was being forced to hunker down for the long and rocky road ahead.
That September was a dark month for me. I was ready to snap at the next person who asked me how I was doing and felt angry, confused and a mess.
During that month however, something unexpected happened. I was hit by two experiences of deep crying. These crying sessions surprised me but helped me move forward just a little in my inner healing. One deep crying session came while in my hospital room surrounded by my wife and a couple of good friends. The crying hurt my gut but healed my soul. I knew it was what I needed to let my grief out.
The other deep crying session came just a couple days later while another good friend sat by my bed and gave me the space to let another river of deep tears come from deep within.
What happened on those two occasions?
- My grief began to be washed away
- My anger and frustration found a release
- My pent up pain and sorrow found a relief valve
Why do we sometimes try and shut down our tears?
- We confuse the pain of loss with the “pain” of healing
When someone is crying, it doesn’t automatically mean they are hurting. It could mean they are getting the hurt out of them. If we mistakenly believe crying is actually hurting someone and try to shut it down, we might actually be stopping them from healing!
Don’t offer the Kleenex box too soon!
Sadness is the pain – crying is the healing from the pain.
- We don’t want people to pity us because of our tears
The key is to learn how to stop feeling sorry for people who are crying. Love them. Support them. Encourage them. Be with them but don’t pity them! It may be exactly what they need.
- We believe crying is a sign of weakness
Crying is not a sign of weakness but a quality of the strong – and makes you stronger. It’s time to change our perspective on what true strength really is.
- We shut down tears because we’ve only known shallow tears
If all you ever experience is shallow, lonely, weepy, short tears – you’ll come out thinking that crying doesn’t really help at all. If you don’t cry long enough, hard enough and deep enough, true healing will not take place.
- We fear ridicule if we cry
Some people don’t understand or appreciate the value of tears and can actually put down those who show tears. It could be their own insecurity and discomfort with tears. And a word to the wise – don’t let the ridicule come from you!
A final thought
One study found 80% of women and 70% of men feeling better after a “good” cry – referring to a deep and extended cry. The study also described numerous benefits from deep crying – clearer thinking, better problem solving ability, and a deeper capacity to love and understand people.
Tears have been my friend and I continue to welcome them whenever they come knocking at the door.
When is the last time you had a deep cry?
If deep crying is not in your experience, does it need to be?
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