Do you cry?
I'm a big crier... I weep most in beautiful moments when someone reaches out to me and the tears are released in big heaves of ugly cry.
But I also weep when my soul dances in my heart. Little spasms of joy that could easily be confused with laughter, but for the tears.
And I cry, mostly silently, but sometimes in huge gulping sobs, when my pain is too much for stoicism.
The older I get, the more I cry — less for pain and more for the moments of the unbearable lightness of my soul.
Were you allowed to cry as a child?
Crying was not part of the family vernacular when I was a child. My dad would say only sissies cried (even though I know now that my dad was a tender-hearted child who had to toughen up to his own father). So, no matter how rough the play, or harsh the words, I learned NOT to cry.
I remember though, when I was 16, I had another in a series of boils in my armpit and it was nearing the time of rupturing (sorry about the graphic description). My dad was in a playful mood as we came to the table for dinner and he hip-checked me into the chair, which caused my arm to squeeze against my side and the boil to rupture. It was excruciatingly painful and I immediately started crying. He honestly didn't know what he'd done and felt awful, I'm sure. I ran to the bathroom to clean myself up and when I came to the table, we all acted as though nothing had happened. That was our way...
I rarely cried in front of my mom. I stopped allowing her to see how much her words affected me when I was about eight or so. And besides her words mostly made me feel shame, not tears.
I do remember, again at the age of 16, when a girl bullied me after school. It's a long story that I'll share another time, but this interaction got close to becoming physical. When I got home I burst into tears and told my mother what had happened. Her response was, "Well, what did you do to deserve it?" That was her way...
The older I get, the more I cry
It started with tender movies, then commercials, and now words written on the interwebs. Perhaps it's being older that makes it okay.
Ahhhhh... even more likely it is the Wild Woman inside of me that has allowed me to see the beauty of tears. Since I've opened up to my empathic self, I feel so much more. And the wild woman has allowed my empathic soul to emerge through journaling.
HERE'S WHAT I KNOW TO BE TRUE
Journaling has helped me to cry... to release. I can't tell you the number of times I have had to stop and sob as I listen to my heart and write what it has to say, but I reckon it's in the hundreds in the past six years that I've been a regular journaler.
When you connect your HEART to your BRAIN and to the PEN, the words your soul needs you to hear can be painful, joyful, sad, or soul-stirringly truthful and beautiful. That's when the tears come.
It is sooooo healthy to weep for the beauty and the ugly, the sadness and the joy of life. I wish I had had someone as a child who would rest their arm on mine and say to me, "There you go wee lass, let it come, let it all out." Even writing that just now brought the tears to me. To this day, someone being empathetic and holding space for me, gives me 'permission' to weep.
I hold space for myself and give myself permission to cry.
Tears are so cleansing. When I work with people in a journaling cocoon of love, I'm so often moved to tears it's just a natural part of me. That's why I love the group experience — and why I provide tissues at each session.
I may be the only one who needs tissues in that moment, but that's okay, I know you'll get there too.
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