When’s the last time you had a good therapeutic cry? I don’t mean a little tear rolling down your check during “Step Up 3” or the commercial with the broken Ikea lamp, but I mean a leave it all on the floor, nervous breakdown, bawl to the point your lungs hurt cry? If are a child, probably yesterday, but let’s be honest…how many adults have these emotional outbursts nowadays…and how many have them in public?
When you were a kid you were allowed to act however you felt at the time. Tired, grumpy, angry, sad, frightened, silly and to a point…well, you were actually allowed to. The world of rules, of disappointment, of fear and of limitations was new to you. Each and every time you had these emotions you were beginning to navigate your way into adulthood. But, as an adult…well, you are supposed to have your shit together. If you saw a woman bawling hysterically in the subway, I doubt you would think, “hmm…I bet she just had a tough day and really needed to get some angst out”, no, you would think, “Suck it up buttercup, get offa my platform because I’ve had a bad day too and you don’t see me crying about it…”
Our empathy gets pretty sparce as we get older and whether we mean to or not, we compare that sad person’s situation against our own. We think that they should be tougher, they should see more silver linings and frankly they should keep their crazies private. But, do you think we might actually have a more balanced society if everybody got to react the way they actually wanted to when they wanted to, better yet, when they needed to? Would we have a lot more level-headed, sane people out there because they were allowed to have the emotions they were allowed to have when they were allowed to have them?
I know that I for one have had many years of “chin up, there are starving people out there, crying is for weaklings” and a million and one other “isms” told to me. I was told it as a child, I was told it as a teenager and I was told it as an adult. I was raised like a boy and somewhere along the way I created a walled demeanour like a boy…where I looked down on people’s emotional outbursts. However, I can say with possible pride, between the ages of 22 and 28 my opinions completely changed about what everybody was and was not allowed to be sad about. We don’t live eachother’s lives so we don’t get to make eachother’s rules, nor the hell should we.
So, when I found myself huddled on the floor bawling hysterically for no good reason other than a piling up of life’s little problems and a shaking-level of frustration mounting, I just had to let it happen. I rarely break down in tears. No matter how bad things get, I tend to try to rationalize them (even when my feelings aren’t rational) or hold those tears in. I rarely actually say or act out my crazy the way I would love to (if my sanity wouldn’t be questioned) and continually try to take the higher road because I’d rather not cross karma’s vindictive little path one time too often. But, what I can say is following this…well, let’s just call it a therapeutic meltdown… was nothing short of clarity, relief, calmess and peace. Not to push this lesson too far, but I can honestly say that after I cried unapologetically and uncontrollably….the clouds outside actually parted and the sun came out. I want to say metaphorically, but even, literally the rain stopped and the sun shone bright.
So, in every life a little rain must fall and after the storm comes the calm – not just metaphorically, but sometimes literally. Have your storm. Yell in your car, write angry letters to nobody and cry. If you can cry whenever you want to, well, be my guest, but if like me you can only cry when your body physically can no longer hold it in…well, then do that too. Trust me, the world would rather you have a downpour of tears than bullets.
The Ginga Ninja