Crying is Good For You

For as long as we can remember we have heard the words - Don't Cry. We have probably said it ourselves on numerous occasions, and repeated it to our children, our friends, our siblings.

As if stopping the tears would stop the hurt.

If you are male you have probably internalised an even stronger message. - Dont EVER Cry - big boys don't cry, be a Man, be strong etc. etc.

So, the message is Don't Cry.

- Why on earth not?!?
  • Because crying means you are sad
  • Because crying means you are hurting
  • Because crying means you are in pain
  • Because crying means you are frustrated
  • Because crying makes others uncomfortable
  • Because crying doesn't solve anything
Oh, right, so they are the reasons, I understand now.

But most of those things are part of life itself! - We do get sad - We do hurt - We are sometimes in pain and we are often frustrated.

Yes it is a fact that crying can and does make others uncomfortable. They want it to stop, they don't know how to deal with it. Maybe it triggers their own unshed tears and they don't want that to happen.

And what about the thought - crying doesn't solve anything?
Half hearted, stifled, held back crying, really doesn't solve anything, it only gives you red swollen eyes and a sniffling nose.

But if you move into the feeling and really allow the tears to flow - wail if you need to! and don't stop yourself until the torrent is over. You will be washed clean, healed by the flowing salt water.

"Tears are the safety valve of the heart when too much pressure is laid on it."
- Albert Smith

Tears come easily for some people. Others are shut down by being repeatedly told 'Don't Cry' they are out of touch with their emotions and manage to stay dry-eyed, no matter the depth of pain or sadness. For some, crying means weakness, shame, "being a baby."

When you cry you are healing:

Tears have a purpose in maintaining our equilibrium and wellbeing. As part of our internal weather system they are a vital function - that is why we have the ability and urge to cry.

"The sorrow which has no vent in tears may make other organs weep."
- Henry Maudsley

  • "Chemicals that build up during emotional stress may be removed in our tears when we cry,'' says William Frey, professor of pharmaceutics at the University of Minnesota. link
  • The renowned psychiatrist, Dr. Karl Menninger, wrote in his book, The Vital Balance, "Weeping is perhaps the most human and most universal of all relief measures." Read more

We would never dream of saying to someone if they needed to drink, eat or sleep - don't do that! We recognise those bodily functions. But the natural urge to cry when needed, is stifled and shut down.

We may not like it when it rains outside if we fancied a sunshine filled day, but we recognise that it is needed. The Earth would become dry and brittle without it, life could not exist.

"Heavy hearts, like heavy clouds in the sky, are best relieved by the letting of a little water." - Antoine Rivarol

All the weather systems of the Earth are necessary - likewise - so are ours.

My Story:
A long time ago, I used to feel uncomfortable around people when they cried. I would squirm and feel ill at ease - I desperately wanted them to stop.

My own tears were an unshed torrent inside me, I hid them - even from myself. I was afraid that if I started to cry, I might never stop. I might drown in the deluge of my tears.

Eventually my body began to show the evidence of this great swell of tears I had carried and not allowed to flow, and the dam broke and I learnt to cry.

"Let your tears come. Let them water your soul."
- Eileen Mayhew

I learnt to cry as a child cries, all consuming, not stifling or holding anything back. I sobbed until I was washed clean, empty of the stress and sorrows I had been carrying.

Others close to me, had only seen people holding back tears, the sort 'that never solve anything' and they had to learn that when 'allowed' and done with your whole self, that crying was good.

It DID solve things, it allowed people to get rid of stress, disappointment, sadness, grief. It healed, refreshed and renewed. They had to learn to stop saying 'don't cry'.

"Tears are God’s gift to us. Our holy water. They heal us as they flow."
- Rita Schiano

From that time on, I have no fear of emotion. - I feel honoured to be around those healing waters as they flow. If I am in the presence of others when they shed tears, I hold them and rock them, as I urge them - "keep crying until all the tears are gone."

"Invisible tears are the hardest to wipe away. Just let it out, my friend."
- Adabella Radici

Do you find it easy to cry?
Do you feel better afterwards?
Does being around others when they are crying make you feel uncomfortable?
How do you feel about Men crying?


Barbara Scully said...

crying -interesting post. And it is making me think. I have just posted on 'positivity' and am now wondering if we sometimes are so intent of being positive that we negate our 'lower' emotions and so prevent crying! And I do agree with you - it is important to cry. To let it all out! Going to have to think more about the points you raise! Good on you for being so thought provoking! Thanks Susannah!

Susannah said...

A positive outlook and way of living is a blessing as long as we are not afraid of feeling and expressing genuine emotion when needed.

There are times when to feel and express emotion is appropriate.

Life is light and shade, summer and winter and it is good to recognise and honour the nuances.
Balance is recognising the worth of both dark and light and honouring each when they arise.

We also need to respect the wisdom of our bodies, if we feel the need to cry, then stifling it or telling ourselves we shouldn't is not honouring our whole self. It is our mind judging our feeling self as wrong or inapropriate.

We can still walk with our face turned toward the Sun and choose to notice the beauty, to feel the joy, to spread happiness. It can be even sweeter when we allow ourselves to process feelings and stress and release them in tears.

Wow this is turning into a blog post, I had better stop! lol

Thanks for commenting, it is appreciated as always - x

Maya said...

yes... i too used to find it very difficult to cry... until they got stored into the body... everytime i would have a massage and the masseur would release the knots, i would find myself crying without knowing why... and since then i have given myself permission to cry... and it has only been a first step...

and yes i have seen men cry... actually i find it one of the most attractive characteristics... a show of emotion :)

Susannah said...

Maya - I am glad you can cry. :-)

Thanks for visiting and reading, it is always good to see you.

Maria said...

I am learning to honour my feelings. Those days when i am tired, well now, i am learning to rest. And there are days like today, when i feel the need to cry and allow myself the space to feel the depths within and the tears to flow.
I do like the words 'Tears are the holy water of the soul' ... that unfathomable place within our being.
And yes, whilst having a positive attitude can carry us forward in life, however, our deepest feelings are there for a reason and deserve to be honoured and respected in order for our souls to evolve.
Thank you ... i only came across your blog today and it is inspirational.

Susannah said...

Maria, I am so glad that you allow your tears. Thanks so much for leaving a comment here, I am glad to meet you. x


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