Each week, I'll post a lesson (maybe two) and share my thoughts on how it resonates in my own life. Perhaps you would like to join along. Sharing in the comments, or posting on your own blog, and then sharing that link with us here. I think this book would make an excellent choice for a book club, or the lessons used as retreat topics. So let's just consider this a cyber book club of sorts. Ok? Great!
Apology First! So sorry I let the Life Lessons post drop off since May! What can I say other than life got in the way of me keeping my promise to post these 50 Life Lessons each week. Life had me so distracted I even stopped reading the lessons myself on a daily basis. But, that's all behind us now. Starting today, I'm diving back in with Lesson #7.
*image found here
Life Lesson #7 - Cry with Someone. It' More Healing than Crying Alone.
I don't cry in front of others if I can help it. And just like Regina Brett says, most of us were taught at some point in our lives that crying was a sign of weakness. I have long held this way of thinking to be true. Growing up with four older brothers, I learned quickly that if I shed tears when they teased me, the teasing only intensified. But if I could hold back the tears and display resolve and toughness, they became less interested in teasing me. What this taught me, and what I have practiced for most of my life, was to only cry in private. Not shedding tears in from of others even led me to be told by some, that I have a hard heart because I never cry.
Well, the jokes on them. I don't have a hard heart. I have a soft, caring and loving heart but one that I learned to guard at all costs. I do cry. Lots sometimes. Big waves of flowing tears, gasping breaths, and audible sounds of agony. These times are reserved for great heartache and sadness. Other times I cry out of happiness too. Someone's gesture towards me will overwhelm me with emotions of gratitude and thankfulness and it just comes pouring out in tears.
And here's what I've learned over the past year - that when faced with life's most harsh heart breaks, you can't hide the tears from others. Nor do you want to. Through this most devastating of events in my life I have allowed myself to cry in front of friends, family, my therapist and even strangers. I'm still not a hundred percent comfortable with doing so, but I gave up the fight in pretending not to be human in my emotions. I cry people. Get use to it!
Allowing myself to be vulnerable in this way hasn't been easy. But not much in life is easy, and if crying in front of, and with others helps me to connect deeper with them, then I'm happy to do it. The old Ann use to pride herself in seldom shedding a tear. The new Ann can't seem to keep the flood gates closed now that they are open. I still believe that there are times when we need to cry alone. To protect ourselves a little in this way and give ourselves the safety we need in those times. And I also now believe in crying with someone when that feels right too.
Cry with someone.
Cry when it feels good.
Cry when there is nothing else to do.
Cry to heal.