This past week, I had separate conversations with two women who began to cry as they shared the difficult things in their lives. We were in public, and although they both felt relief at sharing, they intentionally put on their sunglasses to hide their tears. Yes, I know , there are many practical reasons for this, including not wanting to receive the ‘pity look’ from anyone, or being asked with false interest “what is wrong?” and so on.
Yet, I see this withholding of feelings so often, that I just want to ask, “Why on earth do we think we cannot cry??” A child is born and it is the first thing they do.
We need to give ourselves permission to flow with life. Life is full of moments where there is heartbreak, tenderness, loss and grief. If we try to protect ourselves from these experiences, we are closing our hearts and thus closing out all the joy and blissful moments that are also part of the ebb and flow of life.
We need to question the way that we have learned to shut our feelings down, and recognize that although we need not fall into the river of emotion, we can tenderly hold ourselves through whatever is going on. In the same way, we would allow a child with a skinned knee to cry, release and then move on.
So next time you are moved, wear those tears as a badge of your full embrace of life…your authenticity will be a gift to your soul and a freedom for others.