I believe in a good cry. It's an honest response to normal emotion and it's a healthy way to release what you no longer need.
Children know how to cry, but we often stifle their emotion by telling them they are "fine", "overreacting", or "dramatic". This can be a disservice because crying is a natural cleanser. It's the way the body releases what feels uncomfortable and the way it heals what is painful.
Emotion can leak out other ways, through anger, sarcasm, passive-aggressive behavior, but acting out carries more consequences than a good cry. Doesn't everything seem different after a good cry? Nothing has changed, but everything has changed?
I cry when I am sad, frustrated, or even happy (sometimes this confuses my girls and necessitates an extensive explanation). But there are times when I am "stuck" because I am unsure of what I am feeling or because I am feeling uncomfortable with my own vulnerability.
Music allows me to tap into my emotions; it carries memories and allows me to feel more deeply. These are some of my favorites; these songs serve as reminders and help me let go, whatever the situation may be.
World is on Fire - Sarah McLachlan
I am blessed with being able to "feel" things very clearly….I tend to pick up on people's emotions or the energy in a room. But with all things there is duality, and the blessing can become a drain, a challenge to my system. I take in too much and have a hard time knowing what is mine, and what is somebody else's. This song is my reminder that I can only do my part and I have to allow other's to do the same.
The world's on fire and
It's more than I can handle
I'll tap into the water
I try to pull my share
I try to bring more
More than I can handle
Bring it to the table
Bring what I am able…
This Woman's Work - Kate Bush
I hear this and remember Kevin Bacon in She's Having a Baby, the moment he realizes he has been disconnected and distracted from his own life. He experiences what Zen Buddists call satori, an immediate awakening or instant enlightenment to what is most important.
I should be crying, but I just can't let it show…
I should be hoping, but I can't stop thinking
Of all the things I should've said,
That I never said.
All the things we should've done,
That we never did.
All the things I should've given,
But I didn't……
Saved the Best for Last - Vanessa Williams
My husband and I have always been friends and I always loved him, but we said good-bye several times along the way because he needed his 20's; his time for freedom and growth (and in hindsight I did, too). Eleven years ago he asked me out on our first official date, and this song brings back the happiness, the relief, and the deep appreciation that there was a right time for both of us.
There was a time when all I did was wish
You'd tell me this was love
It's not the way I hoped or how I planned
But somehow it's enough
And now we're standing face to face
Isn't this world a crazy place
Just when I thought our chance had passed
You go and save the best for last...
Annie's Song - John Denver
This is a song from my childhood, my Aunt Peg loves John Denver and it reminds me of her. And it also reminds me of my girls, the way I feel about them, the way that there are no words to describe the love because it's too big. By using descriptive language from nature, John comes as close as you can get.
You fill up my senses
like a night in the forest
like the mountains in springtime,
like a walk in the rain
like a storm in the desert,
like a sleepy blue ocean
you fill up my senses,
come fill me again….
Feel us Shaking - The Samples
This is a favorite song from college, a song that reminds me of how it feels to be 20. And it reminds me of a friend that was killed in a car accident a few years after we graduated, a friend that went through an early "awakening" while we were in school. Somehow through the haze of college he was able to see what was most important and direct his path accordingly. He died so young, but while he was here he understood and appreciated why he was here (why all of us are here) and he knew that he was, and still is, a teacher.
I'd like to stay but I couldn't stay with you
I have to go, I have a lot I want to do
Pleasures be waiting by the sea
with a smile for all the world to see…
How do you let it go? Feel free to comment.
Cathy Adams is a certified parenting coach, yoga instructor and mother to three girls.
See more of Cathy's stories here.