Go ahead and Cry
This article was first published in the Hindustan Times on May 17, 2015. All rights reserved with Hindustan Times.
As humans, we are hardwired to cry. In fact, we are the only beings on the planet to shed ’emotional’ tears – is what the scientists say. No one is tear-free. Crying is nature’s tried and tested relief method. A good cry makes one feel better than before, more aware, so I am thinking that maybe our eyes need to be washed once in a while by our tears so that we can see life with a clearer vision again….
As Victor Hugo said, “Those who do not weep do not see”.
There is sacredness in shedding tears. They are not a mark of weakness, but of power and courage – the power to communicate more eloquently than 10 thousand words and the courage to express emotions. They are messengers of overwhelming grief and remorse as well as of unspeakable love and happiness. Tears are words that the heart has difficulty in saying. They are memories that just sneak out of our eyes and roll down our cheeks. Words become superfluous at such points. The worst injustice is to insist that anyone stop crying. One can surely comfort a person who is crying in order to relax him or her, but to humiliate and ridicule someone who is crying means increasing the pain. It is important to let people cleanse and empty their hearts.
Crying serves a very important purpose – it releases pent up feelings thus signalling that something needs to be addressed. It takes a huge effort to free oneself from memories. Suppression is detrimental to ones physical and mental health. Since birth, crying has always been a sign of life. Unfortunately, crying has been the accepted mode of expressing feelings mainly for women and not men, who are not supposed to cry as it is considered ‘un-manly’ and shameful. In the absence of crying which could be seen as our psychological sewage, the un-cried for thoughts and feelings get embedded in the body as these feelings have nowhere to go, thus causing illnesses.
Painful memories are not meant to linger and fester. They are meant to teach us what we need to learn and then dissolve into a realm of soft-focus memory. A good old fashioned cry-fest can turn the bitterness of our past into peaceful acceptance. Tears have taught me a lot – brought clarity to my thought processes. I have learnt to honour my tears as they have often come bearing important gifts. They melt the hardness that develops over a period of time that covers our gentle and tender inner selves. Very often I hear people categorising their days as good or bad, based on whether they cried or not, bad being the days they cried. I don’t look at it that way. I feel crying is a positive thing; a healthy persons response to emotional pain or happiness. We think something is wrong with us when we cry, that we are weak. By doing so we are asking ourselves not to be human. I see crying as a sign of strength as you know that on the other side is healing and growth.
This is not to suggest that all people respond through tears to emotional pain or happiness. Each one of us has our own responses, but suppression doesn’t help anyone. It just creates dysfunctions and blocks in our body and covers our inner beauty. Crying keeps you sane – it cleanses the heart of all its past inhibitions and future worries.
So don’t hesitate to go ahead and start the water-works!
As one of my favourite poets Rumi said, “The wound is the place where the light enters you. …Laughter always follows the tears; life always blossoms where water flows”.
Note: Kamalrukh Khan is a Mumbai-based Clinical Hypnotherapist and Wellness Coach. She’s intuitive, strong and positive and loves travelling. She believes travelling to a new country is the best education she can give her kids. Painting and flying a plane or chopper top her bucket-list.