Go ahead. Cry!

September 13th, 2016 by Patricia Jehle Leave a reply »

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Tears of Remembrance

There is a time for showing emotions — and all emotions are okay to show. Last weekend was a big day of taking pause, remembering, being sad, and showing grief. A day of remembering, and mourning. Fifteen years have passed since September 11, 2001 and the world will never forget.

One of the reactions to this Day that is okay, no, is necessary, is tears.

History and cultures

Two weeks ago I had a conversation with a friend about the history of tears, their meaning and how one collected tears, because they were precious. The ancient Persians and the Romans seem to have considered tears to be precious. The Hebrews in the Old Testament honored tears, and the Victorians collected tears in bottles and kept them for show in special bottles.

Benefits of tears

Besides being precious tears are important for health. We cry to release intense feelings, but also the body is able to rid itself of impurities. Tears are also important for emotional health. As Psychology Today puts it, “Try to let go of outmoded, untrue, conceptions about crying. It is good to cry. It is healthy to cry. This helps to emotionally clear sadness and stress. Crying is also essential to resolve grief, when waves of tears periodically come over us after we experience a loss. Tears help us process the loss so we can keep living with open hearts. Otherwise, we are a set up for depression if we suppress these potent feelings.” https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/emotional-freedom/201007/the-health-benefits-tears

The Problem

But there is a problem; we live in a tear-phobic society. It is common to think that crying is a sign of weakness, a sign of inability to cope with the situation. This is a false assumption and must be countered with truth. It’s more than okay to cry. It is good and healthy for us to cry, and to allow others to cry in our presence.

Personal thoughts

I don’t know about you, but I have some hard days of remembrance before me in the upcoming months. My mom died in the fall, as did my mother-in-law and sister-in-law. Also, some fifty plus years ago my dad died, also in the fall. The freshest, and for me hardest day is Mom’s death last fall. I have been, and will be crying off an on on those dates, and around those days. It’s okay, it’s natural and it’s good for me to cry about them then. It’s healthy.

How long

I have read that society in general wants people to get over grief in something like two months. Ask any honest person, and good psychologist, and I think the deep grief can easily last for six to twelve months. What does our society do with this? They want you “productive and strong” in two months. But there’s a real problem with that, because when we, you and I, stuff our emotions they stay there and “fester” and come out in very unproductive ways. It is much better to grieve and to feel our grief. To cry.

So what do we do:

Be mindful of our state of emotion, of our body, of others

  • Pay attention and be curious about our emotions. Treat them as part of you, not as adversaries.
  • Be aware that your grief will affect your body, too. That headache, gut ache, tight chest… be aware, and take care of yourself. Remember to breathe and to move take walks, especially)
  • Remember that others are grieving, too and send them your wishes, in thoughts, prayers, words, and actions.

What are you going to do about it?

We humans want to be pain-free. But life is not like that and it is much better to walk through that pain, preferably with someone, than to stuff it and pretend it isn’t there. Each person has their own coping methods. I personally walk my dog a lot when I am sad. It really helps, as does something that Brené Brown writes about called four spare breathing.

So, what are you sad about, grieving about? Who else is grieving? How are you going to deal with it?

I wish you a good week, thinking, doing and feeling.

Patricia Jehle

www.jehle-coaching.com      blog: www.jehle-coachingexpat.com

contact me at: patricia@jehle-coaching.com

Also, I invite you to join my group, SMEs Grow Together on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/7041402

 

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