I cried the other day. That doesn’t sound like much of an event, especially when I have friends who cry at least once a day over what seems like trivial events to the outside world. I realized afterward that it’s been about a year since I had a really good, ugly cry. That’s a long time for someone who previously would cry at the sappiest of movies.
Leading up to my dry spell, I spent so much time crying, mourning my lost loves, that one day, I had to stop. I had to stop crying. I had to stop to survive. If I kept mourning with so many tears I would wash away my resolve to live. So I stopped crying. I put up a wall and tried to find other outlets for those emotions. Crying couldn’t be one of them.
Then the wall was punctured. A long, stressful day led me to crumble the next morning over a seemingly dumb event. It wasn’t the event that made me cry. It was the build-up of all that emotion that I tried so hard to acknowledge and let go but never really let go of. It’s the emotion that hangs onto the edge of your heart or gets stuffed into the fringes of your mind. That emotion needs out, and like water flowing downhill, it will find a way. It will leak out in the worst of places if it’s not dealt with, felt and really, truly let go.
I admitted defeat. I admitted the Universe got the best of me. I let down my walls.
Time stood still for a moment. That pesky and persistent resolve to carry on swelled up. My emotional self wanted to bash it back down.
It is in these weak moments that I think of a young woman* Oprah interviewed many years ago. Her ex-boyfriend had set her on fire and she survived but with terrible scaring. She’s had dozens of surgeries and just living is a challenge. Although she wanted to give up, her sister tells her to take 5 minutes a day to feel bad, to cry, to let down her walls. At the end of the timer, she has to stop crying and carry on.
That interview has stuck with me. That young woman was honest, vulnerable and so sad. Her strength and carry-on-ness has stuck with me.
Allowing myself a few moments to feel sad, it was soon time to stop crying and carry on.
When I looked up after drying my tears, this is what I saw.
When was the last time you let down your walls? When was the last time you really felt, and then truly let go of, those bottled up emotions?
*I tried to find the story of the particular woman mentioned above, but could not find it. If I do, I’ll add it in the comments.