Most of what we currently believe about crying is untrue. Here are some of the beliefs we have about what we have come to call the Mother's Holy Process.
|LIE #1: The true purpose of crying is to keep our eyes from drying out.
TRUTH: THERE ARE TWO KINDS OF TEARS
According to William Frey (Crying, The Mystery of Tears) there are two distinct kinds of tears (3 if you want to get really technical), each different in chemical makeup, and triggered by different events. The tears which moisten our eyes are very different from emotional tears. Emotional tears are unique to human beings, and serve a very important purpose. Crying is our gift from The Golden Mother to our bodies to help us cope with the pain of living.
|LIE #2: Crying is only for babies. Adults must find other ways to express their emotions. |
TRUTH: CRYING IS A NATURAL PROCESS MEANT FOR EVERYBODY, AT ANY AGE.
One of the saddest things in western culture in particular, is the judgment that crying is something to train a child not to do, that it is weak. Most adults in our society do not even remember receiving this judgment, it's so deeply ingrained. We hold the belief that crying is babyish, weak, and that once a child reaches a certain age, they should stop indulging in baby behavior (crying).
This puts unnatural pressures on the body, and begins the process of learning to deny how we feel. And this all happens at such an early age, most of us are not aware that we were taught not to cry. However, if we find ourselves crying in front of others, we feel uncomfortable, shy, exposed, vulnerable, fearful of shaming, fearful of being judged, and usually try to shut down the tears as quickly as possible.
|LIE #3: Crying does no good and is a waste of time. |
TRUTH: EXPRESSING OUR FEELINGS THROUGH CRYING IS THE ONLY ROAD TO TRUE EMOTIONAL HEALTH.
Crying is both organic, and primal.
It is the deepest, most basic level of emotional expression. If you scream your rage, you will release a certain amount of pent-up energy stored in your body. You will feel better for a short time, because you have skimmed off the top layer of your rage. But if that is all you do, you will never heal the deep layers of rage that need to move.
When you reach the level of crying, we call this "ignition". This is when the organic process is able to take charge and - if allowed to - will continue until the deepest levels of emotion have been released. (See The 3 Steps of Emotional Healing.)
Crying our feelings allows the emotion to express and move through our bodies, and once fully moved, they are transformed. This transformation is not something that can be forced upon the emotions. They must be allowed to move fully and organically through the body, until they naturally reach healing and transformation. And they will.
Mind evolves and transforms quite differently from emotions. Because of this difference, mind has believed that emotions cannot evolve, and must be suppressed or gotten rid of. This is absolutely untrue. Instead of allowing the natural process that would allow emotions to transform and evolve, we have spent an enormous amount of time and energy trying to "train" ourselves into "better" emotions.
If you have not had a transformative experience through crying, you simply have not allowed the expression to complete. And if you've stopped yourself from crying in the middle, you may actually feel worse. It's as if you let loose the floodgates, and then right in the middle, changed your mind and are trying to force all that forward moving energy back into containment. It will be MORE painful than if you just let it continue flowing out to it's natural end. I've seen many people do just that, and then blame the process of crying for the additional pain they feel from trying to stop the flow.
|LIE #4: If we stop someone from crying, their feelings will go away. |
TRUTH: OUR FEELINGS NEVER GO AWAY BY IGNORING THEM.
Our feelings do not go away because we stop expressing them. They just go underground, into our unconscious, stored along with the memories.
This is important to understand!
If you feel pain as you experience something and you do not process and release the pain, it stays with you in your memory banks as part of your memory, although usually frozen, hidden in the attic, and often not consciously remembered.
THE FEELINGS DO NOT GO AWAY, THEY JUST MOVE OUT OF OUR AWARENESS.
|LIE #5: If we don't stop people from crying, they might get hysterical and never be able to stop. |
TRUTH: CRYING HAS A NATURAL EBB AND FLOW
If you allow the tears to flow in a natural way, they eventually come to a natural stopping point. The process is something like peeling an onion. As you work through a layer of pain, your body cries the feelings in that layer, and then the tears just sort of dissipate by themselves. Sometimes the body gives you signs that you're at the end of the layer. I've seen several people spontaneously burp at the end of a "session".
If the layer is too big for you to cry through in one "session", don't worry, your body will find a stopping place. You will cry and cry and cry, and then you'll collapse and probably fall asleep for a long nap. This is natural. The body is helping you work through a rather large layer of the onion. When you awaken, try to do something in the physical world that will help draw you out into life. Wash dishes. Work in the garden. This will ground you in the outer world. Then, after a short rest, you will be ready to go back inside and work on the emotions again.
If you have truly reached the end of the layer, you will feel an expansion in your body, because you have cleared frozen energy and made room for loving awarenesses and feelings to move in. You may find yourself re-evaluating the pain or the memory or the current situation, spontaneously seeing things in a new way.
|LIE #6: If I start crying, the feelings will overwhelm me and I'll go crazy. |
TRUTH: CRYING IS A LINEAR PROCESS. WE CAN'T BE OVERWHELMED BY ONE TEAR AT A TIME.
This is a difficult one, because the feelings that have been contained and controlled for so long are DYING to get out. When they see the door opening a crack, they all rush forward, all trying to get out at once. It can feel overwhelming.
But the truth is that our bodies can only cry one thing at a time. Pain can only come out through the door one thing at a time. Now, this may mean you find yourself doing two minutes of crying rage of one part, and then a minute of crying terror of another part, and then 30 seconds of heartbreak of another part, but this kind of emotional ball-bouncing is ok. And none of the feelings have to make sense or be understandable to the mind. Do not expect the frozen mishmosh of stuff in your attic to come forward in a plainly understandable way! Just allow. One tear at a time. That is all you need to do.
Trust that the Holy Process given to us will help us move the pain through our bodies as we can handle it. It will never be more than we can handle. Even though it might FEEL overwhelming and terrifying. Some of the fear is mind's fear, the fear of the chaos of emotions. Fear of being out of control. Mind needs to be reassured that this process works, and that in the end, mind and emotions will be united and we will be MORE powerful, not less.
|LIE #7: Crying is only for expressing grief or heartbreak.
TRUTH: ALL FEELINGS CAN BE CRIED.
If you look at how babies express their pain, you will see an example of how our bodies were meant to work, how our feelings were meant to be healed. All feelings are expressed organically, naturally. The energy of rage, terror, grief, need, all move through the body with sounds and tears. Some feelings may originate or have their presence in the gut, some may have their presence in the heart, some in the throat or head, but all of these feelings need to move through the body and outward through crying. This is The Golden Mother's gift to us. This is the Holy Process.
It's not possible for someone who has not tried this process to know what is meant by the deepest levels of ignition. If you hold the judgment that rage cannot be cried, you will never try to allow yourself to go there. You will never have the experience, and therefore, you will never know if it works. You must at least temporarily suspend your judgment and try it. Let yourself dig deep, let yourself cry your rage, and see how it feels. Feel the shifts that can take place at the organic level.
And remember - one reason rage does not want to cry is that when you reach the level of crying rage, you feel vulnerable. Rage would much rather maintain its position of power and force than reach down beneath it's justifications to find the cause. If you start crying your rage, you may find that it is co-mingled with hurt, or terror. This is natural. No feeling is an island. All feelings are connected and if you allow it, crying one feeling will lead to crying another. This is as it should be. Follow the thread. Follow the layer of the onion until it naturally comes to a stop.