What are you afraid will happen?
We are taught that tears are a sign of weakness. What if we allowed our tears to be seen? What if we didn’t apologise as though we were doing something wrong? What if we let our bodies do what they know how to do i.e. to digest our tears, just like our bodies know how to digest the food we eat.
I’ve been to two conferences where some of the women speakers have cried. Or rather tears came up but they stopped themselves from crying and/or apologized for crying. Each time I witnessed this, I wanted to tell them …
No! Let your tears flow!
I asked one of the presenters why she didn’t just let her tears come and she said it was because crying would take away from her message. I thanked her and walked away.
Yesterday, I chose to have a different conversation with one of the presenters who shut down her tears and apologized. I invited her to let her tears flow the next time they present. I explained that …
Tears are simply energy and information being presented as a message from our body as it attempts to process whatever “emotion” is going on for us at that moment.
The trouble is that we are taught not to cry.
We are taught that tears are a sign of weakness. What if we allowed our tears to be seen? What if we didn’t apologise as though we were doing something wrong? What if we let our bodies do what they know how to do i.e. to digest our tears, just like our bodies know how to digest the food we eat. We never question how our bodies digest the food we eat, why would we not do the same with our emotions as and when they present?
There are memories stored in our bodies. Just as we have muscle memory (our muscles remember how to do things), which is what allows me to run a half marathon without training (because of my years of running), our bodies also have “emotional” memory. When we engage in a conversation or hear a sound, a song, smell or see something, sometimes our bodies can be triggered; with that comes physical sensations e.g. tears, heat, shivers, goosebumps, headache. It is quite simply a biological process that our body is going through but we have been taught to put such judgement on our tears.
When the tears present, our bodies are simply trying to send us a message and to process what is coming up as a result of being triggered.
If we’re willing to let go of worrying about what other people will think of us, then there is potential for great change to happen in our lives.
All we need to do is to let the tears flow and BREATHE. Breathing is key. As we let go of whatever stories are running around in our intellect and focus instead on breathing, we give our body space to process the tears. As we engage in the process of breathing, our bodies will settle and our tears will subside. And now we’re different. We might not be able to articulate how we’re different.
We might not even feel any different but the fact of the matter is that we are different and we’ve unpeeled a layer of the onion.
Next time the tears present, notice what your body feels like and what the voice inside your head is telling you. I’m embarrassed. They think I’m weak and emotional. Why can’t I ever get through this without crying?
What really would happen if you let yourself cry?
We hold such fear about what the other people around us will think. What if we didn’t worry about what they think? What if we honoured ourselves and our bodies? What are you afraid will happen? Are you willing to try it on? So often, the stories we tell ourselves never eventuate and yet look at how much time and energy we spend with those stories? The reality is never as bad as what we imagine might happen.
If you’re willing, the next time tears present, instead of shutting down and apologizing for the tears, try something different and consider embracing the tears. Take a breath, focus on your breathing, make sure not to hold your breath, relax your shoulders and soften your belly. Keep doing that until you feel your body settle and the tears subside. What do you notice about how your body feels now? Does it feel different?