Have you ever suffered a loss? Said goodbye to a relationship? Or a loved one? Did you allow yourself to feel the pain of that loss or did you try stifle it, get past it, ignore it, or bury the pain? Are you still carrying that pain inside of you? Have you ever fully acknowledged that pain?
When I first separated from Steve and moved into our smaller home with the kids, I was processing so much grief, change, and loss that I found myself crying at night after the kids were down. During the day I was so busy with work and managing the kids that I didn’t really have time to feel anything, but it always hit me at night. I would get into bed, it would be quiet, and I’d be alone, and I’d start to cry. But I would always stop myself because it felt like crying was pointless and would just give me a sinus headache and puffy eyelids. I didn’t want to feel sad or lonely. I wanted to feel empowered and determined.
I started distracting myself in the evening so I wouldn’t cry. I would talk to friends on the phone or via Skype, watch television until I dozed off, or I’d listen to a paraliminal which would take me right into sleep. There. Problem solved. No time for any of that crying nonsense.
Then one night the battery in my iPod was dead and none of my friends happened to be around to talk to. I climbed into bed and flipped on the television. Then I heard a voice in my head. It was Sephira, my higher self, and she was telling me to turn off the television. I replied, “But if I turn off the TV I’m just going to sit here and cry.” She replied, “Yes. You will. So cry. Cry until you’re done. Stop blocking your feelings. Just let them all come to the surface.” I really didn’t want to, but Sephira is commanding and I trust her wisdom. Reluctantly but with resignation, I turned off the television.
I sat alone in bed and let the tears come. Hard. You know the kind… sobs. Heart wrenching, aching, deep, from the gut. It was physically and emotionally painful. I let every fearful thought enter my mind. As the thoughts appeared, I acknowledged them.
I don’t know how to be by myself.
I won’t survive.
I won’t make it.
I can’t endure this.
I made a mistake.
That night I think I cried for a full hour. I never once tried to stop the tears from coming. I never filtered or evaluated the thoughts coming to me. I just let them come and be acknowledged. I had to open my energy to feeling everything I’d been trying to stifle. I kept crying until I literally had nothing more to cry about. Every thought that wanted to come, came. And went. I wasn’t expecting them to leave after they’d presented themselves. Instead of going over and over my painful thoughts, they just came and went. At the end of an hour I had felt every fearful thought buried inside me. And then it was quiet, and the crying just stopped.
I felt oddly peaceful. There were no more fears anchoring me in place. They’d all been released through my tears. I felt like I was floating in a sea of calm potential.
Sephira said, “Is that all you’ve got?”
I shrugged and said, “Yep, I think that was all of it.”
Sephira said, “Good. Now let’s get to work picking up the pieces of your life and putting them back together. I think you’ll find it’s not nearly as bad as you feared.”
And I listened while she channeled her thoughts and ideas at me. For the next 30 minutes she talked to me about power, contribution and compassion. We discussed ideas, plans, desires, and goals. She helped me see how separating from Steve was important, and that my path was not dead, but opening up in new ways.
By the time she was done with me, I had the power and determination I’d been looking for. I was focused instead of fearful. Empowered instead of undone. But I couldn’t have reached that place with all the fear inside me, niggling and nagging at me. I had to let it out; I had to feel it and release it.
After that experience, I learned that it’s okay to cry. It’s healthy. Purifying. By letting go of the fearful or disempowering feelings, you can make way for healing to begin, and for resourcefulness to take its place.
Now when I feel like crying, I literally set aside time to do it. Usually at night, before bed, when the kids are down and I can be alone with my thoughts. I just let my mind go. I let the fear present itself and then I release it. I cry until I’m done.
It’s okay to feel emotional pain. It’s okay to feel fear, loneliness, panic, anxiety, sadness, shame, guilt, or anger. They are indicators of discomfort with your current situation. Acknowledge your feelings, don’t bury them. Give them expression, and then release them.
When you try to “get past” your pain without acknowledging it, it’s like putting new clothes on top of wet, muddy clothes. Eventually the dirty water will seep into the new ones. Better to take off your muddy, wet clothing, dry off, clean up, and then put on fresh clothes.
The next time the pain wells up inside you, make arrangements to let it out. Have a good cry. Cry until you’re done. Honor the tears. Let them cleanse you and prepare you for a more empowered future.