I used to tell people “I’m not really a crier”. And I meant it.
I dated a guy last summer that said “You’ve said that to me now a few times. What’s the story there?”
To be fair, there doesn’t really need to be a story there. People are all different and have all different levels of emotion and experiences while in these human bodies on this planet. And while he was just showing loving curiosity, the truth was that I just didn’t cry at things.
That being said, something has shifted in me. Massively.
The first shift happened after I had reiki done on me for the first time. I honestly was ‘dared’ to try it. Someone bet me that it would be stupid and not work. I am not one to turn down a bet, nor am I one to turn down competition. I am also not one to turn down a new experience and often say that I will try just about anything once. For better or for worse, I am sort of a whore of adventure, or an “advenwhore”, as I believe they say in French. The one exception I have found that I will never try, not even if I am triple-dog-dared, is sky-diving but that is a story for a different day.
All I knew about Reiki was that it involved something about energy, and that it also might very well be fake and quite frankly a stupid investment. I went anyway. I felt some heat and heard some cool piano chords in the middle of it, but other than that it was a very mundane 55 minutes of my life. I left and drove back home thinking that it was just sort of a waste of time.
The next five days, I sobbed off and on. Me. The person that didn’t cry. The girl that had trouble crying even when things were awful or sad or painful. I knew it was a problem. I knew I had stuffed emotion so deep throughout my adult life and was going through a divorce, but I couldn't even access it. It was like I felt like crying sometimes, but couldn’t. Until Reiki. It felt as though I was a stream of water and that reiki had disturbed some of the river rocks within that stream and that new things were bubbling up. I just couldn't quite put my finger on what. I had this sense and this vision in the following days that there were some deep dark things hiding in those stuffed places that would come out in time. After ugly-crying for far more hours and days than I’d like to admit, I decided that whatever it was I would just face it. Whatever it was that was stuffed inside of me so that means it already happened, right? How bad could it be? I had already survived it, so even if I uncovered some truths or some emotions that were terrible, I would remember that I am now still alive. It’s over. I’m on my new path.
The next shift happened when I was smack dab in the middle of my yoga teacher training last year. I had been practicing yoga on and off for years before I decided to become certified and do the 300-hour training. I had never once had an emotional experience in yoga. I had sweaty experiences, difficult experiences, meditative experiences, yes. Emotional, no.
It was toward the end of a hot vinyasa class, that the teacher instructed us to move into pigeon pose and I slowly did, knowing I can go pretty deep into my hips. As soon as I settled into the pose, I had a startling experience. Out of nowhere, as I sat on my mat, folded forward over my hips and surrendered into the posture, I had an out of body experience. I saw 5 visions flash before my eyes that entailed five of the worst moments of my life; moments in time that I had repressed and nearly forgotten about. Each flash played out before me like a terrifying movie montage. I immediately burst into tears on my mat. I wept into my hands and onto my sweat towel. I had a conversation with my body, who had a conversation with my mind, who had a conversation with my heart. It was very confusing but all were present. My body cried out “how could you not have protected me?! I was scared for so long! Why didn't you run? Why didn’t you tell someone? Why did you hide? Why did you keep pretending everything was ok? You abandoned us!”
My heart responded with compassion. It soothed my soul. She told me that she understood why I was afraid of men; she knew why I hadn’t found a successful relationship. No wonder! How could I when I was terrified of what could happen? When I was terrified of what had already happened?
My mind chimed in with wisdom and understanding and told us that it was ok. She said she was sorry. She admitted that she was the one who talked my heart out of leaving hundreds of times. She said that we would be safe now, that we are safe. That no one would ever hurt us like that ever again.
My body. My heart. My mind. All talking to one another like a triad of humanness within me. It made no sense but then it also made all of the sense. I knew I wasn't just a body. I knew I wasn't just a soul.
I resonated on that moment in time for days. I was in a daze for days. I kept having flashbacks. I understood on a new level how shut down I had been. I realized how much I had forsaken myself and my own wisdom, my own soul. I slowly started to feel “connected” again. My heart was no longer a robot and she would be listened to. She could cry now. I replayed it in my mind and wrote down what it felt like to have my different selves within me that made me whole, all talk and agree to go forward on a different path and create a new life for me.
Never again, I decided.
I’ll listen now. I’ll hear my body whisper, before she feels she needs to yell, and definitely before she ever needs to scream at me.
I went to therapy that next week and had quite the story to tell. I felt crazy. I was told it was really common to experience that level of cathartic release and that it’s bioenergetics. It can happen during yoga, deep tissue massage, meditation, etc. The body has an amazing way of storing trapped emotion, trauma, and memories but they all come out eventually. I guess that moment in yoga was my “eventually”. My therapist told me there was a reason that my body was now willing to come out and tell me the truth and have me face my old memories and stories. She knew I was safe. She knew I had grown. She knew I could handle it. Damn.
Ever since that moment, I have been able to put some of the pieces of my life together. I have been able to cry when things are sad. I have been able to reattach my heart to the rest of my body. I think she went and hid for a long while when it wasn’t safe. I’m very glad she’s back. She guides me. She helps me. She cries with me.
I no longer say that I’m not a crier. I know now that my tears are a blessing and that sometimes one needs to just “cry”. It is healing to be able to fully express myself and to let myself be me. Sometimes this girl is sad and she needs to let it out. I think part of me was afraid to cry subconsciously because I thought I’d never stop. For a while, I cried a lot. I cried out the decade of emotion that was trapped, run from, and hidden in a dark place. Now, it has evolved into mostly just crying as things come up. I do my very best to give myself space to feel it for a few minutes. I let myself feel it. I may write about it. It rarely lasts more than a few minutes now. I picture it like the high tide that then recedes again. Or like a wild wind that rushes through and then is gone again. What use is there to try to control the tide, or to hold back the wind? It’s natural. I’m free.
I let her cry now because it is safe. It’s safe to be me, and it’s safe to express all that I’ve gone through within this body, this heart, this mind, this soul.
The tears are precious.
I continue to choose to honor them.