I’ve spent most of my life locked in my head. Keeping my emotions at bay, and not even realizing I was doing so.
I still do this, even though I know by now what’s going on inside of me. I can feel tears rising up inside me, begging to be poured out. But I shove them down and don’t engage.
I swallow the lump in my throat. I blink back the tears. I’m so good at this that I don’t even have to blink sometimes.
I can literally watch myself do this. It’s like an out-of-body experience. I can say to myself,“She’s locked in her head right now, refusing to deal with those pesky emotions. Why is she so stubborn??”
Why? Because emotions take time. They take energy. And after I engage my emotions, I seriously need a nap. So it’s easier for me to detach from them. It’s easier to ignore them.
It might not be easier in the long run. But in the short run, it’s certainly faster. Because I’ve got things to do. People are depending on me. I can’t take the time to deal with this. Crying won’t help my situation.
No, crying might not help my situation. But it might help me. When I’m done crying, my problem might not be better, but I am be better. My problem might not be solved, but I no longer feel like it’s insurmountable.
I don’t always let myself do that. I’m afraid that if I start crying, I won’t stop. I’m afraid it won’t fix my problem. And I’m all about solutions, people.
But. What if the tears are the solution? What if the tears allow my soul to say something that words can’t?
I need to feel.
I don’t always feel like feeling.
But I need to feel.
So today, if you’re like me, and you have a hard time accepting the fact that you’re human and that you have feelings in the midst of all the goals and tasks of life, I give you permission to feel.
And if it’s easier to shove the tears down your throat than to let them flow freely, I give you permission to cry. Cry as hard as you need, for as long as you need. Use all the tissues you need.
And if too much is going on in your life, and you don’t think you have the time to stop and cry, I still give you permission. After you’ve cried a little, or even a lot, you just might find you have the strength to carry on.
And when you’re finished, you can look up and remember that if I were with you today, I’d be sitting right beside you, with a tearful smile and a warm hug.