Today I cried – and it was beautiful.
So there I was not really feeling sad but not feeling happy either, that all too familiar feeling of not really feeling anything at all.
So I decided to listen to some music, I turned off the lights and put on Jeff Buckley’s Hallelujah. I’ve always loved the song but this time it was different, this time the beauty of the song touched something deep inside my soul. This is not the first time this has happened to me, of course, but instead of surpressing any strong emotions I felt, like I usually do, I did the exact opposite. I let it touch me, I felt the beauty, the sadness, the heartbreak and all of the love in the song. And then I did something I haven’t done in a very very long time. For the first time in years I openly wept. I cried for all the people I’ve lost and the ones I will lose, I cried for the loss of childhood, for all the missed opportunities, everything that could have been and that never will be. I cried for all the times I was wronged, all the heartbreak people caused me and for all the heartbreak I have caused others. I cried for expectations that will never be met, for all the flaws I had, for all the times I wasn’t good enough. I even cried for my inability to cry, except for in this very moment. I cried for the fact that the world had hardened me, I cried for all the walls I put up to protect myself, for the emotional coldness I forced on myself. And I cried for the world, for all the devastation, for the hopelessness, for the wars, for all the evil that won’t go away no matter what you do and for all the pain and the unjustness that had occured throughout history. But I also cried for all the overwhelming beauty in it, all the love, the hope and the miracle of life itself. I cried over the simultaneous beauty and agony of simply being alive.
I cried and cried until my whole body shook and my face was tingling. I cried until I physically couldn’t cry anymore. And then I felt true peace. Once I was done crying and the endorphins set in I felt like a great weight had been lifted off of me, like i simply cried away all the pain and the sorrows of the world.
And then I thought about why I, along with so many other people, denied myself this sensation of crying and even actively surpressed it.
When I was a kid I cried easily, words would hurt me, movies and songs would touch me and often before going to sleep I would cry in my pillow and feel better afterwards. My mother however did not understand this, she would try to comfort me but after a while she would get annoyed and tell me to stop, telling me I was exaggerating, because she couldn’t understand. Sometimes she got angry at me for crying, which would upset me more. When I was very little and I was crying over something my parents way of shutting me up when nothing helped was to carry me to the bathroom and put me under a cold shower. I don’t know if they even realize what effect this quick way of shutting me up had but gradually I learned that tears where something evil. Something that made others uncomfortable, something you needed to be ashamed of, a sign of weakness. You weren’t allowed to cry unless you had a very good reason.
To this day I physically can’t bring myself to cry in front of another person. Even when I go to a funeral and I feel as though the pain is going to rip me apart I don’t cry, I just surpress my feelings as good as I can. I push that ache in my heart down until I can bear it but that means that it won’t go away. It is even hard for me to cry when I am by myself, no matter how much I want to I just can’t do it. This is why today was important for me because I honestly can’t remember when I last cried openly.
It is so important that we cry and stop seeing tears at signs of weakness or something to be ashamed of, because they make us human. Feeling all of that emotion and crying because of it is a wonderful thing and the peace you feel afterwards makes it worth it. So please allow yourself to cry, to be alive, to feel, to just be human.
Because today I cried – and it was beautiful.