Why are you crying?
What are you crying about?
You don't need to cry.
Don't cry over...!
When did you learn that it's not ok to cry?
I may have felt that it wasn't ok to cry when I was very young, but I know I learned that it wasn't ok to cry when I was a teenager. I remember riding the bus home, desperately wanting to cry, feeling the need to hold it in, then getting home and crying - sobbing.
It doesn't matter the reasons. I may have felt left out by my friends that day. Someone may have said something mean to me. I may have felt bad about not performing well in school. I may have been stressed out about a school project that I needed to finish (and that had to be perfect).
We all have different levels of sensitivity and we all have different go-to emotions.
Why did crying get called out as an emotion to be held back? And, more importantly, why do we continue to perpetuate this belief?
After my teens, and especially through university, I trained myself not to cry. I've held this emotion (that brings me so much relief) back and pushed it down. I've swallowed it so many times that now...I am having to teach myself how to cry again.
And it's frustrating AF!
For me, crying is a relief! It's an emotional release that leaves me feeling lighter. And, through how I've assimilated my cultural training, I have taken that emotional tool out of my toolbox.
Allow yourself to cry. Allow your partner to cry. Allow your children, your parents, your friends to cry! Give yourself permission to give space for emotion. This isn't just crying; although, crying seems to be one of our most scorned emotions.
And here's the thing, crying doesn't affect anyone! Sure, it may make someone uncomfortable, but that's it.
Here's the interesting part, once you become aware of all the ways we demonstrate that it's not ok to cry, you may become shocked - I am now acutely aware of our cultural response to crying.
For me, crying is a wonderful release. I feel so much freer and lighter after I've cried. When I am not able to cry, I feel constricted, frustrated, angry, and I may even snap at others (which just makes me want to cry even more).
All change starts somewhere. For me, this change starts with me. I give myself permission to cry.