Years ago, my husband was doing some contracting work on a home and he fell off of the roof landing on his head. He was working alone (which we had a long talk about later). After he woke up, I got a phone call from him telling me that “something has happened” and “I don’t know where I am” and again repeating “I think something has happened”. Before he spit out his second sentence I already had my shoes on and both my children were being shuffled out the door so that we could get to him quickly. I feared he would wander off and get lost! I calmly told him to sit down and stay put so I could call 911.
After that call, I burst into tears for about 30 seconds, took a few breaths, and sucked it back up like a big girl does.
Have you ever had your mind reeling with fresh news but you know that you can’t cry just yet? Ever gotten a middle of the night call that a loved one is on the way to the hospital but you’ve got to get the details before you can have a mini break down? Ever taken a call at work which would require you to tie up lose ends before exiting to sit with a loved one? I got one of those calls lately.
What do we do in those times? We hold it together until we scoot behind the wheel of our cars, punch in our GPS where we need to go so that we can let it do the work for us, and belt out a good cry! We may whale and sob and keep our eyes open just enough to see the road for about a minute but then it’s time to take a few breaths and suck it back up. Am I right?
Those moments where we have to get the stuff done before the cry, do you get a headache holding it in? Boy I do!! I can only hold it for so long before I NEED to have a good cry. And sometimes, a good cry isn’t a long, drawn out thing, sometimes it’s just allowing it to come through for a brief moment to release pressure and then all is good!
Also, do you ever get mad at yourself because a cry just came out of nowhere? Like you thought you had held it all together just fine until you have to talk to someone about what you’re having for dinner and suddenly you feel it just well up in your throat and burst through your eyes and nose? Almost like a mini explosion just under the surface of your face has occurred and you have absolutely no control when it comes to holding it back.
The older I get, the more I realize how freeing it can be to just go with it. To realize that even if I am in a good place mentally and emotionally that sometimes my physical body is still going to react to whatever it is I am going through.
If you are ever looking for at least one thing to be thankful for in this life, be thankful for this…God knit our bodies together so intricately that He put things in place to help us when we need to release. When we need to de-stress. When we need to blow.
I did a little research on tears.
Studies have been done and tears were tested and compared between those who cried because of emotional stress and those that cried while slicing an onion. The people who cried over some type of sadness or stress had much higher levels of stress inducing hormones in their tears than those who were with the vegetables. As our stress increases, certain hormone levels increase and having a cry can be our bodies natural way of disposing of that overload of hormonal yuck.
Also, did you know that tears contain a natural painkiller called leucine enkephalin? That when this is released, it can actually ease pain and work to improve our moods? It gives a whole new perspective on why we may feel better after a good cry.
It’s things like this that make me in awe of God all over again. That He would construct our bodies in such a way as to feel such deep emotion, to have the ability to compartmentalize if necessary, and then to supply our need of having a release from it all.
What about you?
Were you raised to think that it’s not lady-like to cry when you’re upset? Or when someone has hurt you? Were you taught that if you cry you are simply weak or that “tough girls don’t cry”?
It’s ok friends. Male AND female. Our bodies were designed with a pressure guage and sometimes no matter how hard we try to hold on to that handle and keep in the steam, we need to let it go. It’s healthy. It’s a natural healer. It’s cleansing.
Let’s agree that if we need to take a moment to open the valve and let the stress stream out of us for even a minute or two, we will not apologize. If we have to do it in the car or in a bathroom stall or even with our head buried in a pillow, it’s ok. It’s ok! The key is to listen to our bodies and give in to it.
Tears are a gift. And sometimes they are necessary to our well-being. We were built that way…on purpose.
Praying for those who have held it in way too long, it’s time to let it go.