When was your last really good cry?
The way out of the pain is through the pain. Do you ever find yourself thinking “I feel anxious, I feel worried, I feel uncomfortable, I feel sad, I feel stressed, I feel exhausted,” and do you find yourself dealing with it by saying “I better go smoke a joint, I better crack open a beer, I better eat some sugar, I better go shopping, I better surf the web, I better look up porn?” Do you know what it’s like to let down and to cry your eyes out and feel like crap, and to wake up a new person transformed like a butterfly? In order for something new to be born something old must die, and there is sadness in that.
In my Jewish tribe we do death really well. When someone dies we surround ourselves in a mourning cocoon, meaning, we don’t want to be cheered up. People don’t bring us flowers. We cover the mirrors. We don’t want to worry about how we look. We just want to grieve and cry. Death is to be respected and honored. Sadness and sorrow are to be respected and honored.
One time my son told me that he didn't like it when I stopped him from crying, because, as a mother, of course, I wanted to soothe him. I want him to be happy, but actually it hurt him to do that. It’s like if someone were to stop you from laughing. Crying is one emotion that is normal and healthy when you feel sadness, and sadness is a part of the whole. It is a part of life. To allow someone to feel badly and cry, to allow yourself to cry, is a form of respect.
If you turn to a vice every time you feel badly you stay stuck in a repetitive motion. Repetitive behavior, especially if it’s undesirable, is a form of mental illness. The way to greater joy and happiness is through the darkness. Without darkness you aren’t whole. By denying it you deny life. You live as a dead person, and you don’t understand why you’re not happy. Pain is a form of energy and it’s what drives you to change. Change is life itself. Once you stop growing it’s time for you to die.
Do you honor your pain? It’s a part of you. It’s a part of life and you may rest into it knowing that God has you in the palm of her hand.
Heather Hans, LCSW, MSW, MBA, CPIC, is a Visionary, Healer & Teacher, and the author of The Heart of Self-Love: How to Radiate with Confidence. It is Heather's firm belief that loving oneself is necessary to have fulfilling relationships and a successful life. Join Heather’s 30-Day confidence challenge at heatherhans.avanoo.com