I had a good crying spell yesterday.
Actually, I felt pretty okay about it. Because it showed me where my boundaries of pain were, and it showed me I was going into those boundaries. As a way to expand myself.
In other words, the crying spell was a signal, or a manifestation, of the process of ME becoming more of myself.
The crying resembled growing pains.
While the causes vary, crying spells usually concern matters of the heart. Maybe you're removing another splinter from your heart as you're crying. That's one possibility.
Then I started thinking back to when I was about six years old. Back then, I would cry myself to sleep almost every single night. I told myself I was crying out for love. In a way, it was certainly true. I did want more love from my mother. I wanted a LOT more.
I didn't think I was getting any love at all, but of course that's not possible.
Back then, those crying spells would go on and on and on. I could cry for hours. But nothing ever changed. I was spinning on a hamster wheel. Because those crying spells were much different than yesterday's crying spell.
Yesterday, I cried - intensely - as I was FEELING intensely. And I remembered when that pain was generated; when I was about ten years old. I remembered freezing that pain in judgments. So I wouldn't feel the pain.
Like an insect trapped in tree sap and preserved for centuries - I preserved the ten-year-olds pain in judgments. I judged myself as bad and wrong, basically. Yesterday I released that 40 year old pain. I FELT the pain. It made me cry. And when it was over - after about 15 minutes or so - I felt MUCH better.
I was invigorated.
I felt empowered.
I was happy - because I remembered the pain, and I was able to release it.
By releasing the pain, I was able to RETRIEVE some of my power, that had been locked up for 40 years! It was a wonderful experience that helped me heal. I benefited from it.
The fact I was crying - well... at least it was short and sweet! Here's a little something I wrote about it:
Like an angel's kiss...
Come tears of bliss...
To wash away the pain.
Behold the new...
And all too few...
Find everything to gain.
And I've had MOUNTAINS of pain to deal with.
However... Getting back to that six year old....
I didn't learn anything from those early years of crying myself to sleep. It wasn't making me more powerful. It didn't resolve anything. Frankly, it involved more pity and shame than anything else.
I used to think I was depressed and suicidal. Maybe I was a little. But the vast majority of it came from self-pity. And shame...
That's a bitter pill to swallow. Because I wanted to nobilize it:
"Did I tell you about my childhood? You see, I was suicidal. I almost killed myself at an early age. I'm lucky to be alive."
Now in fact I WAS carrying around a lot of pain. As a result of childhood shame. Shame. Something every human being knows the feeling of. Some - or most - people just get over it. Others don't.
I covered mine up with a lot of self-pity and a lot of judgments. I hid behind the self-pity so no one would see the shame. Not that it worked... But it was the best thing I could think of. It still hurt, though.
When you start with a TON of shame and you have NO EARTHLY IDEA what it is, where it came from, what to do about it...
And - you're only a small child so you can only figure out so much anyway...
Then about the only thing you CAN do is cover it up. You just don't have that many options. You could go primarily into the judgments - about yourself, about the offender, about the world, about God - freeze all that painful shame in place. And perhaps never cry about it.
Never cry about anything, for that matter. Judgments can do that. Until you lift off the lid. Judgments compare to the lid of a container of rotten peach preserves. As long as you don't open it up, you can't smell anything. But unscrew the top, and whew! What a smell! THEN the crying starts!
Judgments delay the inevitable day of reckoning.
But I went mainly for the pity as a way to handle my shame. And pity plus shame equals crying spells. Which can last a lifetime.
Even if you somehow manage to go beyond the pity, you can still have crying spells based solely on the shame. But it can seem like pity, in that nothing gets resolved and it goes on and on.
Mine would come and go. They were a fairly regular occurrence up until about ten years ago. I'm talking about the crying spells where you DON'T feel better when you stop. Where they just go on and on until you wear yourself out, rather than resolving something.
But through it all, they seem UNAVOIDABLE and UNSTOPPABLE. Plus, as you're crying, you're usually telling yourself a story about something. You're explaining, rationalizing, justifying, blaming, or describing it in some way. Rather than simply feeling the INTENSITY of your emotions.
With pity, it's easier to catch yourself and your thoughts of 'poor me'. With shame, it's harder. Sometimes all you notice is the hurt. What's common to both: nothing gets resolved. Because you can't get any traction.
But with both shame and pity - you DO have the ability to 'step back' from the
crying. Step back and step up - step higher - so you can look down on yourself, so to speak.
So the next time you have a crying spell - if you ever have them - notice carefully what's going on in your head. Step back from your crying and evaluate yourself:
Are you simply FEELING - intensely - the feelings that come up? Yesterday it felt like a spike of intense white-hot energy (or was it ice-cold...?) going through my heart and in the middle of my body. An intensity that came and then left. And I was invigorated and inspired in spite of my tears.
Here's the key: there was movement and change going on inside.
Or - does the crying seem to go on forever? With nothing changing? As you tell yourself messages inside your head about how unfair life is? Unfairness is not a feeling. It's a thought. Anytime you find yourself with the concept of unfairness while you're in the midst of crying, you can be sure there's some pity mixed in there somewhere.
If you can let go of the pity, you can get to the real pain that's behind it. Oftentimes, the next layer consists of the hurt caused by unresolved shame. Unfortunately, it's easy to 'run' the shame like you can run the pity. To get a handle on the shame, you have to step back from it and get in touch with the unique feelings that fuel it.
In other words, find the realness of emotion behind the shame.
If it's a true emotional release - as you're in the midst of becoming more of yourself - then it's like you've pulled one more splinter of pain out of your heart. That type of crying usually doesn't last more than a few minutes at a time. Although in some instances, it can continue on and off all day.
My biggest emotional release ever lasted three days. But at the end of those three days, I was a powerhouse of energy and enthusiasm. It changed my life significantly. Once I recovered, that is!
The key to understanding crying spells involves carefully observing and evaluating what's going on while you're in the midst of one.
Mark Ivar Myhre, The Emotional Healing Wizard, offers a FREE E-Book on the secrets of emotional healing: The Emotional Healing Quick Start Guide. To download YOUR copy, go to ==> http://www.emotional-healing-guide.com No registration or obligation required!