Yesterday, I cried. Quite a lot. Hard. Not a tear down my cheek. Ugly crying.It's no wonder we don't feel our feelings or cry (especially if we are more masculine presenting or raised male) -- we're told not to. There are many other ways that we have and continue to externally receive this message to stop crying -- shh, don't cry, you're okay / you'll be okay / it's okay...
Crying was my most important act of self care yesterday. Not going to yoga, not attending a group call, not reaching out for support, not spending time with people I loved, not cuddles... crying. If I hadn't let myself cry, those emotions would likely still be really stuck in me. They're still there - and I feel a lot more peaceful this morning because I let myself cry.
At my semester long yoga & leadership development program I did almost 10 years ago, I remember distinctly them telling us to not give people who were crying kleenex unless they indicated they wanted them, because it could send the message "stop crying."
We don't need to change or fix tears -- they're simply part of the process of being human and allowing the feelings that come up.
Sometimes it just doesn't feel okay, and crying is 100% the most skillful way of allowing the emotions to flow.
Here's what I tried to do with my feelings before letting them flow that didn't work out so well:
A friend who knew the context of my sadness gave me an immensely helpful response when I reached out yesterday.
- Try to ignore them
- Judge them, trying to make them different
- Try to move immediately to "fixing" the situation
I now pass on these helpful reminders to skillfully allow yourself to cry:
So... why bother feeling? What's the benefit of allowing yourself to cry?
- Invitation to feel your feelings
- Validation -- they make sense
- A reminder that they will not last, and that once you allow them and release them you'll have space to look directly towards my challenge
- You will feel more connected to yourself
- You can be more fully yourself
- By allowing the emotions to flow you can release them and move on
So what's this to do with Queer Body Love?
I've been thinking a lot about what Queer Body Love means to me as I redesign my website (coming soon!), and a lot of it is becoming okay with ourselves.
To be okay with ourselves, we have to know what's there. We might not always like it, and that's when we typically go through the list above of "unhelpful" ways of dealing with emotions.
Allowing and accepting your feelings creates space for you.
But don't take it from me. Try it on.
The next time you find some emotions lurking underneath the surface that you may be trying to ignore, judge or fix, remember this email, and see what it might be like to let them express themselves, whether that be through crying or some other means.
See how that feels, and let me know if you'd like by leaving a comment.
Sending much love,