Thursday, December 3, 2009

Cry Me a River

Dearest Readers,

In 1987, the great movie director James L. Brooks made a film called Broadcast News. It was a huge hit, making Holly Hunter a star and a whole lot of film-goers laugh and cry at the same time. If you haven't seen it, try and find it. It's so good.

One thing I always remember from the movie is that Holly Hunter's character cries every single day. Not just a few tears but buckets of them, snotty, hysterical tears requiring huge wads of Kleenex.

At first, the viewer thinks something is wrong. Something terrible has happened to her. But as the story progresses we realize that this is a regular occurrence for the character. Bawling her eyes out is a part of her normal routine.

At the time, I remember thinking I could stand to do the same thing on a regular basis myself. It seemed like such a good way to release pressure, relieve stress, and truly connect to the profound grief that comes from living in a world where suffering is all around us.

I was never a big cryer. Somewhere along the line I developed the belief system that crying meant I was weak or incapable of handling stuff. So I stuffed my tears. The only time I could really cry the buckets of snot was after a I'd consumed a bucket of wine.

When I started walking the healing path, the road to well-being and recovery from the Old BS (Old Belief Systems), a wise woman told me that crying is healing. "Every time you cry," she said, "You are healing a little piece of your wound."

After that I was like, bring it on! If crying healed my wound then let the river flow! I began to welcome tears and even look for opportunities to release them. I have had many, many good cries since and, as a result, done some very deep healing work.

Yesterday I had a really good cry. Just what I needed. I was in a public setting, mind you one where I could still be in my own space, but no doubt some may have wondered what was wrong with me. If anyone had asked I could honestly have said, "Nothing."

It's been a great lesson to learn. Nothing has to be "wrong" for me to have a mini-nervous breakdown (one of my sisters and I call it the MNBD). All is well at the moment. My life is really fantastic. I'm loving the work I'm doing, I have plenty of support, I'm in good health. So much to be thankful for!

But I see and I feel the suffering around me. I open the paper, turn on the radio and there's more pain than I can bear sometimes. I empathize with loneliness, I fear death will come too soon, I understand what it means to be hurt. I'm human. And to be truly human means to feel deeply both the joy and the grief of living.

So every once in a while I need to express all of that, the profound richness of being, by having a MNBD. Open the floodgates and let the dam break. It's a relief to do so and a very healing practice.

Inspiring Message of the Day: I do not have to be "strong" and hold in my tears. Strength will come through letting them flow. Feeling the grief means freeing it from our bodies. I will feel it and let it go.


  1. So true! I come from a family that did not let me express my feelings at all, unless I was happy. Crying was never allowed. And now I cry a lot- sad commercials, sad news, happy news, happy commercials.... :)

  2. Good for you, Kara! Letting the tears flow when they need to is such a healing gift.


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