I wish I had a dime for anytime someone apologized for crying in front of me. As if they were offending me. (More likely, offending themselves.) Why do we shame ourselves for something that can be such a biological relief to our parasympathetic nervous system? Why do we–all too often– hold back what energetically frees us of heavy emotion?
Too many times being told, “Crying is weak” I guess. Or a fear that once you start you can never stop. (Keep in mind this has never happened in the history of the world. Everything is impermanent.)
When I worked in a preschool for kids who were at risk of being removed from their homes because of maltreatment, we noticed an interesting phenomenon. When one child cried, it made the other children nervous. Some had learned early that vulnerability was not OK to show, and this might prompt them to go over and hit the crying child. As if saying, “stop crying.” They were not trying to be bullies in this situation, they were trying to remind him to toughen up, lest he be worse in trouble. Continue Reading →