There are more tears now

Over the years I have mastered all kinds of ways to suppress my feelings of sadness, loneliness, anger, grief, hopelessness and the like for all kinds of reasons. Many of the reasons had to do with what I believed others wanted or expected of me. However one driving force was the internal belief that if I let myself be as sad as I was or as angry as I was or as hopeless as I was, well then I would fall into a deep dark pit and never get out. I truly believed that if I went there, really let myself go there, the only way out would be death. For many years I cycled in and out of depression. In and out of wanting to end my life.

Several years ago I believed I found an answer to this cycle. The answer seemed so simple – just visit these feelings and only visit ever so briefly. And do you know what? It worked for a while. The depression cycle pretty much ended, but then I began to notice something else. Things weren’t really touching me anymore, my life felt muted.

Recently I have been trying something new. I made a deal with myself. I have given myself permission to fully feel whatever it is that is going on. I make room to let myself be really sad or angry or hopeless or whatever. I set aside time to let myself cry or moan or yell or hit things and really go there. When things subside I ask myself if I’m done or if there is more left. Usually, there’s more and so I let that come too.

But here’s the twist, without realizing it I had also given myself permission to fully feel happiness and joy and awe and wonder. It turns out when I restricted my ability to feel “bad”, I also restricted my ability to feel “good”.

There are most definitely more tears now.

Tears because a young girl has gone from one abusive home to another to another to another.

Tears because the sunlight shining through the trees is so beautiful.

Tears because another black person has been killed by police.

Tears because my grandson is growing up to be a thoughtful and kind young man.

Tears because I can sense feel my mother’s presence so many years after her death.

Tears because a poor woman is once again being abused by a man who wants what little money she has.

Tears because my daughters are amazing young women.

Tears because of abuse, misogyny, war, racism, sexism, …

Tears because of trees, kindness, butterflies, imagination, …

Yes, there are more tears now and my life is so much richer for it.

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