The Art of Crying

Life can be a little crazy. Sometimes a person needs to let off a little steam. Since drinking hurts my pancreas and chocolate keeps me up all night, I need to find other solutions. Like laughing. Being overcome with hysterical giggles makes me feel like a little kid. Maybe its the way it takes over my breathing. Laughter takes firm charge, lightening my load and leaving some perspective in its wake.

Crying works, too. There are times when all I want to do is cry. Like the other night. I’d gone to the car to look for my purse and, Oh! Northern lights of ethereal greens and pinks danced across the sky, jumping up and down like they’d just heard the best news ever. I didn’t lose it right away. I was too busy watching. But it was so damn beautiful.

It was an otherworldly sight, a glimpse of heaven through a window in the universe.  I wept like I always do when confronted with that kind of beauty.  I tend to apologize when I cry around other people. So that night was lovely, standing alone under the star studded sky and sobbing as the lights swept over them like so much fairy dust. 

Tears are big multi-taskers. They allow us to vent so we don’t blow ourselves up. Because life, in all its splendor and misery, can chip away at us. It leaves us wondering where the best version of us went. Self pity sidles in, wringing its hands. But we wait, and wisdom edges it right out the door. Especially if we put our inner critic away. Then, we have room to breath. To be kinder to others and ourselves. There you are! we say, and welcome our real selves home.

There is a time for everything. A time to buck up, and a time to break down. To acknowledge that you’re having a hard time. Don’t try to shop your feelings away, or drown them with behavior that leaves you feeling worse. Acknowledge your sadness and bewilderment over life’s crazy moments. Because sometimes you have to break before you feel better. As Leonard Cohen sings, “There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.”

Published by Judith Pettersen

Judith Pettersen is an author living in Canada. She blogs about her life in the north and the ups and downs of being a writer.

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