December 13, 2011

003I’m going to be honest here, tonight I came home, lit a candle, turned on my favorite French artist, and cried. I can’t tell you how good it felt.

A lot of times crying gets a bad rep. “Weak” is probably the first word that comes to mind. When you cry it means you’re not strong, fragile, delicate. “Oh poor baby, grow up, will you?” But I will tell you this–not crying to me, is the reason why the world  in general, is in horrible mood.

Tonight when I got home, I felt like a coke bottle filling with black, inky, flat Coca-cola. The outside was nice, green, and glassy, even tasty looking! But the inside was slowly filling up with this oil-black filth that no one could see but me. I realized when I got home that this filth took such a toll on me that it started to reek, and the stench was so bad I almost choked on it. I realized the entire day I had been glossing over something that was bothering me. Glossing over it with smiles, songs, laughter, and things I normally enjoy. This is my usual way of coping with stress or things that bother me, and it usually works.

But tonight I realized that while I kept at it–this almost foolish glossing–I realized that instead of feeling better, I started to feel angry. I started to feel irritated and spiteful, and the negative energy I put out around me was almost palpable. I wasn’t letting myself be upset about the things that were bothering me. I was glossing. I was filling to the lip of the bottle with black ooze and I was on the verge of a seriously disgusting oil volcano Coca-cola eruption. I even said aloud, “Oh my God, I need to cry.” It was like needing to vomit.

I was methodical about it. I put on my pajama pants, washed off my make-up, got some warm socks on, lit my favorite Christmas candle, and went at it for a good 20 minutes. It was almost like an appointment I made. After about four French songs ended, I sort of exhaled and thought to myself, good, I think it’s time for dinner.

Photo: Ernie Sisto/The New York Times

The point here is that had I not cried, I think I would still be in a horrible mood. The filth inside would fester and I would be irritable. I would be sending all of this negative energy out into the ether and that’s exactly what I’d get in return. I’m no universe, but I’m pretty sure it’s got enough negative energy to create a whole new one, filled solely with negative people. I didn’t need to add to it. Instead I embraced this completely human emotion. I felt myself feeling sad, and I stewed in it to the point where something inside me was somewhat content.

My disclaimer to crying: no, it won’t solve your problems. What started me crying isn’t necessarily what made me stop. Yes, the problem is still there, scraping at me like a playful shirt tag. Yes I’m still angry over it. It did not solve a single one of my problems.

But it solved the hour. Maybe the entire evening. Tonight, I will sleep well. I am still hurt, but it is not eating me up. Will I still be hurt tomorrow? Probably yes. Will I maybe need to make another appointment to cry in the morning? Possibly in the afternoon? Most likely. But as for tonight, when I put my best foot forward to do something I enjoy, I can do it with my whole heart, without having to pretend like I am happy, without having to gloss it over.

This is how we heal. If we weren’t meant to cry, why the hell were we given the option?

Monique Muro

Monique is an exceedingly happy human from LA. She runs the blog A Novel Quest, and writes. A lot.

Latest posts by Monique Muro (see all)

  • Rosendo

    Great post!! Crying is a good outlet. I agree that music is the spigot that gets the water works flowing. I utilize a six string to quell the pent up anger that gathers during the course of a long day. Sitting and strumming usually pacifies me and appeases the inner tasmanian devil that resides in us all. Michael Hutchinson (INXS) gets a bit o’ credit for that comparison. For me, Bugs Bunny said it best… ” music soothes the savage beast”, but “what if this child learned how to cry?”

    Peace and light~

  • debbie

    You are so wise beyond your years…keep it up. I loved this entry :)

  • Rosendo

    Great post!

    Crying is definitely a good outlet. I agree that music is the spigot that gets the water works flowing.

    I utilize a six string to quell the pent up anger and frustration that gathers during the course of a long day at work. Sitting and strumming usually pacifies me and appeases the inner Tasmanian Devil that resides in every single one of us. Michael Hutchins (RIP) of INXS gets a bit o’ credit for that last bit of symbolism. While we’re on the subject of anxiety and how best to cope with it, I can recall a Warnr Borther’s cartoon where Bugs Bunny said it best…”music soothes the savage beast”. Alas yes, my cotton tailed friend but what if this child learned how to cry?

    Peace and light~