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Queue the Waterworks: Time to Cry

My daughter, Montana, a year and a half back was obsessed with Fuller House. I couldn't go into my house without hearing the voices of DJ, Stephanie, or Kimmie blasting. She watched the episodes so many times, I could tell which one she was on by a sentence or two. One of the episodes I always seemed to walk in on is the one where DJ is trying to be Stephanie's life coach. It's a funny episode. There's one part that got my attention though. It's when Stephanie finds DJ crying and finds out that her big sister takes time out to cry. Montana, when she first saw it, asked me if that was a normal thing to do or if they were making fun of the fact DJ was so organized that she scheduled it. I shrugged my shoulders at the time and told her that it could've been both, not really sure how to answer the question.

It felt like a silly thing to think about, scheduling time to cry. It felt superficial when I first thought about it. I mean, who makes time to just cry?! Seemed like a pre-Madonna move, like when a Disney princess throws themselves on a sofa or bed and goes about sobbing.

Over the years, through death, trauma, and difficult periods of my life, I found myself expressing my grief and emotion through random moments of sadness and tears. Where there’s nothing wrong with that and is healthy to do, I’ve come to realized that spurts of crying aren’t enough. In those spurts, I wasn’t able to fully release the sadness, the memories, and the thoughts. It was always cut short by someone walking in or I had to rush off and force my tears back in order to move on to the next thing. Holding my emotions in made them come out in ways I never wanted them to. Anger, anxiety, depression, isolation to name a few. Sometimes, I knew why it was happening, other times, I had no clue. It made my days unpredictable and stressful.

Life is hard and no matter what happens, it just keeps going. Time continues on, whether we want it to or not and we have no choice but to move forward with it. Daily life is difficult. Good days can be tiring, busy days can be stressful, and our worst days can drag us down emotionally, physically, spiritually, and mentally.

I’ve come to realize that just as I had to carve time out for prayer, I also needed to make time to decompress and release the energy I’d been carrying. This time, like prayer, should be set aside with no distractions in a place that you feel comfortable. It doesn’t have to be a long time, whatever time you can spare. Make sure you can spend this time alone. With this time, let your thoughts and feelings you’ve held in throughout the week come out. Whatever that looks like to you, be it tears, shouting, or even laughter (it happens), just release it. I‘m finding that in the time I’ve taken to do this, my perspective and mood shift once I’m done.

So far, I’ve managed to carve out 20 minutes a week. It was awkward at first. I wasn’t sure what to do, so I started saying all my thoughts out loud to myself and started to realize just how many negative thoughts I was holding in. About myself, others, and my life. Then, the tears started flowing. As I cried, with the negative thoughts out, I started thinking clearly and was able to speak life and understanding to myself. It's a healing experience I look forward to every week now.

It’s funny to think back on how I used to view this activity. I went from being skeptical to now it becoming a routine self-care activity I practice. Some weeks, I may need more time than other weeks, but the great thing is it can be decided based on how you’re feeling and your needs.

In closing: Take time to cry it out. Keeping all of those emotions and energy bottled up makes it harder to be fully present for others and yourself. You owe it to yourself to take the time to help you feel and think better. It may sound strange, but trust me, it’s time worth investing in yourself.

That’s all from me this week. Thanks for reading! I hope you have a blessed rest of your week!

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