Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Window Washing for the Soul

Somebody recently said to me, "I rarely cry," with some measure of satisfaction. I wanted to extend my sympathies. Why is that considered a good thing? Crying doesn't necessarily mean something terrible has happened. Any day that I cry because I tune into the sheer beauty of my daughter's smile or the full depth of my son's love for me is a very good day indeed. And when something terrible does happen, crying helps move all those the mad, sad and other negative energies on out. Keeping all of that stuff inside is like never taking out the trash. Who wants to live with all the garbage locked inside the house?

The way I feel about crying now is like the old saying about voting in Chicago: do it early and often. For me, it's a sign that I'm getting back in touch with my feelings, and that is something I am yearning to do. Like most people, I learned to shut down my emotions, especially around other people, at a young age. Being 'emotional' was synonymous with being unstable. Sharing your feelings would make you vulnerable. Hide your feelings from others, or they will take advantage of you, break your heart, and steal your soul.

These days, I'm getting back on good terms with my feelings. I have worked with the Abraham Hicks material (http://www.abraham-hicks.com/), and I now believe my emotions are my internal guidance system. When I feel great, I know I am on my path. When I feel depressed, sad or frustrated, it's an invitation for me to examine my thoughts and see what's not serving me. I don't always accept that invitation right away, to be sure. Sometimes I want to just wallow in the pain for awhile before I'm ready to give it up. Even then, it is a comfort to know that I am not a prisoner of those unhappy feelings. They are there to give me information and guidance, and it's up to me to accept it or bury it.

Sure, it's taken me a long time to get back in touch with my feelings, and even longer to feel good about expressing them. So being able to cry means I'm on the right track, and I'm ready to let go of what no longer serves me. It's window washing for my soul.

Crying in public, even for a happy reason, is still a big challenge, though. I find myself saying things like, "I am really going to cry about this when I get home." Delegating my emotions to the appropriate time and place is just as big a shut down as saying "cry never." My soul hears "don't cry," and I'm distrusting my emotions all over again. One step forward, one step back.

I thought about all of this as I sat in a public place just today, repressing the urge to cry when telling a new friend about my mother's death. I caught myself, and said the hell with it. And I cried right there in the McDonald's on Colorado Boulevard in Glendale, California. It felt okay. Better than okay, it felt like a giant leap forward, without even having to ask "Mother May I?".

So if I am a big gloppy mess of tears next time you see me, there's no need to console me. I am just doing a little window washing. Hand me a squeege.

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