Comforting Words: Free Therapy: Crying

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Free Therapy: Crying

Chatting online with a regular reader and listener of Comforting Words this week, I expressed surprise at how emotional I sounded while doing the most recent voice post “End the Violence Against Women.”

Confirming that I did in fact sound as if I was crying, she reassured me that my crying did not detract from the message. Although I am thankful for that, listening to the post again, I realized how much the time I have spent serving as an Intern-Chaplain has affected me.

These past three months of journeying with the sick, dying, mothers of newborns or families that have lost a loved one has truly helped me to come into a greater realization of how blessed my life is. It has also allowed me many free sessions of "crying therapy" – as I like to call them.

What the past three months have also done is to make the matter of self-care that more important to me. In May, I wrote about “Taking Care of Me” and pledged to take on certain activities, including camping.

Well, much of that did not happen due to the other issues that arose not least of which was moving house – which was a drama in itself. However, one of the activities will happen, although in a modified way.

My woman-friend B and I will travel to Vancouver this weekend to attend a Conference hosted by Affirm United, which is an organization of the United Church of Canada. Thankfully, however, we will not drive, as I do not know how I would have survived her singing or she mine, for that matter.

This will be my first visit to Vancouver and it will coincide with the Gay Pride events in that city but given my schedule I might not see much of those. Nevertheless, the time away will do me well. It will give me an opportunity to reflect on these last three months, the tears of pain and joy that I have cried with patients, their families and the grief that still lingers in my heart for Liana White.

August will also be a month of rest for me, a time to unwind and catch my breath before the next phase. I will make the most of the time, relax and take some short cuts where possible, starting with this week's Words of Comfort, a re-publishing of an article I wrote back in 2001.

I offer this short article, “Free Therapy: Crying” along with Words from Scripture and the Words from the Heart as an inspiration to those of you who are afraid to express your deepest emotions.

Words from Scripture

From Christian Scripture:
Romans 12: 15
“Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.”

From Hebrew Scripture:
Ecclesiastes 3: 4
“A time to weep, and a time to laugh.”

Words of Comfort

Should I be asked to nominate the best remedy for a good cry – a cry that would wash and heal the soul – I would select Iyanla Vanzant’s book, “Yesterday, I Cried.”

Crying was not something I liked doing. Crying is for ‘soft’ people, spineless people, and cowards – or so I thought.

Crying is a tool women use to manipulate and pressure others into doing things for them or to get their way. When necessary, crying was a great way to escape punishment or reprimand.

I knew how to ‘work’ crying, but few were the times that I really cried – the kind of crying that left your soul wet.

My partner cries. She cries at cartoons, when a dog is hit by a car, at movies, at birthday parties, during a quarrel, hearing a sad or happy story. She cries. For a long time, this was a problem for me. As far as I was concerned, she cried too much. Until I learnt how to cry – really cry.

My minister was one of the persons who recommended Vanzant’s book to me after I revealed that there are deep seated and unresolved issues from my childhood that were still haunting me. She said, “Make sure you are truly ready to let go and have a box of Kleenex.”

The crying started from “The Beginning,” the actual title of the opening section of the book. I have been crying ever since.

Crying is caring. Crying is therapeutic. Crying is loving all people and all of life. Crying is celebration. Crying is healing.

Now, I can truly say crying is brave – as you must have some measure of valour to stand in front of strangers with snot running from your nose as you bawl!

Crying heals the pain. Crying makes happiness joyous. Crying relieves stress. Crying even makes sex better.

I am hooked on crying. My partner is amazed at this transformation and that is what it is – life-changing and liberating.

Crying is a recommended therapy for all of us who take life too seriously. When you need a good laugh – cry, looking at yourself in the mirror. It is often not a remarkable sight and that is what makes it so hilarious.

The story might not be yours but purchase a copy of “Yesterday, I Cried,” or borrow it from the library and cry with the many women who have lived or are living this story right now.

You will be better for the cry.

Words from the Heart
Yesterday, I Cried (Excerpt)
Iyanla Vanzant

Yesterday, I cried.
I came home, went straight to my room, sat on the edge of my bed,
Kicked off my shoes, unhooked my bra,
and I had myself a good cry.

I’m telling you,
I cried until my nose was running all over the silk blouse I got on sale.
I cried until my ears were hot.
I cried until my head was hurting so bad that
I could hardly see the pile of soiled tissues lying on the floor at my feet.

I want you to understand,
I had myself a really good cry yesterday.

Yesterday, I cried,
for all the days that I was too busy, or too tired, or too mad to cry.
I cried for all the days, and all the ways,
and all the times I had dishonoured, disrespected, and disconnected my Self from myself,
only to have it reflected back to me in the ways others did to me,
the same things I had already done to myself.

I cried because there really does come a time when the only thing left
for you to do is cry.

Yesterday, I cried.
I cried because I hurt. I cried because I was hurt.
I cried because hurt has no place to go
except deeper into the pain that caused it in the first place,
and when it gets there, the hurt wakes you up.

I cried because it was too late. I cried because it was time.
I cried because my soul knew that I didn’t know
that my soul knew everything I needed to know.

I cried a soulful cry yesterday, and it felt so good.
It felt so very, very bad.

In the midst of my crying, I felt freedom coming,
Yesterday, I cried
with an agenda.

Blessings, until my mid-week voice post. Remember you can email me at or let's chat online at Yahoo Messenger. My id is thecomforter


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