When Did We Stop Crying?

I became the aunt of a beautiful, hairy baby boy on January 24, 2006.  Within the first week of knowing him he had already taught me something extremely valuable about basic human nature.

Sometime when I held him, he was very calm, but as he would start crying I immediately gave him back to his mom because I knew he needed to eat.  In one occasion though, I attempted to calm him down but he would not stop crying.  His entire little body was trembling. As he was shaking and crying to the top of his lungs, I felt sad because I couldn’t comfort him, yet I also marveled at the wisdom of his little body.

His whole being vibrated so intensely that I felt in my chest, my arms, in my entire body, his need, his cry for help.  I was so overwhelmed and amazed.   Here was this little person that didn’t know how to communicate in any other way so the best thing he did was to follow his natural instinct and cry.  I began wondering then, where our own ability to cry went. Why can’t we as adults do that?  When did we stop crying?

When I was in kinder-garden, I was running in the patio of my school and I fell down.  A teacher that was passing by saw me and all she said was “macha mijita, macha.”  Although there isn’t an exact translation for it, what it meant was that I needed to take it as a “macho” as a “man.”  Ever since then I always prided myself in my ability to not cry.  If I fell or got hurt, I would swallow my tears and put a fake smile in embarrassment.  It was ok if people saw me falling, as long as they didn’t see me cry.  I thought I was so tough. 

I always remember this incident because that is when I actually stopped crying.  As I started growing, I developed the sense that it wasn’t ok to show my weaknesses to others.  I started living the lie that I everything was ok.  I always pretended I was fine.  I even started believing it.  I never allowed myself to truly mourn my loses or mourn the traumas I had suffered. 

After so many years of training myself to live in denial, I just got to accept “the fact” that I didn’t cry.  I didn’t have any other release method because I wasn’t an overtly angry girl either.  I just kept everything nicely hidden like any “good girl” is supposed to.  Well, at least that’s the way I was raised. 

It took me 20 years to finally start releasing my pain.  I was really good at disguising my tears if I cried when watching a sad movie.  It was ok to do it then, but I never had the ability to cry for the purpose of acknowledging my feelings and the things that affected me. 

After many years of living in a dry state, and after doing much soul searching I began to cry.  It wasn’t until last year that I started releasing the healing tears.  Although there were several occasions in which I was able to cry, there was one in particular that changed me.  I was laying down in my bed in the dark and as I was meditating, the tears started pouring.  This had been the fifth or sixth night that this had happened, but this time I couldn’t make myself stop.  I cried like a little girl.  The feeling was so intense that I had to let myself go.  My entire body was connected and it was contributing to this unplanned release.  The sorrow and grief that was feeding the tears started disappearing as some sense of peace came to soothe me.  I felt asleep when I finally became exhausted from crying. 

Oddly or actually rightly enough, I felt so much comfort.  For the first time in a long time, I felt peaceful.  Although the chaos in my waking life was still present, everything made sense.  I felt so much strength in knowing that my soul and heart had begun to cleanse. 

I know for sure though that the tears I cried were not meant to manipulate anyone or anything.  The tears I cried were meant to give the comfort and release that I needed.  I can’t pride myself anymore in not being able to cry.  I can’t allow myself to do that.  Now it is something that I always want to have with me.  It actually scares me to think that I might go back to the dead state I was living in before. 

So as I remember my nephew’s cries, I become empowered.  That little being reminded me that it is ok to cry because the cry for help might not necessarily be directed to someone else, but it might be a call to ourselves in order to heal.


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