Who’s afraid of emotional expression?

Most people are afraid to cry, and some people are even afraid to laugh.
Both are forms of expressing and releasing emotion, but it seems that we see crying as the scarier and more shameful expression.

It’s true that laughter tickles you; it’s delightful and fun. De- ‘light’ful. It really does seem to lighten you up while it’s happening and as an after effect, but believe it or not, some even find that a real belly-full of laughter is quite difficult. People have become terribly serious and there always seems to be something to be down about, it seems almost like a crime to laugh.
I’ve seen people holding back their laughter like they do their tears, even I’ve done it on the tube when reading a funny passage in a book, and it seems ridiculous, but true.
Laughter is letting go, expression and release. We are afraid of this.

Crying too is letting go, expression and release; but not so ‘ticklish’ or delightful. When it’s happening it can feel heavy and uncomfortable, and seems almost painful in your chest and gut. Mainly because it’s often a release of difficult emotions that have their roots in hurtful, angry or scary events, and we are not taught how to process these kinds of feelings. Growing up, crying and sad things are seen as bad and negative things to be avoided, so now as adults we often don’t cry unless it’s behind closed doors, and even then it feels like a bad thing, as it’s seen as letting go just a bit too much.

Well, let me tell you, I’ve been learning to cry for a while now, and it’s great! I admit I still find it difficult in front of people; it’s a bit like being naked I suppose and that is the most ingrained part of the learning process that is hardest to let go of, but when I do cry…I let rip!
When you cry fully, it can almost feel like you’re throwing up your painful emotions.

Not all crying is from negative experiences, some can be from happy moments such as someone achieving something they’ve always wanted, or someone recovering from a life threatening illness. Usually that’s because our deepest longings and fears are being prodded at by these moments.
Either way, when you cry properly, the after effects are often pure relief.

What’s crying properly? It’s crying your way, with full acceptance of what you are doing. It’s not being angry or annoyed at the fact you are crying, but taking it as an opportunity to allow yourself to release. a fully releasing cry is healing, you feel like you’ve had a workout and like you could even have a good sleep after.

Women are naturally more emotional than men. It’s in our natural make-up and we are supposed to be that way, as we are the carers and nurturers; we need to be able to feel and express emotions so we can form an emotional life-giving bond with our offspring, in order to care for, and feed them.
Men, however, also need an emotional release, and I think it’s destructive that men have been brought up to believe they should not cry. I believe all that pent-up aggression is often a part of the cause of the destruction we see today in life…but that’s another blog post to get into.
Men’s emotional release tends to be more physical, though they need an emotional outlet to an extent. Being the ‘hunters’ traditionally, there will always be pent-up anger that is often naturally released as tears.
So I strongly believe crying is an essential form of expression for everyone, and it is ridiculous and cowardly to see it as shameful and embarrassing.

What I don’t think is right, however, is dwelling on the emotion and dragging it out unnecessarily. The best crying is when you let it run its course, empty yourself of it, and then breathe. Don’t then follow it up by continuing to run it around in circles, back to the original thought just to recreate the same feelings again; that’s destructive. Feel what you feel and release it knowingly and lovingly.

Begin to accept emotional expression as a part of life. It will get you through the hard times so much easier and more permanently than when you sweep things under the carpet and ‘soldier on’ holding it all in. Don’t be a fool, if you do that I am calling you a FOOL! Why would you want a build up of blocked emotions stuck in your mind and body? It will just lead to illness.

laugh and cry to your heart’s content, it’s part of being human. Being you.

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One thought on “Who’s afraid of emotional expression?

  1. Pingback: Afraid of the Light « nol2me

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