…I saw you crying at the discotheque…
Oh yes, I may mock those crazy Europeans with their far-out summer anthems, but if truth be told, if anyone was crying at the discotheque back in 2001, it’d probably have been me.
You see, I’ve always found a friend in my tears. A good cry just makes things better, don’t you think?
And sometimes I just can’t help myself.
I saw you crying, I saw you crying at the su-per-mar-ket.
I had a friend in France who told me she cried once a week. I suppose it was like a massage to her – just a way to relieve tension. On a day when I was incredibly pissed off at the sky, the sand and all the people in between and couldn’t understand why, she encouraged me to just go home and cry.
I started then and there. The relief of having the permission to cry is often all it takes.
Life can be a bit shit sometimes and what choice do we? It’s better than punching a wall.
And I’ve got Buddhism to back me up on this one. It is better to be sad than angry, a Buddhist nun told our group of eager to learn meditators in the making, because when you are angry, you hurt others. Whereas when you are sad, you only hurt yourself.
Ten years ago at a youth hostel in Bordeaux I met a woman in her fifties from Quebec. This amazing woman had sold her house to go traveling around Europe after her husband, the love of her life, had passed away from throat cancer. A believer in Kinesiology, she linked the throat cancer to the unspoken emotions her husband had had towards his father.
When this lady and her husband had met, she had been working as a flight attendant and he was a pilot. But the love story didn’t end there. Her husband had remained a pilot during their life together and she knew what life was like on the road. She loved him dearly and didn’t want to put unrealistic restrictions on him, so she had only one request of him. Do what he may without her knowing, but never have an affair with a woman from their home town. That much shame she couldn’t bear.
I hardly knew her, but the complexity of emotion entwined in those two stories from her life is simply exquisite. The depth and length of human emotion is too simple to be told with fables. That’s why we need novels.
The gift of emotion is a beautiful thing.
I think in the Top 100 of Emotions, number one in its most purest would be love and way down the bottom would be indifference. Though I don’t know, indifference can be hard to deal with when aimed at you personally and it’s been said that indifference is the opposite of love. In revenge, we seek to make the target feel something, even if it is hate. Hate is better than indifference because at least we are getting noticed.
However, indifference can be a relief if you had previously been anxious, jealous or generally torn up. Indifference is then a step on the way to acceptance.
I think as a society we should get more comfortable with this, because crying is beautiful.
Okay there’s a balance between being a cry baby and crying when you feel it’s needed, as an act of self-love.
You don’t even need a reason for it. Or there could be several – crying because you can’t understand your emotions, crying over films, crying during Greenday’s ‘Wake me up when September ends’ video clip, crying when Prabakar dies in Shantaram (sorry Martin, you’re never going to finish the book), crying because you feel stuck…
Or when dealing with grief, what else have we got to cope?
Crying brings relief. It’s a relief to just let go and feel all that unspoken stuff and not try to figure it out or look on the bright side or try to keep it all together.
Of course you don’t need to cry when you feel sad, but it does feel to me like the climax of this emotion. It is acknowledging and releasing the sadness, rather than bottling and locking it up as if it were moonshine.
In feeling sadness, there is a level of contentment to be found that is not as stable in happiness. Sadness feels real, whilst happiness can feels fragile and too easy to break. Sometimes we are immune and above it, other times it only takes a comment or a thought to plant that cancerous doubt or knock us off our happy horse.
From sadness, we can get up off the floor and dust ourselves off, having accessed a place inside that is often barricaded up and well guarded. We get up and we walk on, now with many more shades of intensity in our surroundings, reflecting what we have found inside of us.
There is a whole lot of strength in getting real and there is no shame in sadness. Feel your sadness and set it free.
I’ll meet you at the discotheque.