December 8, 2011

The Catharsis of a Good Cry

I’m not one who cries at the drop of a hat.  At best, I cry maybe a couple times a year, but in the past four days I’ve cried twice.  The first session happened last Sunday when I got unexpected news that my family had decided not to come over for lunch after I had spent nearly two hours preparing a feast for six.  “What’s the matter?  Did someone die?” my husband asked me, a worried look on his face as he halted the treadmill to an abrupt stop. “No,” I said, sniffling and whimpering, wiping away the tears with the backs of my ketchup-stained hands (I had been making meatloaf -- a prized recipe I love.)  “They’re not coming,” I said, burying my head into his chest, sobbing.  (I am usually not this dramatic, I swear.)

Well, just four days later, without no apparent warning to myself or to my poor spouse, Crying Episode #2 happened.   “Where are you?” my husband called from downstairs.  “In here!” I called from the bedroom where I was folding laundry and listening to The Roots’ newest album, lost in my own thoughts.  “I have a funny story to tell you.”  He proceeded to tell me the story, which wasn’t as funny to me as it was to him, transpiring into me bursting into tears for no apparent reason at all.   "Can you tell me why you're crying?" he asked.  "There's no reason," I said.  "I'm just feeling emotional!"

It's true.  I have been emotional.  In the past two months I have sold my house, packed and moved, have been doing lots of business travel, have been working lots of overtime, and have been renovating my new house.  This all has contributed to surges of emotion, consequently some tears. 

The truth is a good cry is quite cathartic.  It cleanses the soul; it releases inhibitions.  More importantly, it forces us to take a new perspective on a situation.  While we can’t always prevent imbalances in life, personal experience has proven that these usually even out over time, as stressors wane and life returns to normal.  Life is funny like that.  My recent, unexpected crying episodes are signaling my body to rebalance itself, and already, it's been pretty good medicine.  Maybe I should cry more often. 

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