Growing up, I was led to believe that "Crying is a sign of weakness. It brings misfortune and there is no point crying over spilled milk." Thing is, when we don't cry, we don't release the emotions we are carrying at the moment.
When they don't get released, they get stuck in our bodies and manifest in either physical, mental, emotional or spiritual "baggage".
PHYSICALLY - We get pains in certain areas of our bodies that affect our physique, demeanor and wellness.
When my dad passed in 2015, it happened so fast that it took me about 18 months to fully process the fact.
I was in Taipei when I got a phone call from my brother telling me that “Papa is no longer with us.” I hang up, booked a ticket back to Manila, re-scheduled all my meetings, packed a suitcase, took the plane, went to the wake, joined the crematory service, took the plane back to Taipei, caught up with whatever I missed while I was away and then went on with my life.
In other words, I went on a whirlwind of activities without acknowledging I was grieving.
This failure to do so manifested in a stinging pain in my left ankle. I visited several practitioners who all helped provide temporary relief.
It wasn’t until June 2017 when I started to fully register that my father was no longer living on earth. I cried and cried and cried until there were no more tears. After two visits to a Chinese chiropractor a month later, the pain in my ankle is gone.
MENTALLY - We become full of anxiety. We can't seem to focus because we are doing a run-around in our mind.
My ex-business partner once said something that bothered me.. She told a few of our mutual acquaintances that she needed to ‘hold on and control me’ because I worked like lightning.
The statement confused and agitated me. Instead of confronting her, I let sleeping dogs lie. But it was there at the back of my mind.I couldn’t focus and sleep. I was making rash decisions and I was mentally exhausted.
It took her saying something along the same lines to MY client to open the lid to Pandora’s box. I later asked her point-blank what she meant. And she found my reactions odd. She said those statements in Mandarin Chinese, a language that’s not my native tongue, and I mis-understood the Chinese phrase. What she meant was that she had to ‘get a hold of herself’ so she can keep up with me.
That night, I took a long bath and I cried my eyes out. My brain was exhausted after crying. I fell asleep without drying my hair. The next day, I felt so refreshed. My productivity tripled.
EMOTIONALLY - We become insecure about everything and everyone.
As I was looking for ESL work in 2006 in Taipei, I faced one of my worst nightmare - being discriminated against because of my nationality.
I put out feelers for jobs and I called language centers. The tone of the conversation immediately changed after I mentioned I hold Filipino citizenship. Employers who had loved me suddenly changed the tune of the conversation, saying things like “We don’t hire Filipinos.”
I was extremely hurt by the statements and I tried not to let that bother me. I kept calling more language centers.
What followed were more rejections. People hang up on me. I was cut off the moment I said I was from the Philippines. I took two days off from making phone calls. I started acknowledging the injustice and unfairness of my predicament, crying over how unjust the world was and getting all my anger, frustration, sadness, disappointment out of my system.
After that time-off, I realized one thing - there was blatant ignorance in the market. And I shouldn’t hold that against them. I started making calls again. But this time, I went with an open mind and heart. I didn’t take offense with the rejections I got. Two tries later, I landed one gig that paid well and respected me for who I am.
Allowing myself to cry lifted my spirits. I became more grounded into who I am and didn’t buy into other people’s stories and prejudice.
SPIRITUALLY - Our connection to Spirit is loosened. We can't seem to "hear" or "see" what’s right in front of us.
After leaving a job I thought I wanted in 2015, I was in fear. I didn’t know what my future held. I just knew I didn’t want to be part of a company that didn’t honor the same values I do.
For the first time, I didn’t have a back-up plan. I wanted to crawl under the sheets and cry. Instead, I put on my “big girl panties” and wore a suit of armor that eluded courage and confidence.
When an acquaintance asked me to open shop with her, I said yes without contemplating too much. I jumped at the chance not because I wanted to but because I was afraid to have nothing to show for.
The partnership was shaky at best. There were good times but there were a lot of arguments. I was going against everything my gut was telling me as I couldn’t discern anything anymore. I couldn’t hear my soul speaking to me.
When my partner got physically ill, we decided to end the partnership. I cried for a week. All that crying liberated something in me - the realization that I need not have it all together all the time.
Emotions, in essence, have to move. They are living and breathing pulses in us.They are based on our reaction to the stimuli around us.
That’s why emotions should always be acknowledged first, and then released. It's similar to pee-ing (urinating). When we feel the ‘call of nature’, we acknowledge this and then look for the nearest toilet. Similar to liquids, emotions have to be flushed out of our bodies. Else, we WILL get sick and we will be ‘squeamish if we keep holding them in.
Crying does not make us weak. It makes us stronger because when we release emotions that need to go out, we free ourselves of ‘baggage’.
Allow yourself to get a good cry at least every month. It makes a huge difference in your wellness and well-being.