When I was flying back from Florence, Italy, I passed the time by watching the movie Interstellar. If you haven’t seen it, it’s a science fiction film starring Matthew McConaughey, an astronaut who, after the world begins to become inhabitable, travels through a black hole in search of a new planet for everyone to inhabit. Every hour spent in this black hole is like seven years real time, so he’s really missing out on a huge portion of his children’s lives during his journey. All he can do is sit and watch them on video, palpably upset that they haven’t heard from him in a very long time.
So I’m watching this movie about this father missing his children and the children missing their father from my seat in the plane and, being a father myself and totally feeling his pain, I start to cry. In fact, it hit me so hard that, as the credits are rolling, I’m still feeling that sad sensation to the point where tears are forming quite easily.
Of course, there’s the old adage that real men don’t cry, so we are taught early on to fight against it. As a result, when we feel the tears in our eyes and the lump in our throat, often we do our best to stuff the emotions back down from wherever they came in the hopes of keeping even one tear from escaping down our faces.
Yet, when I cried on that plane, it felt so refreshing. I felt alive. I realized that a piece of me needed to cry so I let it go. I wasn’t even sure why I was crying and yet I embraced it and let it out without feeling bad or ashamed because that was clearly what my body needed to do at that point in time.
Realistically, crying is a healthy way to relieve our emotions, so why does it have such a bad rap? When we feel like letting out emotions out in a way that simply says “I’m feeling sad” or “I’m touched to the point of tears,” we are better off celebrating our ability to feel such deep feelings and giving our body what it needs as opposed to fighting it. If we feel it, let’s just feel it. Then let’s let it go.
This means living passionately, no matter what it looks like. It involves allowing ourselves to feel the whole range of emotions from happiness to sadness to fear, and yes, sometimes letting that emotion release from our body in a way that not only feels good, but is good for us at the same time.
While it may feel uncomfortable on a certain level, especially if you’ve never really sat with your emotions and let them go, it is then that you realize how fortunate you are that you can experience such a wide array of sensations. It is then that you feel completely and totally at one with yourself and everything going on inside.
By giving your body that type of release, by letting out the tears when you feel them welling up inside, you’re acknowledging the emotions in a way that says that it’s okay to have them. You’re giving yourself what you need at that moment in time. And then you let it go.