Did you ever have one of those days that began with something going wrong? Let’s say it was a BIG bad thing. Or maybe a medium bad thing and then maybe then something else happened and another thing happened and the next thing you know, you’re crying and you can’t seem to find the motivation to do anything?
Been there. Plenty of times.
I used to think it was my adult duty to pick myself up, dust myself off and start all over again. That’s what I was told. Some days.
But I also was told that crying happens. It sometimes happens when you least expect it and for no apparent reason. Nothing has to go wrong to make you feel like crying. Bad days happen. Negativity takes control. Crying ensues. And often, once it starts, it feels like it won’t stop any time soon.
And crying is cathartic. It can be necessary.
Instead of trying to bury the emotions under a pile of things to do or people to see, I decided years ago that I just needed to surrender, on those days, and have what I call a Crumple and Cry Day. It allows me to grieve over all the injustices that have piled up against me, or those I love and care about, big or small. I just need to surrender to what I cannot control.
No, I don’t cry all day. At least not constantly. I may cry for a bit, stop, cry again, get quiet, cry on the yoga mat, watch tv, cry…etc. I find though that they key to a successful Crumple and Cry Day is just to clear my calendar and settle in for the day and let it unfold as it is meant to do. (Yes, sick days are allowed. If you’re heartsick, take a sick day.
Sinking my feet in the sand, listening to the waves crash on the beach, mimics my internal swell of tears while bringing me to a place of peace.
I don’t have to stay at home and cry. In fact, I often don a pair of sunglasses and cry as I walk the beach, or sit on the front porch. Don’t try to push it down any more, just let it all bubble up and see what you learn from it. You may be surprised at how many little things you’ve been holding on to. Or it may just be one BIG thing. And if that BIG thing comes up on more than one Crumple and Cry Day, it’s a signal that your work isn’t finished.
Crumple and Cry Day doesn’t have to be a whole day. It’s just as long or short as you need it to be.
What happens at the end of a Crumple and Cry Day? I’m tired. I have no more tears left for the time being. And I have generally opened up a space for me to take the next step. Having released all the built up sadness or anger, I can stand in a moment where that container is empty and I am ready to fill up another container with something good. Something possible. Something fresh and new.
If you’re in an overall healthy state of mental wellbeing, crying is a very cleansing, healing and refreshing experience. You might want to keep a notebook nearby as you move out of the sadness and into the peace and calm that follows. It really is almost like decluttering your physical spaces – once you surrender the stuff you’ve been holding on to, you open your heart and mind to what you need in that moment. So listen and be ready to write it down so you won’t forget.
I know some people worry that if they surrender and start to cry, they will never stop. And if you have more Crumple and Cry Days than days filled with possibility, I’m going to suggest you reach out to someone for help. See if that container needs to be washed by something more therapeutic than you can offer yourself.
Let me know what you think. And if you have a way of cleansing and releasing your stuff, tell us about it in the comments.