When I was 3 years old, my sister unintentionally kicked me in the ear while we were jumping on the trampoline. Now, she is 16 months older than me and has always been tall for her age. I however, was average in size for my age.
I immediately got enraged. I was so angry. Even though I knew it was an accident and she had already said sorry, I was determined to get her back. So I proceeded to punch her in the ear. Classy move, I know. My Mom was a stay at home mom at the time, and so she saw this all go down from the house and came outside. Kayla was crying and I was still angry. My Mom gave me that look and said “Okay, well when Daddy comes home we are all going to talk about this. For now you take a 10 minute time out.” I stormed to my room and shut the door, crying and screaming into my pillow.
When my Dad got home, my Mom sat me on her lap as my dad sad across from her and she said “Ariel, I want to tell you the story of how you were born.” She explained to me that her Doctor wasn’t at the hospital in time, and the nurses kept telling her to wait to push.
Through three contractions she didn’t push. I was stuck in there for three contractions. In my mothers thinking, she was doing exactly what the nurse was telling her. She was keeping the rules. So, when I came out blue in the face (once the doctor got there, of course) they immediately rushed me to the intensive care to make sure I was okay. After 3 hours they brought me back to my Moms room, my nose bruised, but overall a healthy baby.
I remember her finishing the story, and feeling a huge release. I said “Mommy, I don’t know why, but I just really want to cry.” I sobbed for twenty minutes. After that, I hardly ever reacted out of anger and punishment.
At Passion Provokers, we’ve come to the conclusion that the healthiest (and one of the most sane) ways a person can express their rage is through tears. I mean the ugly-cry, alligator tears. Now crying is an odd thing, and I believe there are 3 categories of cry-ers:
1. You’ll ugly-cry over movies, music, and spilt milk.
2. You’ll ugly-cry a few times a year, and usually not at the moments that seem to make sense (i.e. someone cut you off, or a barista accidentally gave you what the person behind you ordered).
3. Ugly-crying is something that you may never do, and if you have done it it might have been over serious and logical things (i.e. broken bones, death, etc).
I wish I had a cute little “quiz” to tell you which one you are, but most likely you know exactly where you fit. Personally, I fall under the second category. Regardless of what category you belong in, I think it’s safe to say that alligator tear crying is extremely therapeutic. When feelings of rage, anger, loneliness, sadness, disappointment, longing, even nostalgia are not expressed wholly, tears are the only way to get the rest of it out.
Non-criers: beware. Without this depth of release, your <insert any of the emotions stated in the above paragraph> will come out. It may come out in screaming at your roommates in a drunken sob about how awful their current situation is. It may be in traffic when you are cut off. It may be at work when you are getting constructive criticism. But, whatever triggers you, the cause and effect will be extremely damaging (if not externally, internally).
Few-time-a-year Criers: beware. The same as the above will happen.
Spilt-Milk-Criers: Beware. If everything makes you cry, that’s okay. I do not find anything wrong with having a sensitive soul. However, this could mean that you are inappropiately expressing emotions in indirect ways. Crying over someone glaring at you? Maybe you feel crummy about a decision you previously made. So, my thoughts on Spilt-Milk-Criers…make sure you’re not only expressing your tears for what’s really going on in life, but also make sure the right person is present. Maybe they just need to know that an extra kiss in the kitchen or a simple conversation will ease some of that spout.
Regardless of if you are 39 or 14, I believe a go-to emotion for many of us is Anger. Do you know where this is coming from? Do you just need to cry? Do you just need to hear about a traumatic birth? There is a reason you feel how you feel, whether you remember the reason or not.
The happiest people in the world are slow to anger. Coddling your anger does not make it righteous. Your anger will not keep you warm at night. It does not give you the right to say middle-finger-to-the-universe. If not expressed correctly, it only has the power to destroy.