It’s 4am. (Insomnia stinks, ya’ll). As I lay here in bed I can’t shut my mind up. It keeps rewinding to yesterday and reminding me of the embarrassing amount of tears I shed.
I’ve never been a crier. At least, that’s what I thought. But I think maybe in the past I’ve never been a crier because there was no space for my tears. Growing up, it was always my older sister who cried, threw tantrums, and made a scene. She unabashedly displayed whatever emotions she was feeling and it almost always resulted in screaming, tears, slammed doors, and most of all – hurt feelings. After witnessing the pain her behavior caused for so many years, every intense emotion seemed bad and hurtful and I was determined not to hurt people in the same way she did. So, I didn’t display any emotions that I thought might cause troubles.
But there is space for me here. There is space to cry. And boy, do I have lots of years worth of tears stored up inside me that need to be cried. I’ve always been ashamed to cry…even alone where there’s no audience.
Yesterday, I think I cried an entire years worth of tears. Exhaustion magnifies everything – it’s all 10x tougher when you’re tired. And I am exhausted. I haven’t slept for more than 3 hours straight a single time in the past 2 weeks.
So, when I began to feel overwhelmed by scheduling, school work, and lack of practice time the tears crept in. Throw in the stress of this time of year and the added headache that is recovery and necessary weight gain—it’s a hurricane of emotions, tears, fear, and stress.
I broke. Or did I? Maybe it wasn’t “breaking”. Maybe it was….healing?
Yesterday, I was transparent with my parents – sharing with them REAL emotions, fears, and the reality that I have some weight to gain, some work still to be done, and strides still to be made. I cried and cried on the phone with them and surrendered my attempts to protect them from me. I allowed them into my head and heart and trusted that they could handle it and that they wouldn’t run the other direction. It was a good call—they didn’t turn and run.
Not only that, but even after our phone call ended and I sat outside the auditorium waiting for studio class to begin—tears running down my cheeks like a river who’s tide is too strong even for the best swimmer to navigate—people showed me so much love. They didn’t run the opposite direction or judge me as being “weak” or “needy”. In fact, most of them ran TO me. They provided support, hugs, and most importantly—reminded me that I am loved and never ever alone.
Apparently, I’m not an ugly crier. Thanks guys, but that might be a stretch – not sure I’m ready to believe THAT one yet 😉
My teacher saw me and my tears and instead of scolding me for being a distraction to the start of class or just ignoring my pain, he sat next to me and took a few minutes just to talk to me. He showed interest, concern, and offered up advice and support. There was no judgment, no scolding, no “get your act together and get over it” type of talk.
I am blessed. The tears that fell were all met with love. The hugs that encompassed me were safe. And the compliments that made me smile and even chuckle a bit—they were real and genuine.
Through all those tears, God showed up in the form of other human beings. God said, “I am here. So are others. You are allowed to feel—everything. Let your tears fall freely.”
And so my tears fell—in the form of blessings.
“There is a sacredness in tears….They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition and of unspeakable love.”
― Washington Irving
“You have kept record of my days of wandering. You have stored my tears in your bottle and counted each one of them.”
Psalm 56:8 CEVDCUS06