by Alexandra Lee
Your tears will thank you later.
My emotionality has become an identity with many names, like an HSP, empath, feeler, cry baby. In college, this sensitivity was playfully prodded among my friends. With others, it was cast in a more negative light. But with each year around the sun, I grow to understand that this is a gift. So, I want to offer you my personal support. I am an artist and a woman, who simply loves to cry!
Imagine how strong our communication with each other could be if we allowed ourselves to cry? If we did not judge through fear that crying made us overly emotional, vulnerable or weak? But rather, crying allows us to face our toughest emotions with a confidence that we can release them, because we are multi-faceted, intelligent, complex beings given this beautiful ability to feel. I mean, I’m crying right now writing this.
And let’s not shy away from our collective reality: crying in quarantine. Now I find myself crying in strange scenarios! (Let’s give a loving hand to my roommates.) When I see a stray cat or a small child running freely in the park barred by a little mask. When an insect lands on my arm. When the damn wind blows a certain way. I don’t know, it’s really coming up for us all.
This period of isolation has stirred our egos and challenged our stability. If you have been dealing with heartbreak, grief, loneliness, and uncertainty… my heart goes out to you. These trying times have brought some painful emotions to light, and I have found freedom in shedding tears now more than ever before.
Remember: No feeling or emotion is permanent. This moment will not last forever.
Try to touch upon that witchy aunt inside of us all, the one who asks, “what exactly would your inner child want?” Imagine five-year-old you, sitting puffy-eyed with a bunch of feelings. You’d hope a grownup could tell you it’s ok to feel this sad, because everyone does at times. To show you space to feel pain and let you cry, with the comfort of knowing someone was by your side. That catharsis, that ability to feel our pain to its fullest enough to let it go. We’re adults now, and we owe it to ourselves. If twenty minutes of a stuffy-nosed ugly cry meant you could release what is weighing on you, would you choose any other way? The pain may not disperse into thin air, but I can assure it will never feel as overbearing as the time you just allowed yourself to cry.
This self-love practice is a life-long journey for us complicated human beings, but I believe it is the journey worth living.
Lastly, our life asks of us balance, and your crying equally deserves your laughter. It deserves company. Reach out to your community when needed, and if you feel like you don’t have one… search deeply, because I promise you do. Take care of your heart by knowing what makes you laugh. And after that sweet flow of tears, do something that makes you feel really good.
It doesn’t matter who you are, what you look like or what you believe in. We each deserve to cry sometimes. Here’s to happy crying. You have so much more to give to this world, so you can go ahead and let go of your pain.
Alexandra is a Los Angeles transplant based in Brooklyn, where her Trinidadian grandmother with Chinese roots married her Brooklyn-born grandfather with Scandinavian roots. As a writer, actor and singer she has mostly written plays for the stage and screen. During quarantine, she’s mustered the courage to write her first fiction novel, and she’s quite proud of it. Alexandra works for an indie film company, has a classical voice background and a committed love for stopping everybody to look at the moon.