I am been an emotional and sensitive person going back to as long as I can remember. Over time feedback from others (grown ups mostly when I was a kid) taught me to hold in my emotions. At times I felt as if I was going to combust with the feelings I held back.
Learning to deal properly anger came with learning that anger is fear turned inside out. Once I accepted and began to practice that wisdom expressing being angry in a healthy way followed.
Hiding happiness was not an issue for a long time simply because I rarely ever felt truly happy. Feeling like something was wrong with me (which it was) I faked happiness and got damn good at it. In the last decade getting to the roots of what was amiss inside me changed all that. Peace is within me about the happenings of my childhood. YEA!!!
In “finding myself” that was inside me all along, a full spectrum of emotions was freed to show themselves in healthy ways. One of the more important is no longer am I ashamed to cry. Of course, grief and sadness can bring tears, but happiness is just as likely. Being touched by something truly beautiful makes my eyes mist up. Movies bring tears frequently, but passages in books can do it just as easily. A hug from someone I care about touches me frequently to watery eyes as can a thoughtful card or an email. I am blessed to be as I am.
It is a grave injustice to a child or adult to insist that they stop crying. One can comfort a person who is crying which enables him to relax and makes further crying unnecessary; but to humiliate a crying child is to increase his pain, and augment his rigidity. We stop other people from crying because we cannot stand the sounds and movements of their bodies. It threatens our own rigidity. It induces similar feelings in ourselves which we dare not express and it evokes a resonance in our own bodies which we resist.
As adults, we have many inhibitions against crying. We feel it is an expression of weakness, or femininity or of childishness. The person who is afraid to cry is afraid of pleasure. This is because the person who is afraid to cry holds himself together rigidly so that he won’t cry; that is, the rigid person is as afraid of pleasure as he is afraid to cry. In a situation of pleasure he will become anxious. As his tensions relax he will begin to tremble and shake, and he will attempt to control this trembling so as not to break down in tears. His anxiety is nothing more than the conflict between his desire to let go and his fear of letting go. This conflict will arise whenever the pleasure is strong enough to threaten his rigidity.
Since rigidity develops as a means to block out painful sensations, the release of rigidity or the restoration of the natural motility of the body will bring these painful sensations to the fore. Somewhere in his unconscious the neurotic individual is aware that pleasure can evoke the repressed ghosts of the past. It could be that such a situation is responsible for the adage “No pleasure without pain.” From “The Voice of the Body” by Alexander Lowen
It’s a great gift to feel as deeply and profoundly as I do. Today, tears are to me like rain is to trees: water to grow on. Ever noticed how happy trees look after a good rain? I am affected the same way and grateful now for what I once hated about myself. And with that another two points goes up on the side of being happy with my self just the way I am.
But smiles and tears are so alike with me,
they are neither of them confined
to any particular feelings:
I often cry when I am happy,
and smile when I am sad.
From “The Tenant of Wildfell Hall” by Anne Brontë