“Heavy hearts, like heavy clouds in the sky are best relieved by the letting of a little water”
I woke up Monday morning with a very heavy heart. There wasn’t anything wrong, but nothing felt right. I decided to do the one thing that always brings me comfort; running. It’s not uncommon for me to cry during my runs. I feel such an emotional release when I run, it’s as if I’m simulateously running away from my problems and my past and to a bright and glorious future. I had an amazing 2 mile run. On the walk back to the car, I felt the tears begin to pool in the back of my eyes. I blinked a couple times to push them away until I could get in the car and away from anyone who might see me.
Once I got in the car, I cried. I cried all the way home. And then I sat in the car for 15 more minutes and cried some more. I thought of my grandparents and how I missed them. I had flashes of childhood memories that are somehow sweeter than when I first lived them.
“Sometimes memories sneak out of my eyes and roll down my cheeks”
I thought of all I had been through in life and how proud I was of myself. I swelled with pride. I thought of how I’ve managed to survive everything that should have destroyed me. I cried because in that moment, I was gratful for every trial. I had turned victimhood into victory.
I thought of the burden of being black in AneriKKKa. And I realized that the tears I were crying were not just my own. They were the tears of my ancestors and the entire collective of blacks who endured MAAFA (The Black Holocaust). I cried for every mother whose child was snatched from her arms and sold, every whipping, every lynching… Their trauma resurfacing through my DNA looking for a release, a reprieve, and a safe haven. And I cried some more. Yes, ancestors. I cry for you. I cry for me. I cry for my children. I cry because these tears are power.
“You cannot know how well people’s bodies remember their ancestors”
They are evidence of trauma and triumph, of fear and faith, of love and countless losses. These tears aren’t a sign of weakness, but a sign of life. I cry because I’m still here. I cry because there is still hope. I cry because there is love. I cry because there is a song in my heart. The sojourn of the flawed and broken. I cry because I have nothing left, but yet so much yet to give. My tears symbolize that it’s not over yet. Even in the midst of my emptiness there is enough. Enough life left to live.
“It’s not the load that breaks you down, its the way you carry it”
After that cry I felt so much better and went about my day. Feeling lighter and a little more free. We praise people for holding on, but not nearly enough for being able to let go. There’s nothing noble about holding your tears in. The courage is in letting them fall freely. Cry alone if you need to. Cry with someone if you need to. Just cry! Scream! Moan! There’s power in laying that burden down. Getting it all out. Emptying yourself until there’s nothing left.
From a physiological standpoint tears are powerful as well. Our tears contain stress hormones and when you cry you are reducing your stress levels. Pip Waller, author of Holistic Anatomy explains, “Tears provide the only route for us to excrete stress hormones whole, withoug the liver having first metabolized them. So when we are stressed the chemical content of our tears change…crying is the cure for being hurt”.
She goes on to explain that if we aren’t crying enough and the stress we experience continues, it can damage the body in the form of high blood pressure, muscle tension, digestive problems, infertility, impotence and issues with menstruation and menopause.
The next time your body prompts you to cry, don’t try to hold the tears back. Let your power fall like rain from the sky. The power to heal, be free, and go forward with a strong mind, body and soul.
“Crying is one of the highest devotinoal songs. One who knows crying knows spiriutal practice. If you can cry with a pure heart, nothing else compares to such a prayer”
Kathleen is the owner of Melanin Rich Wellness Inc., a company committed to optimizing the physical, mental and spiritual health of the black community using African Holistic Health. She is a Published Author, Certified Holistic Nutritionist, Nutrition and Wellness Consultant, Vaginal Steam Facilitator and Yin Yoga Instructor. She loves tapping into her melanin rich DNA database filled with the knowledge and wisdom of medicine men and women, the healers and the warriors she lovingly calls ancestors.
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