I cried. I tried to just cry in my car, but as I walked across the parking lot at work the tears just came out.
But this time, when I told myself to, Get it together! a new voice took over:
I don’t want to get myself together, I just want to fall apart. Now.
For once, in the moment where I felt overwhelmingly upset, even if something as ordinary as being stuck in traffic triggered it, I just wanted to cry and let it happen without holding it in or getting it together.
When I got upstairs to my office I thought maybe the moment had passed, but as soon as someone greeted me with a, Good Morning! I lost it all over again. Pretending to be happy is hard. I went to the bathroom, and in the dark I had a really big, ugly cry. I bent over, almost curled into a ball, and sobbed to the point where I couldn’t breathe.
A tree goes through a life cycle. During the fall a tree’s leaves fall to the ground like slow, weightless tears and blow around in the wind—and we enjoy watching it happen. We think it’s beautiful. Falling apart, letting a little part of you wilt up, die, and blow away is natural, healing, and renewing. But I’m not a tree. Days with less sunlight and temperature shifts; we don’t express ourselves with cues from Nature’s seasons—her changes don’t coincide with my feelings and emotions.
Then when is the time to let go?
When I get upset, it never seems like the right moment. Not now, you’re at work, you’re going to a party, you’re going to see your friend, you’re driving, you’re in the middle of a crowd. Not now… Hold it in. Keep it together. You can be upset later.
When is later?
Life doesn’t wait for the right moment for anything to happen because life waits for nothing. Life is an endless series of moments and these series of moments—good or bad—always come to pass.
Like a storm that blows in, so will our dark emotions and sadness. Our skies turn black and our eyes, filled with billowing clouds, find release by drenching the earth in tears, our heart floods with emotion, and our breath shudders and unsteady wind gusts.
We don’t weather storms, our emotions and feelings are the weather. Sometimes our skies are dark and stormy, and other times they are clear. Our light is always there.
At the end of the day, as soon as I drove off in my car, I cried again. But his time it was different because I could feel the relief of letting myself cry. It was a cry of strength because I knew it would pass, and my light peeked through the clouds and danced on the rain.