Let me/us/them cry!

by Irène Schäppi June 16, 2023

Let me/us/them cry!

It is exactly four years ago, when I decided to take a break from everything and go on a sabbatical in search for myself. I spent those months mainly in California and Bali. But it was only on O’ahu, also known as The Gathering Place, in Hawaii, that the gates to my heart opened, and I could let my tears flow. And man, did they flow. While sitting on the white sand with the Pacific in front of me, it felt as if Mother Nature (I like to imagine her as Te Fiti, the green goddess from “Moana”) touched my heart, connected it with my past, present and future and brought all the feelings together, that I had stored in me for as long as I could remember. 


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Suddenly I couldn’t stop crying, and it seemed like the tears would turn into a river. However, this wasn’t as painful as it may sound to you. Au contraire: This moment was exactly what I needed and felt so liberating! That is why I decided to record this moment and share it with my friends and followers on Instagram. Some responses were incredibly empowering. Others, not so much.

The unease you feel when somebody is crying
And then, one or two years later, some of my acquaintances told me this post was why they muted my IG stories for a particular time. I would lie if I told you now that these remarks didn’t hurt me. Or, made me pause for a moment, at least. And made me question myself and what I suddenly felt like having been oversharing all these years ago: Am I too much? And should I start hiding my most profound feelings as they seem too overwhelming for others?

To all those reading this and feeling the same: You are NOT TOO MUCH or oversharing. It is essential to show our honest and most authentic selves as much as possible. Even though this might be too much for some people out there, it might help them to get another perspective. Trust me.

In other words: Crying is a form of release, and well-meaning comfort talk like, "Don't be sad," or, "It saddens me to watch you cry," or, "I can't watch you be so upset," can thwart emotional expression and release. What happens when we try to push feelings down? They implode or explode. They either make us act in strange ways, explode and have anger outbursts or a full-blown depression. In my opinion, the best thing to do is to let the person cry and let it get out of their system. That's the only way they'll stop hurting or, even better, healing.

Be gentle
So, here's my advice: When it comes to a loved one's response, what is crucial is what you do once the crying has stopped, and not so much during. This is where you need to do the comforting – hug them, tell them a joke, take them out for a walk or a movie or shopping, take them out dancing. Please do something to uplift their mood once the release has happened. 


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Please don't assume that they need your advice or problem-solving. Or, really, anything at all. Maybe they needed a shoulder to cry on. Or somebody who is celebrating their healing with them afterward.

That is why I'd like to finish this article with a beautiful quote by Marilyn Monroe:

“I'm selfish, impatient, and a little insecure. I make mistakes, am out of control, and at times hard to handle. Butif you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best.

From my heart to yours, Irène



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