“In My Defenselessness My Safety Lies”
-A Course in Miracles
I have a personal beauty secret to reveal, something that makes both my skin and my heart youthful, radiant, and baby soft. It also doubles as my secret weight loss miracle formula. While applying this elixir in the last two months, I actually lost most of my beer belly, effortlessly, without changing my diet or giving up beer.
Full disclosure: My primary relationship over the last ten years has recently changed form, and the sadness I’ve allowed myself to feel around this change has helped me shed tons of emotional weight, as well as fifteen pounds of body fat. I’ve come through a dark night, and I feel so much lighter and brighter. The sun is shining again in my heart in a way that it hasn’t in a long time.
My secret is simple: I cry. Often. When I’m sad. When I’m happy. When I’m touched by beauty. When I let myself fully receive love, or take in someone’s appreciation. Whether I’m grieving the illusion of a loss, or counting and celebrating my blessings, I love, love, love to cry!
I wasn’t always this way. I once was a typical prisoner of our culture, treating my feeling body and vulnerability as a weakness to be avoided. The cost of this protection plan was an over-active mind, a closed heart, and a lack of compassion for myself and others. I was emotionally removed from my life, a spectator in an ivory tower rather than a player on the field. This was not the detachment from the world that spiritual practices encourage us to develop. This was fear of feeling my feelings, fear of living, fear of loving.
Then, when I hit the ripe young age of 34, I had an earthquake of a vision, which led to a flood of healing. Very clearly I was able to see how judgment was running rampant in my life. My mind was filled with judgments, almost every moment of my waking day. Judging myself and others was how I thought I kept myself safe in the world.
An interesting thing happened when I allowed myself this new awareness. I began to cry. I cried for all the pain I was in that I had been too guarded from to even notice. I cried for the separation I felt from other people, from life, and especially from my own heart. I cried for all the years I had been too afraid to cry.
A wise therapist/guide held my hand during this process. As I sobbed through each session, he held space and did not try to make me feel better, thank God. Sometimes his support astonished me. He would say things like, “Great job, Scott! Congratulations! Each tear you are crying is a piece of your past being released, an old pattern of rigidity dissolving out of your life. You are waking up! You are coming home to your heart!”
I was so grateful for his strength of perception, his consistent trust that I was safe and on my path, for if I would have gone through it on my own I might have believed I was going crazy. I was crying every day, every night, and I had little say over when or where. After a lifetime of living in my head, I had a lot of catch up crying to do.
That process was, as I look back on it, a time of soul retrieval. Before that process I was rarely moved by beauty. Then one day a few months into my healing cycle, while watching a sunset on the beach, I found myself crying, overwhelmed by the loveliness of it, God’s daily masterpiece. I realized that it was my willingness to surrender to sadness that had given birth to this new ability to be so touched by life’s joys. Water was flowing again in my life. The drought was over!
In the magical (not really for children) children’s story, The Knight In The Rusty Armor, Robert Fisher tells of a knight who lives in an ivory tower. He excels at covering up his heart by putting on a suit of armor every day and galloping off to rescue princesses in an attempt to win their love and adoration. He eventually finds himself stuck in his armor and can’t get it off. He goes to see Gladbag, the court jester and wise man for council. Gladbag directs the knight to Merlin, a teacher in the remote forest who gets the knight to begin his emotional journey and start to grieve the many years he was hiding his vulnerability in armor.
Contemplating all the real love he missed out on while living that way, he falls to the ground, weeps for hours, and falls asleep in a puddle of his own tears. The next morning he wakes to find that his visor has rusted away. The knight discovers that it is his own tears that will melt the steel and free him from his armor.
Sondra Ray, in her book Loving Relationships, goes as far as to say this: ‘Never miss an opportunity to cry!’
Sometimes I wonder how much the earth is reflecting humanity’s collective emotional drought, our unwillingness to feel our feelings, to preserve and honor our own personal rainforests. I believe that the most important thing we can do to help restore the planet to balance is to live balanced lives. For most of us, that means re-discovering our ability to feel. Un-cried tears harden into the bricks that build emotional walls, and that’s what enables people to violate and abuse each other, and the planet, without the understanding that what they are doing they are doing to themselves.
In The Knight In The Rusty Armor, early on in the story, the knight shakes the court jester’s hand to thank him for his advice, and he almost crushes it. Gladbag yelps, and then says to the knight, “When your armor isn’t there, of other’s pain you’ll be aware.”
Could the Holocaust have happened if the German people, as children, hadn’t had their feelings and their innocence invalidated, over and over again? Closer to home, the United States grew our country, spreading an empire west by conquering the Native American people, practically wiping them out in the name of Manifest Destiny, a head trip used to justify massacring people who, in our minds were not really people, certainly not people with rights and hearts like ours.
If enough of us find our tears, these tragedies will not repeat themselves, for rising from the depths of our grief comes our heart connection to life, and we will not destroy whom and what we feel connected to. Our oneness is not a concept, but a heartfelt truth that the ego cannot being to grasp.
The world has had enough ivory towers of ego strength, and is hungry for the power of authenticity and vulnerability, human beings embracing all parts of their humanity with unconditional acceptance and love. Paradoxically, this acceptance opens the doorway to our divinity.
I was raised to pride myself to be a highly intelligent person, maybe a little too intelligent for my own good, trapped in the complexity of a dry and brittle intellect.
I find that my tears are honest, simple, and soften the fortress of my mind like nothing else can.
Do you have a personal drought going on? Is your life so busy, your heart so protected, your mind so in charge, that you rarely give yourself the time to stop and water the roses? Do you fear drowning in your emotional body, and so have chosen to stay out of the water entirely? You are being invited to leave the weary desert behind, precious Child of God, and come home and drink from the radiant, lush rainforest of your heart.
One of my songs contains these lyrics:
May I laugh all my laughter,
May I cry all my tears,
May I love the rain as deeply
As the sun when when it clears
These words have become a steady reminder for me to go with the river’s flow of my feelings. Sometimes the current takes me through turbulent white water, and other times through calm, still waters, but always it renews and refreshes me, helping me feel alive, passionately and compassionately alive.
Scott Grace is an intuitive life coach who serves worldwide and does sessions via phone or Skype. Read more about his coaching practice at www.scottsongs.com or schedule a session at 415 721 2954, or email at firstname.lastname@example.org