Enough already! I am learning that church seems to be the place where I cry, it has happened several times now and this week I accepted it as a healthy place for me to feel my feelings. When Noah and I were in Boulder for our communication workshop we learned that finding safe spaces to cry is important for being able to feel our feelings accurately. We learned that when we have practiced resisting crying when certain feelings like sadness or frustration happen, our bodies get confused from blocking the natural release of crying and it becomes hard to identify what we are feeling. So we were encouraged to pay attention to what works for us to feel feelings of sadness. Things that work for many are music, movies, certain spaces, certain people and when we find them, let the feelings flow in that safe space. I guess I have found a safe space that works for me.
During the service, my tears stopped as I began to sing with my daughter Elise. A certain psalm we sing every week reminds me of Aladdin and I joke with her every time that I’m on a magic carpet when we sing it. As you can imagine the joke has gotten old, but Elise plays along with me anyway, which I think is part of the fun.
My heart immediately felt lighter and a sense of peace came over me as we began to sing and laugh. I was reminded of an exercise we did with a depression counselor a few years ago that laughter is one of the best antidotes for sadness. When you are laughing you can not feel anxious, angry or sad. By focusing on adding more laughter to your life you become able to shift perspective and open to more light and carefree possibilities. When was the last time you had a really good laugh? I hope it was today. The exercise we did was watch a sitcom and pay attention to the laugh track, laughing really is contagious and it works.
Laughter through tears is an amazing thing. The opportunity to feel my feelings thoroughly in the moment. To feel the deep sadness of loss and the release through tears followed by the carefree lightness of laughter. I am grateful for the regular release of stress and sadness through tears and the daily endorphins and lightness through laughter. I hope you are enjoying the range of your emotions and that you have a safe place to cry on occasion and wonderful things to laugh and smile about each and every day.