The Crying Rooms of Japan!

Updated: May 10, 2015

Dearest luminous you,

I’m writing this on Mother’s Day although you’ll read this after the fact. I’m filled with so much emotion – so many strands in the thread that still connects me to my mom- love, conflict, admiration, respect, anger, sorrow and compassion. Her memory is tightly woven into the fabric of my reality that some days I don’t remember where she ended and I began.

My mother crossed over 20 years ago and in these years following her death I’ve spent many a long moment deciphering the secret hidden codes of our connection.
One of the taboos I’ve had to work through was about crying.

I never saw my mother cry growing up. The first and only time I ever witnessed her break down was when she had to have her tonsils removed and she was taken away by ambulance coughing up blood. I was 6 years old. She never liked it when my sister or I cried, nor when my father broke down in his typical dramatic flair when one of us was about to get a whooping – see what you made me do?

Nope- crying was not going to happen under her roof! Over emoting was taboo. We were going to be happy whether we liked it or not.

The second time was the day my father came home to tell us the entire family fortune was gone and the bank would be coming to take away our house. I was 23 years old. She cried a lot that afternoon.

Then she cried each month when the bills came in and saw whatever was left dwindling away, and my father who had overnight succumbed to Alzheimers became a burden she wasn’t equipped to handle. Yet she toughened up each time, never really cried enough, grieved enough, never allowed the freedom of tears to truly alleviate her stress. I am convinced the brain tumor that finally took her life was a direct result of this.

I couldn’t cry for years and years until 5 years into recovery from drug and alcohol addiction I realized it was safe to do it. No one would come after me with a cooking spoon or belt, nor would I be shamed by it. Now I’ve been a big crybaby for the past 24 years and highly recommend it.

My husband was very uncomfortable around crying but I knew he was for me when, on one of our first dates he took me to see Finding Nemo and didn’t bolt while I sat sobbing next to him into my popcorn. That said he didn’t understand my need to cry. In the 12 years we’ve been married, Marc kept his distance from tears until our sweet little pom Beanie died in his arms a few months ago and he cried away all those barriers and is a different man today because of it. Crying is an act of love, and healing, even if initiated by sorrow. It opens the heart wider as a result of it.

The best cry I’ve ever had was exchanging my vows with Marc the first time, but I really went for it the second time we did it. The deep welling of love for him just shot out of me like a geyser and I felt the magnitude of this beautiful commitment and how grateful I was (and still am). Crying isn’t just about loss.

I can cry watching kittens play with each other, rescued baby gorillas, news about shutting down the dog meat festival in China, watching a baby hippo’s birth.

I can cry about someone’s victory. Yes tears are accompanied by grief too- like all the deaths that touched my life this year, and any time I watch the news and feel powerless over climate change, or when I see those adventure hunters who shoot wild animals for sport and have their photos taken by their downed prey.(I cry with a fireball of anger mixed in) but no matter the circumstance they are healing and a bridge to connecting to life, healing and to meaning. Most of all tears relieve you of stress!

I read an article about the crying rooms that are all the rage in Japan. Rooms can be rented out for people who need a good cry. Stress is epidemic in Japan and so being such a resourceful culture, someone came up with this great idea, and it took off like wildfire. Lots of people need to cry over there apparently and studies show it’s very good for your health! What about you?

  • Do you let yourself cry?
  • Do you stop yourself?
  • If so why?
  • How do you feel after a good cry?
  • When was the last good cry you had and what was the result?

I wonder what it would be like if we had crying rooms set up over here? I think my mom would still be alive if she had access to those.

It’s amazing how our version of strength and fortitude, and our fear of vulnerability could be so skewed and cause so much harm.

Today I wish for you all the release you need to bring balance into your life and to help you let go of any and all stress. And maybe, just maybe you might consider having a good cry? It really is like rain for the parched soul.

Lots and lots of love
Always and forever!

love colette 200x103



Showing 26 comments
  • Helen

    Crying is such a funny thing. I can cry an ocean watching a sad or even a happy movie, but rarely cry when life isn’t so great. I guess it’s always safe to cry at movies

  • Jocelyne

    I agree with so much of what you have said here Colette.
    I think crying is just your emotions leaking out of your eyes. I am not overly emotional and am usually quite self possessed but can cry quite freely, especially with the love and beauty of things.
    If there is a situation in my life that is sudden and potentially serious I will often have a good cry up front, so to speak, as it feels like I am getting rid of ‘loose emotions’, and then I can cope with the situation in a very clear headed way.
    Holding in emotions is not good for us but it’s the way many of us have been trained. I think some are afraid of crying because they fear they might never stop, as the deep well of repressed emotions might engulf them.
    One good way to free them is with bodywork. My Mother who is not too free with her emotions finds that a massage always makes her want to cry, which to me shows that we hold onto them in our body and yes, I do believe that it can make us ill.
    Thanks Colette … never a duff subject on this blog!

  • Alannah

    Bless you Colette! Talk about perfect timing. I have just had a really difficult day, things have been tough for a while now. The final straw broke, and I felt this huge lump in my chest, but swallowed it down as always, because I have no external support, I just ‘have to deal with it’, I always have. I read this beautiful message, and am currently having a good cry. Thank you and bless you Colette, your site, and your beautiful bubbly spirit make my day every day. 🙂 <3

  • Rio

    Thank you so much for this wonderful blog. I too was not allowed to cry, and my mother (who just died on February 27) never cried. I think I saw my dad cry when he found out he had cancer and was dying, my mother didn’t cry, until after he died in her arms. After he died (which was over 20 years ago) she became more open to feelings and to expressing them. About 2 years before she died we found out she had dementia and early Alzheimers, and quite frankly ‘forgot’ that she didn’t have emotions. For the first time in my life I witnessed my mother cry, get angry (an emotion ok for my dad but not mom), be funny, and scared. I also didn’t start feeling or expressing my emotions until I got sober in 1986 and got into ACA (adult children of alcoholics) boot camp. This intense 8 week program FORCED me to grow up, to individuate, and to FEEL! I am beyond grateful for my feelings, for my emotions, and for my TEARS, which I have cried plenty of since my mother’s death. Sending Love Colette!

    • Colette Baron-Reid

      ACA bootcamp was my initiation into real feelings too- lots of similarities here. thanx for sharing

  • Jenn Duval

    Thank for this! I am one of those who easily cries (I always have been a very emotional soul) and many have told me I am too emotional, to sensitive, but I am who I am. As I have gotten older and have gone through many of life’s trials and tribulations I think crying has helped me get through things easier and has been a way of cleansing for me, in a way I think it has made me a stronger person.

  • Elisabeth Ohlsson

    I Cry a lot 🙂 i can stand reading on birthdaycard in a shop and cry over the text 🙂 my whole family have allways had near to crying and to laugh,,, and after i learn to know the spirits around me i feel it coms even easier to me,,,

  • Barb Parcells

    Colette, if I had a bucket for every time I cried over all of the things you mentioned, all of the cruelty to animals, children, the planet, etc ., I could probably end the drought in California single handed! Together we could create a tsunami! I cry much more freely now than I did in my youth because I understand the cleansing it brings. It also gives me a place to let my anger go at the things I see and cannot do anything about except vent and pray. I think we all need a crying room with space to throw and break things until it’s all out of us. If money were no object, I would buy a whole state (or small country) with a moderate climate and rescue every unwanted, unloved child and animal in the world … okay, maybe two countries!

  • Kimberley

    THANK YOU, COLETTE!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you! It’s actually nice to read that all the crying I do is actually healthy. I cry at the beauty of the music I listen to, how it moves me so, how Divinely inspired the composer is and so very gifted; how Divinely gifted all musicians and artists are…I cry when I’m watching a show…Finding Nemo is still a movie I cry over. Both of my parents are alcoholics…all my life. My mother passed away 4 years ago this December. I loved her, I miss her…and I don’t miss her. I am grateful and thankful for her agreeing to be my mother while also completing her life path here. It took some time for me to release my anger towards her…and I am so very grateful she taught me the life lessons I needed to learn from her. What I learned from her is that I am an amazingly strong, fiercely independent, sensitive person (she used to say I was hypersensitive…I like that description now) and while I have a lot of work to do on myself, shedding lots of weight, learning to trust my own intuition, taking the leap of faith needed to move forward, my mother, for all her faults, loved me, missed me, and didn’t miss me. 😉 I cry more now than I did before her passing. I have now given myself permission to feel so deeply that my tears come very easily. It’s a nice release and I am better for having gone through the lessons taught.

  • nancie

    Crying, like a good rain after a long dry summer; washes away all the dust,dirt and grime. Allowing new growth, beautiful flowers and vibrancy. The clouds break away and the sunshines through.

  • Connie Baldwin

    Very good article!!! I find it easy to cry over sweet and sentimental things, but not over personal things. My dearly loved and wonderful mother passed May 24, 2014. Since her transition, I have cried very little on the outside, but seem to carry my tears on the inside. (This is what she used to say and I never remember seeing her cry.) We children were never made to feel badly about crying, when growing up, but I seldom cried – probably because I had a very happy childhood. I would like, however, to release the emotions on my inside and am working on it since I know it would be healthier to release. I feel my mother’s presence often and have even received a few messages from her, which is nice. Yesterday was an emotional day, and I even shed a few tears, but it was not the cleansing I know I need. It is interesting to read how others deal with emotions and I appreciate reading the openness expressed. The journey continues… Colette, you help!

  • Renee Sugar

    “Tears are the safety valve of the heart when too much pressure has been laid upon it.”
    Albert Smith.
    Sometimes tears are cleansing the windows of our soul to give us a fresh perspective.
    “Only those whose eyes have been washed free of tears; have the broader vision that
    makes us aware of our interconnectedness”. YOU ARE NOT ALONE. The HEALING is in the

    I grew up in an alcoholic home and was also molested as a child. There was much
    isolation, and I can recall my mom saying that her “inner feelings” were saying one thing;
    but the outer reality was not matching up. So there were different stories, and perceptions
    happening all in the same house. I was a very withdrawn child, very creative, and angry.
    I recall feeling very lonely. Depression is the impression of FEAR, or anger turned inward.

    When I allowed my creative gifts to be expressed, I felt alive, and could allow the emotions
    within to be expressed; through playing the piano beginning at age 7.b I still do today.
    There were many different mediums throughout my journey. I cried a lot as a child, and
    throughout my life.
    Now I am more the detached observer, more rational, more “intellectual”. Maybe that is why I find
    following my heart such a challenge; I am too much ” in my head”.
    Now I am more analytical; and able to understand things from many different vantage points.
    I don’t cry nearly as often as I once did. Probably because I am a very complex, multifaceted individual.
    That has been a lifetime in the making to understand who I AM . I am not lonely, even though I am very ALONE.

    • Sylvie

      Oh! Renee … do I ever deeply understand where You come from.

      My childhood was as complicated as Yours with narissic and violent Parents mixed with ultra religious morals. God was with them and only them not us the children, we where nothing. Plus to them God justified there violent act and approved them because they where the parents and we where the baaad little girls. So everything and anything was a reason for there violence. We where so afraid of them.

      I had to paddle my river against current so much so far in my life. The river was my tears through out my
      earth experience. My children did not live the childhood I lived, I swore to myself. Yet to the discovery
      who I am, I’ve lived moments of pure grace that showed me the true nature of Spirit and has helped me
      and inspire me too see things through there eyes. I am so gratefull of everything even If I’m encounting
      challenges presently.

      You bet tears are the cleansing of the Soul. I remember once crying I thought all the tears of my Life (I’ve cried much more since), but at that moment, everything seemed so clear and brand new in my soul. It
      got rid of alot of accumulated dust that had been stuck for a long time.

      Are’nt we all multifaceted? Is’nt a diamond multifaceted? Is’ nt Spirit multifaceted ? Even if You are
      Alone without being lonely, I am sure that You can shine with your Oneness.

      May You be blessed!

  • Michele

    Thank you, Collette, for a wonderful sharing. I grew up with 5 siblings in a home where crying, as well as expressing anger or speaking up for oneself, was not tolerated. It certainly had an impact on my throat chakra and creativity, though over the years becoming involved in training in numerous energy modalities, I have grown exponentially. I am grateful for all of my past experiences, as they created the person I am today. Empathy, compassion, understanding, acceptance, tolerance and true listening are just a few of the gifts which were cultivated as a result. There are many things that bring on tears for me–listening to the national anthem, beautiful music, movies, celebrating others, animal cruelty/neglect, nature’s beauty, birth, death, endings, etc. It has been a long time since I sobbed my heart out in a cathartic way, though I now am able to embrace my tears whenever they flow.

  • kim

    I cry so much all the time over my pain, other peoples pain, a movie ect. However I still find it very difficult to cry in front of anyone. I don’t know why that is. I will hide my tears from everyone.

  • Diana Boles

    “They’ll never take you seriously if you let them see you cry”. I was told this so many years ago, I can’t even remember when nor whom. So I didn’t cry so many times throughout my life. Not when raped, not thru cancer, not when my marriage died. I didn’t cry when faced with the fear of making decisions (after not being allowed to for 25 yrs), and only a few tears fell when my Mom passed over 3 yrs ago. What is wrong with me? Why is that statement ingrained in me? Does it make me feel courageous and strong?

    Well, all sense of leadership fell to the wayside last week Wednesday. An unexpected storm hit my neighborhood just as my workday was drawing to a close. He was in his outdoor cage. It was a beautiful day and remained that until this freaky moment. I was only 5 miles down the road & only 10 min away from him.

    As I left work, I drove right into hail, wind and cold rain. I couldn’t believe what I was in. I tried to prepare for the worst and made my way through the last 3 miles to my driveway. I ran to the backyard and — and ———- please ! No!

    Alas, my beloved African Grey, Rock-0, lie in the bottom of his cage. Saturated and cold. I reached for him in what seemed to take eternity. Tried to revive him. I felt the blood rushing everywhere in my soul. Calm thoughts gave way to panic. Then, I started to think about how afraid he must have been. And cold. And calling for me to bring him in.

    The tears began first as a few droplets. Those drops gave way to the torrents of this particular storm. No courage left. Mourning hurriedly took over my spirit. All of the events in my life that prevented my emotional surrender shifted into high gear. I haven’t stopped since.

    Let them see me cry. It is where another brand of courage lies.

    • Colette Baron-Reid

      … this is beautiful and I’m sure many of us identify. I’m so sorry for your loss Diana. It’s amazing how when our animal companion passes and we’re powerless to prevent it, how no matter how many horrific things that didn’t receive our tears, nothing breaks us open more purely than this loss. I get it.

      • Sylvie

        Dearest Diane,

        I too feel your pain as raw as yours my Dearest cause mine was put down the
        day before yours was taken away. I empathize with You in ways You cannot imagine.
        Big, big hug of tenderness to You. I understand your pain.

    • Safena

      I have no idea if this helps at all, but I get the sense that Rock-O knew how much you loved him and I just want to thank you for giving him your heart. He was blessed to have known you and blessed to have loved you. And i can’t help but think he knew that so much that he gave you a gift of experiencing your heart again. You are also a beautiful writer and you know how to touch people in a profound way. Love and Peace to you.

      • Diana Boles

        thank you so much for these kind words, Colette, Sylvia and Safena. The river is beginning to settle a bit and the muddy bottom is cleaner. Peace by piecing it back together. Dance it out!

    • Michele

      Diana, in reading your post, my heart overflowed with compassion for your great loss. Your beloved Rock-0 left you with a most precious gift. May your tears be liberating and empowering. I have known the grief and heartache of losing a beloved animal companion. With Blessings of Love and Light.

  • Auset

    I can only REALLY cry when I am alone. In front of others, it feels phony somehow. Material for my journaling I suppose. But at least I do cry, so that’s good!

  • Colleen

    Hi Colette,

    Tears have always been with me. I note that many water signs identify with the cleansing attributes of water, but so can we all, as we are made of so much water, yes? Stress relief, joy, sadness, and everything inbetween; tears, like water, also reflect what our hearts perhaps cannot say. The Tear’s Journey is longer than some may think, for it always starts in the way down deep, in our True Self, where authenticity lives. For me tears are often a sign when I or things around me are out of alignment. If my mouth speaks words that my heart does not mean. If my ears hear a sentiment that doesn’t ring true. When tears come seemingly “out of nowhere” I have learned to listen deeper and dig deep inside asking, “Is this truth?”

    Thank you so much for your share. You are a powerful, sweet, loving, authentic soul and we love you for it.

  • Safena

    Colette, Thank you for sharing. You always speak directly to my heart. I always feel better after a good cry, but man i still live in fear of hurting. Even though i’ve been on the other side of pain and understand its lessons I still fear that initial pain. I have to say that the fear of loss again is always worse than when i’m actually in it dealing with it. And then the strength and the awareness and the love and gratitude after is life altering and transformational. Yet its always interesting to me that even though i have this wisdom, I still have the fear!! What is that about!!!??

    • Colette Baron-Reid

      we learn fear, from past lives, from our current families, from culture, it’s like a disease that separates us from Spirit. But that said I believe we need to love the part of us that is afraid, and observe ourselves with love. The soul knows that all is well.. we just need to wake up. But I believe part of being human is to keep falling asleep .. then we need to keep waking ourselves up 😉

  • Bay

    I used to be able to have a good cry, the sobbing purging coming to terms and washed clear kind, but my pain got so deep and wide a few years ago that now tears only come by chance, the kind that tumble silently down my cheeks, or just the burning tearing that doesn’t flow. Just can’t get there.

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