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!