I know that I have mentioned this topic before, but today I want to focus on this idea of crying. A couple weeks ago, I was in yoga class and as we were laying in final savasana, “Find Yourself” by Brad Paisley came on. This song always makes me tear up (mostly because I think about the movie itself–Disney always has a way to make me emotional) and at this point in my life, it had special meaning. I could not control myself–my eyes just started welling up. Luckily, I had one of those fabulous lemon lavender washcloths on my face so no one could tell.
I have learned to never hold back tears. I want to be productive, successful, and I don’t want anything to get in the way of my happiness. So, when I feel like crying, I let myself cry. I spend a few minutes going through this cathartic process and magically, when my tears dry up, I am over it and ready to go on with my day. I cry for all kind of reasons–because I am proud of my dancers, because I am excited for my students to enter college, because I have the best people in my life. Tears do not necessarily mean sadness, but sometimes an overcoming of some kind of emotion–happiness, compassion, anxiety, gratitude, affection.
As a culture, I believe we do not allow ourselves to partake in this cathartic process enough. We are too busy trying to maintain an external appearance of perfection, too busy trying to beat our competitors, too busy caught up in the daily chores. In the end, we forget to take care of ourselves and we forget that our emotional stability is perhaps one of the most necessary aspects of our well being.
I have learned in my life that, when I need to cry, I need to cry. Sometimes, I will go months without crying and, without any real reason, decide I just need to have a good cry. Nothing in my life alludes to this; I just need to go through this cathartic process every once in a while. So, I put on my iTunes, sit in the bath tub (depending on how clean I feel it is), and give myself 15-20 minutes to let it all out. A girl on my team recently broke up with her boyfriend. I could tell she was doing all that she could to keep her composure, so I burnt her my “Trauig” playlist (German for sad) and told her to listen to it when she had some time at home alone. It is so therapeutic.
Here is my playlist of songs that I put on whenever I need a good cry:
Landslide–Dixie Chicks (try playing this song with a group of rowdy teenage girls–there is something soothing, calming about this song–everyone just stops, sings softly, and is admitted into some kind of deep reflection)
Free Falling–Tom Petty
Help Me Believe–Nicole Nordeman (this song is from my glory days as a Ponderosa Pom–when I hear it, I get flooded back with the feelings of being in high school, on that team, growing, maturing, and looking towards something bigger than myself)
Find Yourself–Brad Paisely (I don’t really know why, but this song just gets me every time. I think I relate it back to myself and my students–there is something so magical about this journey we call life–I connect it to the feelings of growing up, of finding yourself, of having to let people go, of having to let yourself go, etc. It really is a feeling I cannot describe)
Better Together–Jack Johnson (Just a simple, easy song. I remember, after breaking up with a boyfriend in high school, this song came on the radio and a wave of sereneness came over me and I knew that everything was going to be ok).
Make You Feel My Love–Adele/Garth Brooks (There is something very lyrical, something stuck and emotional about this song–it is very beautiful, you can feel the desperation and heartbreak in between the lyrics).
Didn’t You Know How Much I Love You–Kellie Pickler (Nothing like a good belting song)
I’m Still Here–Vertical Horizon (I put this song on a CD for a dear friend going through a difficult time. I went back a few years later and realized that the lyrics were not what I thought they were at all, but I still like the song and it still takes me back to a place).
Long Black Train–Josh Gracin (This song reminds me of a wonderful family I encountered a few years ago and have been an inspiration to me).
He Ain’t Worth Missing–Toby Keith (Toby Keith just speaks right to my heart)
Daddy Let Me Drive–Alan Jackson (This song remind me of my brother and also reminds me of going to Cheyenne Frontier Days with my sister. I always end my ‘Trauig’ playlist with something a little simpler, a little more light hearted so I can end my grieving session with a smile).
I love music, because it can speak to so many different emotions and can connect to so many different times in my life. Sometimes, you just need to belt it out and cry a little.