I never used to cry. I was never the sort of person to sob at the end of movies, or during animal videos, or upon witnessing tragedies or miracles of the human spirit.
Perhaps it’s personal growth that’s led me here, or a change in my hormones after quitting birth control and changing my diet, or a deeper connection to the state of the world – probably a combination of all three – but now I feel like I cry all the time.
Over the past couple days, I felt like I really needed a good cry. And yet, I was like Cameron Diaz in The Holiday – no tears would come! But today, on the third day in a row of my reestablished mediation practice, I sat down to tune into the silence, my breath, and my intention, and something amazing happened.
A few minutes in, I started crying.
I felt my lips start to quiver, and my eyes well up, and I thought to myself, is it okay to cry in meditation? Isn’t this time for meditating, not crying?
And then, I made a decision, and I surrendered. I let the tears pour down my cheeks and the sobs overtake me. There, with my eyes closed sitting legs crossed in the middle of my living room floor, I breathed deeply through my weeping and let myself fill up with the experience of feeling so big, and yet so small, all at once.
I surrendered to feeling buried beneath the burden of humanity’s problems – a polluted and dying planet, suffering, starvation, hatred, disconnection – and to my own attachment to this physical life and current circumstances. And, at the same time, I felt immense gratitude, to being alive, to feeling this exquisite pain and vulnerability, and to recognizing my potential to create something truly amazing in this world simply by being here.
I am love. I am light. I am the world. I am nothing. I am alone. I am enough.
Almost as suddenly as it came on, the crying stopped. I finished my meditation almost as if nothing had happened, sealing my practice with three soft oms as the timer went off.
A couple weeks ago, one of my clients asked me about meditation. She said she was concerned she was doing it wrong, because she had never had some sort of intense spiritual experience like people talk about. Her words came to mind as I picked myself up and turned off the timer. What just happened? Was that a spiritual experience, or a meltdown?
Reflecting, does it matter? All I know is how I feel in this moment – open, inspired, grateful, and needing to share. Because sometimes I do feel all alone in this world, like I am the only one standing still as everyone else flurries by, caught up in their own trivialities around me.
If you’ve felt this too, I want you to know, it’s not just you.
You are not alone. You are enough for yourself. The world is a freaking hard, brutal, amazing place filled with people who don’t care, and people who care immensely. Sometimes meditation helps. Sometimes it feels like you are just sitting doing nothing. And sometimes, all you need is a good cry.