Friday, July 31, 2015

Paying Attention (what makes me cry)


My friend Emily reminds us to pay attention to what makes us cry. For some reason, I've caught myself thinking about this more than usual, in recent weeks.

I'm really not much of a crier. But apparently, it's still something I like talking about because I think I've given that disclaimer on my blog about eighty-six times now.

I cry over the normal things, like weddings (duh) and anytime someone says something particularly kind about one of my kids. I also tend to cry over poignant displays of patriotism, kids who aren't loved well, injustice, swelling choral groups, sometimes symphonies, and bikers.

A couple of weeks ago, while at the (in)courage retreat, I was in the middle of a pretty ordinary conversation and cried twice in the span of twenty minutes, over two distinctly different things. It got my attention.

The first tear-jerker was a Misty Copeland commercial. I'd seen it at some point but had forgotten about it. Yada yada, instant boo-hooing.

It breaks me to think about a thirteen year old being told her body is "all wrong". It stuns me to think of the strength and resilience it took that young girl to get from there to where she is now. I think of my daughter, muscled-out since the age of three, with strong thighs and a booty I haaaave to stop smacking and grabbing. (I will. I will stop. She's getting too old. I'm done. But it's just the best thing ever.) I think of the ways she's built differently than her friends, already. I think of the ways I want her to not give a single rip about it. I think of me, my entire life, being skinny-shamed in order to make everyone else feel better about themselves, and the damage that did. I wish I'd had more voices telling me I was perfect. I wish the same for you.


(Did you cry? I need to know. We'll call it "research".)

After we were off Misty and a different collection of women had gathered, conversation veered briefly toward friendship. Instant tears, again.

I'm not entirely sure what to make of that one, but there's something special about being truly known by someone. Friendship between women can be a thing of pure beauty. Maybe you're in a time where that's lacking in your life or maybe you're fulfilled. Both positions are hanky-worthy if you ask me.

My emotions are walking an extremely thin line this week as evidenced by a few moderate melt-downs. Today I wanted to cry but couldn't (full disclosure: I thought my kids deserved a quick guilt trip, but God thought otherwise) then burst into tears an hour later because I tried to schedule a counseling session for one of my people and they turned me down. (Long story. Sob.)

I DON'T KNOW WHY I'M STILL TALKING ABOUT CRYING, okay?
(It's my party and I'll cry if I want to?)

Welcome to a day in the life of Me, where anything slightly out of the ordinary is obsessed over until the next new thing comes along. It's a sickness, but where would a writer be without the gift of extreme self-rumination?

The stress level is building over here and it can only climb so long.
I'm paying attention to my body and the weird ways I'm (not) dealing. It's time to start thinking about some good ways to burn off steam. (Stay tuned!)

For now, jump into my pity party.
Are you a crier? What makes you weepy?

Cry Me A River,
FPFG


37 comments:

  1. Oh, I could represent GB in the Crybaby Olympics and probably win a medal. What turns on the waterworks? Happy stuff, sad stuff, big stuff, little stuff, the realisation I can't turn the clock back and erase those times I was just plain nasty to the people closest to me, a memory, a couple of bars of a certain piece of music, Shetland ponies......

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    1. This is the BEST! Life and humans are so wonderfully weird.
      (Shetland ponies...hahahaaa)
      Have a great Friday!

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  2. Human connection or lack of makes me weep. The show Parenthood makes my chin quiver and tears flow and I don't even have kids yet. Real-life, raw and honest pain and struggle rip me shreds. I am so thankful for my tears though because they remind me to continue to care about the pain in the world and to keep fighting for others.

    And YES that commercial got me too. Insecurity and beauty also pain my heart and drip quite a few tears.

    Lastly, you are your story telling and genuine heart make me cry--either happy or sad tears.

    Shaina
    Marriedtorestoration.com

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  3. My goodness someone forgot to turn off the faucet this week and I'm confused. It's not even, you know, hormones or anything. I don't think. But oh my. because I love my husband. Because he answers my question. Because the baby is precious. Because someone lost a baby. Because a family members best friend died tragically. Because I remembered an unfortunate stuffed rabbit incident. Because flowers are pretty. Because family is coming. Because family is leaving. Because I don't even know why. Because everything.

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    1. Love this :) Our tears are just a sweet reminder that we are human and need each other!

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  4. Right now just about anything and everything makes me cry- remembering how little my littles were before, screaming at my kids and making my little girl scared of me :(, any video about soldiers coming home or people hearing for the first time (kill me now, so sad and good), anytime I think of or talk about how good/kind/loving God is. Just yesterday after having that terrible day with the kids, someone sent me a Starbucks gift card to encourage me, and I burst into tears.

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  6. I never used to be a crier, but now I cry at everything. In fact right before I read this post, I was busy crying over a 5th grade school supply list. My husband and I do not have kids. Our church is heavily involved in The Call,Foster/Adoption Care thru the church. And so we've signed up to provide school supplies for a 5th grade boy named Michael. I don't even know what kind of back pack a 5th grade boy would like? And does he need new shoes? What about a new outfit? Because nothing says first day of school like new shoes and a new outfit right? Oh, and what about a lunch box? Surely he needs a new lunch box to put his pb&j in. Oh, but maybe he's allergic to peanuts, you know so many kids have allergies to stuff these days…… I was feeling.all.the.feelings. And wanting so badly to fill that new backpack with so much love that it would hit him like an avalanche when he opened it and he would hear the Rocky Music when he walked into school the first day, thinking "I got this." Oy. What kind of crazy person thinks all this stuff?! Well, me apparently.

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    1. Rachel, this touched me. He'll feel your love. What you're doing matters!

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    2. I think this is the most beautiful thing. And it totally sounds like the way I would approach it, though you do it better. :)

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    3. Oh my goodness, Andrea and Mari Jean- you two are too sweet :) Thank you for your kind words. We can all do hard things, with little baby steps at a time. And as we know, The Greatest of these is love….. :)

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  7. I am a crier.

    Thank you for your words on friendship. It has been an empty, lonely season of having friends who see and love the true me. I love that your tears were of gratitude.

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    1. Mine were an even split. :)
      Take heart, friend. There's someone near you who NEEDS your goodness in her life. I believe it!

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  8. I've cried my share this week as the stress of moving and being sick has taken its toll on this 50 year old body and mind. And then today again because someone who has been hurt before, thought I had wronged her...deliberately. Not gonna lie. THAT one hurt and I am trying not to make it about me! Sigh.....

    Buying stock in Kleenex right now!!!! :-)

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  9. Crying is my go-to emotional response. Three bouts of cancer have softened my heart to the point where *everything* moves me to tears. But I'm fine with that. As a food bank volunteer, my experience and my tearful response to life has really helped me connect with the wounded warriors I serve. I am the tear ducts in the body of Christ ;-)

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  10. I used to Be a big crier really. Then i had children and my babyson was so afraid of me crying my body just stopped. I crave a good crying fit every now and then but I just can't. The baby is 13 and taller then me.....

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  11. Crying is my go-to emotional response. Three bouts of cancer have softened my heart to the point where *everything* moves me to tears. But I'm fine with that. As a food bank volunteer, my experience and my tearful response to life has really helped me connect with the wounded warriors I serve. I am the tear ducts in the body of Christ ;-)

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  12. my dads upcoming heat surgery. my youngest daughters upcoming tonsils out. my oldest daughters tender feelings getting hurt. and unexpected kindness.

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  13. I used to be a real crier and now? Notsomuch. And I've been thinking about why things DON'T make me cry now, when they used to. Maybe you need to schedule a counseling sesh for me. ;)

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  14. I'm a huge crier. I cry in Sunday school, at work, at home, over tv commercials. I'm ridiculous. The Subaru commercial with the man doing a bucket list for his 14 year old dog tore.me.up. I had to go cry over/snuggle with my dog for a good while after that.

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  15. I have just been reading Emily's book and thinking about what makes me cry. For the last three years (of a huge move to church plant), I feel like I'm been half-alive, in a kind of stupor. But then I'll remember what it felt like to sing in a professional choir 15 years ago and I will just weep because I feel like that part of me is lost and will never come back to me. I cry a lot when I drive around our rural town (which I honestly struggle to love) and see the brokenness all around, the poverty, the broken relationships, the struggle. Then I cry because I know that most times I wish I could just live somewhere else where the brokenness is more hidden, not so much in my face at every turn. I know that the Lord is doing something in me and wanting me to see Him more. I am a slow learner.
    Feel like I've really revealed my heart. Eeeek!
    Thankful for you and your writing, Shannan.

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  16. This is my second attempt to comment on a blog, like ever...which is hilarious to me. ? But I teared up a few times today, and I rarely have time to read blogs or think thru my tears (I have 3 littles...) but I landed on your blog tonight, so here goes! I cry when I worship, when I realize how much God loves me...and that an eternity of glory awaits. That one day I'll be standing and singing in glory...ME? Crazy. I cry when my kids surprise me. When they do something new or all grown up. I also cry about the hard in our lives...but it's usually brought about thru a song. Worship again. Weird. Thanks for getting me thinking!!! But I feel like I'm cheating, I haven't started Emily's book yet. Gasp ;)

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  17. Total cryer over here too. Yes about patriotism! I simply cannot get through someone singing the National Anthem at ANY sports game without tearing up. Can NOT do it. I cry at any of my kids school concerts. Any time one of my kids is going through some HARD growing pains (I don't cry in front of them), and when our priest talks about something especially heart touching (usually he's crying too). I'm sure I cry for other random reasons too, but these are the ones that stand out to me right now.
    I think crying is just one way of showing how much we love.

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  18. When Linus recites the Christmas story from Luke 2 in Charlie Brown Christmas. Kills me every time.

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  19. I actually got blood work done recently because I've had crying spells...totally NOT a crier in general. I thought I was in peri menopause But blood work said I was just fine. Now WHY AM I CRYING ALL THE STINKIN TIME?!?? I hate it because I've always thought it was a sign of weakness. Guess I'm weak. Maybe I just got to the fill line of sorrow and it started spilling over. Sheesh it drives me crazy.

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  20. In general I am not a crier. But *things* will induce a bout of tears. I guess I need to pay attention to what moves me to tears. ;) I loved your words that you wished you had more voices telling you were perfect, as is. I wish someone had told me that too. In a school full of high school girls who were thin, no hips, no breasts. I thought I was fat, because I was told I was fat. Not by my peers but by my pediatrician. It's lead to a life long struggle with body image and weight gain.
    If you don't mind, I would like to piggy back a post of my own with some of these thoughts. These are good thoughts, needing to be shared. Beginning with, you are perfectly created.

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    1. I'm honored that my sappy heart spoke to yours. Feel free to take it from here! (And you truly are perfect, you know.) :)

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  21. Such an interesting idea, paying attention to what makes us cry. I cry to the songs on the radio that take me to a memory place, be it happy or sad. Most recently, it is Whisky Lullaby and the sudden death of my 37 year old baby brother. It's been four years and I am still caught off guard by the grief poking through.

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  22. My therapist has the theory that when things bring the unexpected tears to our eyes, those things are the keys to our heart's desires.

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  23. I wrote about this a few years ago, and I've gone back and re-read it several times over the years. It fascinates me, crying. It's so natural, so involuntary. I tend to cry more happy tears than sad tears. I've never thought about that until just this very second. It's especially odd considering I struggle with anxiety and depression. I think that's encouraging, though, that positive emotion moves me more powerfully than its counterpart.

    https://courtneythrash.wordpress.com/2011/05/01/meditations-on-tears/

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  24. I cry for the little girl(s) who don't have a loving, sheltering heart that lifts them up and teaches them that they have value and worth just by being. ....and for all of the little girls still trying (some in their older bodies) to accept that basic truth. the Misty video brought me to tears the first time I saw it, though it evoked a wistful feeling thereafter--Beautiful post. Thank you for your honest, frank sharing.

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  25. When I see an elderly man salute the flag, anyone siting at a window in a nursing home looking for someone who may never come, a little one just begging to be noticed by the parents who should love them no matter what, any story of a cat or dog taken back to the shelter because they are a bother or an inconvience, stories of little girls being sold like baggage. Seeing my grandchildren hurt and long for the roots that I can't give them. Oh and yes, that I am loved by the God that created the universe.

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  26. I'm not much of a crier. At least not where others might see me. The vulnerability..I cannot deal. However, I feel DEEPLY. All the feels. Over all the things.

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  27. ALWAYS: young girls being brave, old women acting courageous and wild, moustache wearing men who look like my dad being sweet/gentle/silent, and definitely weddings/births/strong and quiet deaths (I'm a nurse?) annnnnnd that's it for now.

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  28. I cried on an airplane over cheaper by the dozen 2, who? who does that? That was pre I cry daily days, mercifully not publically but sometimes...a few months back I had public cried in front of 6 different people before 9:00 am not withstanding the mechanic, pass the tissues and for the love schedule my counseling session. my bottle in heaven is probably a submarine by now.

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