At the end of a recent class a student came to me and said she often feels like she wants to cry in class. I told her that what she’s saying makes perfect sense and that she is not alone there. How does that sit with one of the big advertising points of Shake Your Soul® as “Finding Your Joy”?
Tears are often a manifestation of grief, which is seemingly the opposite of joy but in actuality it’s just the other side of the same coin. They are both part of life and of being human. When we touch joy there’s a little one inside that immediately feels “but what about all those other times when I felt alone, upset, sad, etc.?”. Wether we are aware of it or not, our spirit always leads us in the direction of healing. In order for us to heal from our hurts we need to be able to feel. We tend to stay away from feeling as much as we can because there’s such a strong societal conditioning against expressing our emotions. If we’re not allowed to express them than why in the world would we want to feel anything?
if connecting to joy can touch our wounds, the opposite is true as well. The more we allow ourselves to feel the grief and express it, the deeper the joy we get to experience. As long as we keep our feelings kept in a jar with a tight llid, we don’t get to experience either. in order to feel the joy we might need to open the lid all together and feel the grief first.
I find that in my process I don’t necessarily have to understand where my grief is coming from. I can just trust that spirit is guiding me towards healing. It often seems to me that when I do put the focus on why I’m upset instead of just letting myself connect to the bodily sensations of grief, it often serves as a distraction. I have learnt that the mere act of crying and discharging any painful emotions is the very essence of the healing process, that all the understandings, insights and re-evalutions come as a result of that and not vice versa.
So next time you find yourself wanting to cry while you dance or at class, please don’t stop yourself! Know that the process of healing is right underway and that you’re in the right track towards re-claiming being fully human.