Have you ever stood in front of a bathroom mirror, or huddled behind a corner waving your hands over your eyes saying “pull it together, pull it together, pull it together” and then no matter how hard you try, your emotions are more powerful than your will to stop them? You finally compose yourself enough to take a deep breath and go back to life but you know that the minute anyone looks at you or speaks to you or worst they say, “are you okay?” that you are going to become unglued.
Ladies and gentlemen welcome the Ugly Cry.
Ladies and gentlemen welcome to my last week.
It was a combination of grieving, exhaustion and hurt feelings. In this moment I found myself without my safe ugly cry list of people to go to for comfort. My husband, he gets to see my ugly cry – my mom, she has seen me ugly cry since the moment I was born but in this situation, I was surrounded by people who have probably never even seen me cry and I needed their help to get above it.
Public ugly cries can be so humiliating and often can turn to shame and a vow that you will never EVER put yourself in a position to show vulnerability and emotion again! “From this day forward”, you tell yourself after a good ole public bawl “I vow to never show emotion again to any other human being for the rest of my life, if the Queen can do it, so can I” (yes, I seriously said this to myself!)
I knew as I tried and failed to sleep that night that God was doing a deeper work in my heart, that’s the thing with grief it’s like a pin to an inflated balloon and will always release more than expected or desired. When I experience these moments of overwhelm I know that it is not me being out of control but a chance to allow God to touch the buried things in my heart.that's the thing with grief it's like a pin to an inflated balloon and will always release more… Click To Tweet
It also gives others a chance to witness your humanity and bonds you closer than ever before.
I woke up that morning crying still. I’m not joking, I had emotional dreams about being driven to church in my pyjamas against my will, (vulnerability issue, ya think?!) and woke up in the morning remembering that I had to stand up in front of 100 people and read a Eulogy for my grandfather. I woke up and turned to God, “Please help me” and the Lord spoke to me and said right away “blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted” and I knew he had a purpose for me that day.
I was so nervous about being overrun by uncontrollable emotions again at the pulpit in front of a room full of cowboys, but like all twists in any plot, I had them all accidentally laughing loudly.
You see, as I stood up in front of all those tough guys and gals in my church clothes (phew!) I was misinterpreted as swearing in the first line of my eulogy. (the poor minster) What I meant to say was My name is Sarah, Jacks third eldest grandchild but some of you will know me as Sarah – little bit – Schmidt, except when you say Sarah-little bit-Schmidt really fast because of your nerves it changes the tone.
Oh, God has a sense of humour.
Laughter and tears, they all release the same emotion of overwhelm and forces vulnerably and humility, don’t they?
Over the last few weeks I kind of cringe every time I think back to this ugly cry and my accidental church curse but deep down, though I don’t have full understanding yet, I know it served a purpose, relationally, spiritually and personally.
God taught me the importance of grieving, when I was so overcome with anxiety I couldn’t breath. He taught me the art of going to him with my overwhelm and how to let my emotions have room to escape. He has also taught me how to laugh. I have often noticed that after an uncontrollable laugh or an uncontrollable cry you feel released from something and it almost instinctivly gives you a mini fresh start.
I often can tell that a person is making a transformation change when they have a good cry, or a person is coming out of a long overdo funk after a good long laugh.
Laughter is good medicine, so are tears.
Have you had yours?
Live free, live fully, live fearless.