Laura posting.

I’m feeling positive and well rested today, despite having trouble getting off to sleep at first, I think once I did, I must have slept deeply and well.

I was just now thinking about yesterday, and how on some level that crying I did felt healing. It was a release. I think it’s something people with chronic illness all need to do from time to time, whether it comes on seemingly out of nowhere or whether it’s triggered by a hurtful remark, situation or event.

When I first became ill, I suffered for a while with a reactive depression. I was studying at university, all my good friends had moved away, being ill and having little energy meant that I made very few new ones and I felt very lonely and isolated.

I got into ‘self help’ books (as I hate feeling helpless and wanted to do something about the emotional pain I was feeling) and one of the books I read was incredibly helpful.

This book is all wonderful, but there is a particular chapter which struck me back when I first read it, and has stayed with me since. Chapter 9, “Find Beauty in the Land of Tears.”

Susan is a beautiful writer and what she’s saying here is that in order to be human, you have to face suffering- whether that’s your own or seeing someone else’s- because it’s all part of life and what it means to be human.  Susan says that when she learnt to embrace her sadness and not block it out or damp it down, when she learned that it was okay to cry, it led her to a more joyful experience of being human.

“Now, when deep sadness comes over me, I can let it be there like a warm blanket. I don’t have to push it away. It feels so good to just let the tears flow freely. When I let the tears wash over me I feel cleansed and healed. And when the river of tears is empty, I am freer to enjoy the delights the world has to offer, without a layer of sadness dampening my joy.

Paradoxically, my letting in the pain of being human has allowed me to experience the joy of being human. The exquisite moments expand and expand- the moments I am infued with energy and aliveness, the moments I feel connected as part of the human family, the moments I let go of the struggle and feel myself dancing with life. All the pain in the world cannot deny these exquisite moments.”

I’m grateful to Susan for writing this book and teaching me these things. Her books really did help me to change and grow for the better at a time when I felt I was like a flower frozen in the toughest winter, never thinking I’d feel the warm spring sun again.

So if you need to go to the land of tears then go. Be there. Allow yourself to be human. Don’t think it makes you weak, it doesn’t. There’s nothing weak about embracing all of what life has to offer and having your heart open to it all. That includes the sadness.  Keep your heart open and let the sun’s rays light up your life. Keep your heart open, embrace it all, and life’s dark clouds and storms will always pass.

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