On Our Right to Cry

Denise Pereira
Aug 26, 2019 · 4 min read
Release (by Denise Pereira)
Release (by Denise Pereira)

Recurrent waves of feeling disperse and collide within me.

The stranded dog’s eyes deeply pulling love towards them,

The magnetic way in which light sometimes caresses a wall,

The energy generated while people embrace a cause together,

all of the above,

strong as tectonic movements, melt my mind into lava,

Stir it into a pyroclastic rain of rainbow tears.

Some witness it with empathy, others with disdain or preoccupation. Why would human sensitivity offend so many, I ask? As if compassion towards life represented a crime, by unveiling an open ground of uncertainty and frustration, a spiral of endless questioning and sleepless nights.

How is one not supposed to feel emotions? They are the footprints of our humanity. However, workplaces should be devoid of emotion. Public transports as well, schools, hospitals, supermarket, i.e. public spaces, should be barren of any display of emotionality, antiseptic and clean as an operating room.

If one needs to cry, let them hide in shame inside a toilet compartment or under the blankets when no one can see, hear or console them. That shall be the only way to prevent an epidemic of sadness and social disrupt. We base our distrust of emotions, on the wrong assumption that emotion and reason exist in our brains as two separate entities. But guess what? Scientists (see Antonio Damasio) have already showed evidence that emotions are essential for rational though processes and to ensure and maintain the so called “normal social behaviour”.

So why should we amputate parts of ourselves during working hours, instead of using all our brain potential and processes into building better working ethics and better social relations?

Why should we keep promoting sociopaths into power, based on the fact that they tend to not display emotions in the public sphere? They will only keep promoting our self-harming behaviours of unstoppable consumerism and binge eating/watching, because those behaviours silence our rage, while simultaneously detaching us from ourselves, stealing our spark, our ability to create and heal. And when we don’t know ourselves, we don’t respect our wishes and we stop building our lives with love and intentionality. We become shadows, silencing our own thoughts and feelings and promoting the silencing of everyone else’s feelings.

So please stop telling me that I shouldn’t cry in public spaces! Crying in public spaces can therefore become an act of resistance! A protest! A highlight of all that is wrong with capitalism and the endless cycle of production and consumption.All that is wrong about the injustice which comes with exploitation and power abuse.

Stop calling me emotional, as if that is an insult. We are all emotional beings! When you say you aren’t, you are giving up on your humanity. The joke is on you.

Please, stop telling me I need a therapist every time I allow you to see how poverty, environmental crimes, discrimination, sexual harassment, and all the injustice in the world moves my insides and squeezes them into tears, acid as lemon juice. How could we, the so called hypersensitive, be the mad ones? Crying is what keeps us sane. You forget crying is an evolutionary healing mechanism, one which allows us to grieve and bond simultaneously. YOU SHOULD ALLOW YOURSELF TO CRY MORE OFTEN. Sad tears, happy tears, raging tears, compassionate tears, you name it.

I am not mad at all of you who bullied me when I cried in so called “inappropriate places”. I don’t envy you either. I also don’t pity you. I do confess I might be afraid of you. Because emotional amputees promote emotional castration. They internalised it as being the norm and forgot that our palette of emotions is what allows us to connect and prosper. When we allow ourselves to look the other way, indifferently, when facing injustice or despair, we are also annihilating the aptitude of feeling overwhelming bliss when surrounded by the sublime. We are giving up on our humanity.

So don’t tell me to stop crying at public spaces! Give me your hand instead and lets cry together, be it out of fear, sadness, frustration or deep happiness. Lets hold our bodies so tight that we can feel all the humanity pumping in peristaltic movement.

We are volcanoes and occasionally we erupt. And how beautiful are those natural spectacles! So, next time you see someone crying, don’t pity them, don’t tell them to stop, don’t shame them, just caress them and allow your humanity to exude, maybe first as a small droplet, awaken by the pressure, and afterwards as a torrent, unruly and intense, as our shared frailty.

Venus de Milo’s arms were never found but we still love her.

So why can’t we love ourselves with our multiple broken pieces?

With our ability to reach beyond the palpable,

and to aspire for the unknown and intangible?

Empathy is recognising we are all armless,

and therefore able to be stirred and moved,

and connect through our imperfections

as Tetris’ pieces falling into each other at different speeds.

Denise Pereira

Written by

Poetry performer, who believes that words have the magical power to transform, heal and connect.

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