Sometimes, it makes sense to make time for certain things. If you haven’t enjoyed a good, deep belly laugh for a while – not an online lol, a real fall off the couch laughing so hard, actual rolling around on the floor moment – then it might be time to create space for the experience. Especially if you have been taking in too much climate science or suffering heart ache. Compartmentalise for joy, just as you might for a good walk or run.
Same for crying. Especially for blokes. When was the last time you really let rip with a flood of tears? I’m the first to admit I don’t get enough of this emotional release. I got raised to be an Aussie bloke, which means I had my tear ducts surgically removed by a protracted but very clear process of socialisation 🙂 Well, mostly, anyway. I can pull out the flood gates once every few years, but it dries up too quickly. What I wouldn’t give for a full-blooded session of wailing like my kids get to do! Sometimes, when they’re crying really hard over something very close to nothing, I feel a bit jealous. Occasionally I’ll even tell them this. “You’re lucky, you can cry,” I say, and let them, while comforting them and letting it happen.
But the point again is that everyday life doesn’t always support us to have a full emotional spectrum. So, if we want to live fully, sometimes we have to make time and space for a cry or a laugh. Otherwise, we might fall for the flatline of emotional non-affect that is promoted (subliminally at least) by the 24/7 media hype circus of permanent goggle-eyed wonderment that is modern digital life. And that would be a shame, for conscious, self-aware beings with fun primate bodies and a deep evolutionary need for company and all the tears and laughter that brings with it.
So, Compartmentalise: make some time, give yourself some prompts (when I was a kid, I would imagine my dog dying, which was the worst thing I could possibly imagine, to make myself cry), and let rip.
Then, naturally, Integrate: give yourself time to let it all come together. When it’s done, you’ll feel better, more integrated, just knowing all that endless grief and joy is part of you too. And you don’t have to answer to that; it’s just part of the unending journey that is being and becoming the unrepeatable experience of life in and as your bodymind. Feel that nature calling and let go into it.