My personal beauty secret revealed

February 28, 2012

Happiness, Healing, Humor, Metaphysical

Here it is: I cry often. I cry when I’m sad, when I’m happy, when I’m touched by beauty. I cry when I let myself fully receive someone’s love. I love, love, love to cry!

by Scott Kalechstein — 

I  have a personal beauty secret to reveal, something that keeps both my skin and my heart youthful and baby soft.

Here it is: I cry often. I cry when I’m sad, when I’m happy, when I’m touched by beauty. I cry when I let myself fully receive someone’s love. I love, love, love to cry!

I wasn’t always this way. I once was a typical male in this culture, treating my vulnerability as a weakness to be avoided. The cost of this protection plan was a closed heart and a lack of compassion for myself and others. I got the pretense of power, the illusion of being in control, yet I was emotionally removed from my life, like a spectator in an ivory tower rather than a player on the field.

Then, when I was 34, I had an earthquake of a realization, which led to a flood of healing. Very clearly, I was able to see how judgment was running my life. My mind was filled with judgments, almost every moment of my waking day. Judging was how I kept myself safe in the world.

An interesting thing happened when I allowed myself this new awareness. I began to cry. I cried for all the pain that previously had been too guarded to even notice. I cried for the separation I felt from other people, from life and especially from my own heart. I cried for all the years I had been afraid to cry.

A counselor supported me during this process. As I sobbed through each session, he got excited. Sometimes his enthusiasm astonished me. He would say things like, “Great job, Scott. Congratulations! Each tear you are crying is a piece of your past being released, an old pattern of rigidity dissolving out of your life. You are waking up. You are coming home to your heart.”

I was so grateful for his strength of perception and his consistent trust that I was safe and on the right path, for if I had gone through it on my own, I might have believed I was going crazy. I was crying every day, every night, and I had no control over when or where. After a lifetime of living in my head, I had a lot of catch-up crying to do.

That process was, as I look back on it, nothing less than my time of soul retrieval. Before that, I was rarely moved by beauty. Then one day a few months into my grief cycle, while watching a sunset on the beach, I found myself crying — overwhelmed by the loveliness of this daily masterpiece. I realized that it was my willingness to surrender to sadness that had given birth to this new ability to be so touched by life’s joys. Water was flowing again in my life. The drought was over.

Our daughter, now seven months old, is quite adorable. (We show baby pictures to anyone who is even mildly receptive to seeing them.) People often remark how ecstatically happy she looks. Yes, indeed, she is quite happy, joyful and even blissful — most of the time. It is also true that she cries every day and every night (but we don’t snap photos at these times). She cries when she is hungry, tired, lonely, frustrated, angry and, sometimes, just to release pent-up energy. Once in a while, she cries when one of us is suppressing our own pain, trying to be a tower of strength. She will have none of it and topples the tower by broadcasting to us in vivid sound and color, exactly what we are pushing away or covering up.

In the magical children’s story (not really for children), “The Knight in Rusty Armor,” Robert Fisher tells of a knight who lives in an ivory tower. He excels at covering up his heart by putting on a suit of armor every day and galloping off to rescue princesses. He eventually finds himself stuck in his armor and can’t get it off. He goes to see Gladbag, the court jester and wise man for counsel. Gladbag directs the knight to Merlin, a teacher in the remote forest, who gets the knight to begin his emotional journey and start to grieve the many years he cloaked his vulnerability in armor.

Contemplating all the real love he missed out on while living that way, the knight falls to the ground, weeps for hours and falls asleep in a puddle of his own tears. The next morning, he wakes to find that his visor has rusted away. The knight discovers that his own tears will melt the steel and free him from his armor.

Sometimes I wonder how much the earth is affected by humanity’s collective emotional drought — our unwillingness to feel our feelings and to honor and preserve our own personal rainforests. I believe that the most important thing we can do to help restore the planet to balance is to restore ourselves to balance. For most of us, this means rediscovering our ability to feel. Unshed tears form bricks in emotional walls, which enable people to violate and abuse each other and the planet, without understanding that what they are doing to others they are also doing to themselves.

Early on in “The Knight in Rusty Armor,” the knight shakes the court jester’s hand to thank him for his advice, and he almost crushes it. Gladbag yelps, and then says to the knight, “When your armor isn’t there, of other’s pain you’ll be aware.”

If enough of us find our tears, tragedies will not continue, for rising from the depths of our grief comes our heart connection to life, and we will not destroy what and to whom we feel connected. Do you have a personal drought going on? Is your life so busy, your heart so protected, your mind so in control, that you rarely give yourself the time to stop and water the flowers? Do you fear drowning in your emotional body, and so have chosen to stay out of the water entirely?

One of my songs contains these lyrics: “May I laugh all my laughter, may I cry all my tears, may I love the rain as deeply as the sun when it clears.” These words have become a steady reminder for me to go with the river’s flow of my feelings. Sometimes the current takes me through turbulent white water, and other times through calm, still waters, but always it renews and refreshes me, helping me feel alive … passionately and compassionately alive.

 

Scott Kalechstein is a counselor, coach, minister, inspirational speaker, recording artist, a lighthearted miracle mischief-maker, and modern-day troubadour. Scott’s writings are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any illness or medical condition. If while reading you laugh your head off and your heart opens, but symptoms still persist, please see your doctor. 415-721-2954, scott@scottsongs.com or www.scottsongs.com.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 28, Number  4, Aug/Sept 2009.

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