[To listen to an audio version of this blog, please click here: https://soundcloud.com/lex-mckee/boo]
I hope you didn’t jump… for I mean, “Boo…” as in, “Boo hoo,” - crying, not as in, “Boo!”
When was the last time you had a really good, unrestrained cry? A proper sob?
I’ve read the unwritten manual for, “Men in the West,” and the invisible entry is very clear on this topic: “Big Boys Don’t Cry!” Like stealing a look at my Sister’s Jackie Magazine’s problem page growing up, I then stole a look at the unwritten manual for, “Women in the West,” and it said almost the same: “Big Girls Don’t Weep!” (I made that all up, there are no manuals, and our culture on the subject of, “Crying like a Baby,” is equally all made up. It’s all invented. Babies cry because it’s the authentic response to distress.)
Whether you ever saw yourself as a, “Mummy’s Girl” or a, “Mummy’s Boy,” we are all, psychologically at heart, a Mummy’s Boy or Girl.
Mum’s have many roles but one of the best is just to be there when the weight of our young world becomes just too much to process and we have a little breakdown. The hug and the comforting words, “There, there…” are enough to see us through to a new equilibrium.
Truth is, Mum never was much of a hugger, and I don’t ever remember her saying, “There, there… this too shall pass.” However, I do remember, vividly, when Penelope, as a mature, sensible, adult woman, got so low as to simply mouth the words, “I want my Mummy…” Her Mum died young and my Mum passed on last year, so today I’m talking about the generalisation of what, “Mum,” could mean to all of us, and recommending the power of sobbing to help our authentic inner child.
Eastern Philosophy has the figure, Guanyin. Described by Alain de Botton as a saintly female figure associated with mercy, compassion, and kindness. Adults go to her shrines and feel perfectly at liberty to burst into tears.
Have the needs of childhood really disappeared? Diminished, they maybe, but I would suggest each of us still has within that three-year-old child in occasional need of comfort.
When faced with unconditional kindness, or deep sorrow, or even the overwhelming enormity of life’s complexities and capriciousness, we need a moment or more of release. I’ve never been a Catholic but listening to the Beatles’ song, “Let It Be,” I’m reassured that, “Mother Mary,” offered them some similar non-judgmental comfort, like that of Guanyin.
So, “When we find ourselves in times of trouble, may Mother come to you and me, speaking words of wisdom… Let it be.”
As for me, I’ll be bunging The Carpenters on the music machine, running a bath – complete with bubbles, candles, privacy, a glass of red wine, and a good long sob.
No guilt. No shame. No hesitation.
Do you need permission to do the same?
A Moodscope member.