Transformational Singing, Healing Tears and Being Alive

I mentioned that I am participating in a singing workshop. Although, this is an inaccurate description, because it is really about finding one’s voice. It has as much to do with singing as buying a wedding dress does with being married.

Nevertheless, singing is a pretty amazing transformative vehicle and transformation just may come my way — if I can just remember to hold the microphone correctly, breathe into my belly, sing and dance at the same time.

microphone | Dianna Bonny Photography

I find I am singing out loud a lot these days, where I used to only sing hum secretly, out of earshot, very quietly. Last week, while belting out a tune in the car (the safest place I have found to sing unrestrained and not offend anyone while I gain some confidence), I surprised myself when I started crying. It was during the Dixie Chicks rendition of “Landslide,” and the tears started streaming, right at the chorus.

Curiously, after I cried, I laughed and realized something really refreshing. I wasn’t trying to hold the tears back. I just stood aside and felt what was coming through me. There was big joy behind those tears, for no real reason, just because.

Rewind to a few years ago, when I was on the verge of tears all the time, song or no song. Just below my smile, tucked behind those facial muscles forcing the upward swing of my mouth, was sadness so big it threatened to swallow me. Terrified of this pain, I worked very, very hard to push it as far away from me as possible, out into the swamplands of my subconscious.

I was brought to tears by commercials, by watching my children, the kindness of a dear friend, but I rarely actually cried. I ruthlessly restrained the tears that came on in front of my husband, when I was trying to express my truth and got shut down. Here is what I said to myself:

Don’t you cry. Don’t you dare cry. Just stop it right now. Do not cry. Do not cry. Do not cry.

Over and over, for years and years, this went on. This mantra was pretty effective in keeping my world tearless and incident free, as well as in creating a dulled down, one-dimensional being.

My tears confused me. I was forever dismissing them, telling myself I didn’t know why I was crying. Deep down, I’m sure I knew, but perhaps I just wasn’t ready to face the truth contained therein.

Learning to welcome my tears has been one of the unexpected gifts of the last three years, as well as the compassion I have discovered for this previously unexpressed part of myself. I refuse to chant the mantra.

Driving along that day, I sensed I no longer had to be terrified of my tears, that if I just let them wash over me, they happily escaped out into the open, and sadness seemed to evaporate with them. Joyful tears opened up space for more joy. There is a bounty of healing magic contained in this bodily fluid.

Singing has a way of seeping into places that need opening. For me, tears have been a big part of this workshop: I am the token crier. I just try to observe the process as it happens, instead of fighting them back. And, of course, I always have Kleenex with me.

Strangely, my tears have not magnified my sadness. They deliver me to the threshold of feeling more human and alive, a full-fledged participant in the whole experience. It is still a bit foreign, so I’m doing baby steps.

Embracing tears more readily might prevent the outcome that Karla McLaren describes of rejecting sadness:

“…your vitality and your flow will be impeded by your unmet needs, your unsaid words, your unshed tears, and your grinding soul fatigue.”

Do you fight back tears? Is it possible to create more space for them as a way to cleanse old wounds and revitalize your existence?


Who is Dianna Bonny?

Hi, my name is Dianna Bonny. It’s my mission to candidly share my journey with you. For me, it’s all about the healing: to create a radiant healing energy for others who have befallen a similar fate. Together, we can forge beautiful lives of belonging and connection. Thanks for joining me today! I look forward to hearing from you.

  4 comments for “Transformational Singing, Healing Tears and Being Alive

  1. Aleta
    July 11, 2013 at 11:11 am

    The voice is a powerful tool of expression … Very inspirational.

    • Dianna Bonny
      July 14, 2013 at 8:59 am

      Thank you Aleta! I have to say that getting in touch with my voice is giving me a new way of being in the world. Appreciate your comment.

  2. July 12, 2013 at 6:31 am

    I used to hold back my tears as well–I would avoid crying at all costs. Now I have learned how healthy and healing they can be.
    Thanks for sharing this!

    • Dianna Bonny
      July 14, 2013 at 8:57 am

      Thank you for being here Katy. Glad you have discovered the healing power of tears as well. xo

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