Lessons Learned From Tears In The Parking Lot Of Target

Lately I’ve been ‘feeling it.’ Do you know what I mean by that? There’s been a lot of tears. In every place, for every kind of reason you can imagine. And no, we’re not chalking this up to hormones.

I’ve cried in bed while watching the music video to one of my favorite country love songs.
I’ve cried in my car innocently running errands after spotting a woman whom I know experienced a tragic loss.
I’ve cried in parking lots – TJ Maxx and Target to be specific – listening to podcasts and on the phone with my sister.
I’ve cried on the couch sitting in front of a dear friend who shared the pain of ending a relationship.
I’ve cried on the phone with one of my greatest teachers.

…just to name a few. See what I mean? Really ‘feeling it.’

Typically we associate crying wth sadness, but for me it hasn’t been this one specific emotion, it’s been the whole gamut… pain, compassion, yearning, shame, love, happiness, joy, gratitude, awe, and luck.


Here’s what I know for sure, you know you’re really alive when you cry. Especially when the tears hit you out of nowhere.

Heck, I’m crying as I write this, and I want you to know what I’m learning from these tears, okay? So here goes…

It’s ok to feel. It’s part of being human. And if we don’t allow ourselves to be present, be pure, be raw, be vulnerable, we miss life. We go through the motions and don’t stop and think about all that we have, all that we hope for, and all that want and know we deserve. 


It’s ok to be wrong. To feel like you’ve made a mistake. And it’s ok if for a split second you think you’re a completely ridiculous human. Remember to cut yourself some slack.


It’s ok to not know what’s going to happen in your future. All we can do is trust and put our best food forward and believe so deeply in ourselves that anything is possible.


Pain brings growth. I’ve witnessed this with my very eyes. Sometimes we don’t trust ourselves but when we start to, that’s when the magic happens and we come home to ourselves. We find ourselves again. 


Want things. Want them so bad. And do not for one second be ashamed of it, embarrassed by it, or believe that you can’t get it. Because you deserve it. Stop trying to hide what you really, truly, madly, deeply want. Stop pretending that you don’t want them and put out there that you do and go for them.


You are perfect. No ifs ands or buts about it. You are so much sunshine to the square inch.


Sometimes bad things, tragic things happen to good people. All we can do is be connected in our humanity and support the evolution of one another. 


It’s ok to be happy. Allow yourself to be happy. Open yourself up to joy. Complete abundant joy. Because it is always there and readily available to you. It’s not going anywhere. Feel lucky to have it, soak it in, but don’t attach yourself to it. Allow it to ebb and flow. To fill your heart up, create a padding around your soul, there to breathe into whenever you need it.


We are lucky. Lucky to be here. Never forget that. Life is a privilege. We are all doing the best that we can with what we came here to do and learn. When we remember this simple fact that we’re united in learning life’s greatest lesson of how to give and receive love, life becomes easier.


I thought it was important to share this with you because so often we run from our emotions. We want to escape them – sometimes even the good ones because we don’t think we deserve to feel them, or we think they’re fleeting so we push them away.


Here’s the thing, if we don’t allow our selves to simply feel them, we miss life. Somewhere along the line we’ve been conditioned to believe that we shouldn’t feel our emotions and instead numb them away with all sorts of things that aren’t healthy, typically food or alcohol.

Did you know that the chemical reaction to an emotion in your body only last 90 seconds? So that means when you feel anger and your blood pressure rises and heart rate speeds and up all that ‘yucky’ stuff occurs, that it really only physiologically will last 90 seconds, and it’ll pass.

What do we typically do in those 90 seconds instead of feel anger? We eat. Or we lash out. Or we do something that’s not in alignment with our highest self.

So next time some perceived unpleasant emotion pops up, I challenge you to sit with it for 90 seconds. Go to the couch. Sit. Close your eyes. And breathe. One hand to heart. One hand to belly. Let it ride in your system.

Feelings are just vibrations in our bodies. Nothing else. There is no emotion that can kill you, so stop running and start feeling.

Even my Target parking lot episode only lasted a few minutes. I let it flow instead of pushing it away, and that, my friends is the big secret.

I wrote about this experience along with other emotional eating wisdom in my weekly newsletter. Sign up here to get on the list!

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