The Plus side of Crying

Last Friday during my Friday Nights Writes workshop – the prompt was about tears.

Tears are your body’s way of trying to help your body balance out it’s internal world.  Scientists have studied tears and different types of tears (happy, sad, angry) and found that they all have different chemical compositions and are your body’s way of literally trying to “wash” you a bit cleaner.  Yet I think we fight them.  I know that I do sometimes.  Maybe I feel like I am not in the right place to allow them to be seen or sometimes I don’t want to show them to my daughter.  Yet as I watched her grow – those first few years – children go through SOOOO many changes and yes – they cry a lot.  Good always came on the other side of these tears.  Almost like a rainbow after it rains.  And these tears both mine to her and her to mine helped our connection.  When you can support someone experiencing a deep emotion like this and not back away, get impatient, or angered by it – deep connection stems and love grows. So that night I wrote the below and wanted to share because at this time during all these changes and craziness that can consume us – just maybe – we are all being washed a bit cleaner?
When I see someone else cry – whether it’s a child, an elderly person, a teen, a stranger, a friend, someone on tv – there is a piece of me that can relate to this deep emotion and therefore draws me closer, there is a piece of me that wants nothing more than to hug and support them through their process as I know good comes on the other side.  Lightness – release, acceptance, resolution.  Yet for some reason, it has taken me years to have that reaction towards myself and my tears.
When they are happy tears, I am okay showing them but typically I hope they are more of a sprinkler flow than a faucet and that they don’t ruin my mascara. But when they are sad painful tears – I still try to toughen up , suck it up, wait til I am alone, or be strong.  Why?
Why do I expend so much energy hiding from being vulnerable?  Why do I hold on with such force and try to control my experiencing of a deep emotion?
I think it is because for years I have heard things like “she’s too nice” and it was often said as if this was a fault of mine.  So in an effort to not be weak – I held.
But in my heart, that kindness was always me being me.  Was it sometimes not advantageous to be as open and giving as I was?  Did it bring me hurt? Would I change it?  No.  In some moments I would have maybe wished I had found words to express how I felt but it has also brought me to a deeper level of acceptance and understanding of myself and others.  I have compassion towards those suffering and I know that sometimes it only takes a small spark and that when shared – that spark can light up another, or a room, or even for some the sky.  And I know this because I have explored my darkness.  It is like an opinion, we all have them.
It took me years to re phrase this kindness as a strength, sometimes my superpower, my relatability, and something I can hold dear. What I needed all along was to honor and accept it , cherish it, and drown out the noise.
Tears are a release of the armor that disconnects us and they form a flowing bridge destined to draw us closer to each other.
Humanity needs tears sometimes.
Humanity needs space to process tears.
They can be a catalyst for change,
a source of deep connection,
an inspiration to create
and a path to better understanding
So cry, cry the ugly tears that shake your soul
cry the happy ones that make your heart dance with joy
cry the angry ones that make your soul or voice shake with rage
Don’t numb out.  cry.  it may be part of your path to freedom

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