I have a difficult time crying tears.
It’s not that I have a problem with my tear ducts, it’s my heart.
Shucks, we all have em. Problems. We all have those confounded problems.
Digging around in my emotional baggage, I am finding when I was a kid, I wanted to be tough because toughness was praised in our house.
Crying was for the weak and by golly, I wanted to be accepted, so I repressed my tears, even in my own privacy, I was ashamed to cry. As an adult, when I practice tears, I feel twinges of weakness and shame. But, I am now realizing from somewhere deep in my heart, that crying wet warm tears is really showing strength. It’s the strength to show vulnerability and compassion and even Joy. It’s the strength to show someone your heart without words. Kids know how to do this. It comes naturally to them. I know I knew once how to do this. But somewhere growing up, I shut my water works off for whatever reasons.
I shall not put blame on anyone for my repressed tear drops, even if it’s due to someone. My child’s heart was communicated something that maybe wasn’t meant to be communicated. And, I am a parent, I will do things wrong. I do, and will unknowingly say things that will be misunderstood.
Weeping is a natural part of humans. Every single person that has ever walked the face of this earth has bawled rolling tears. Dirty faces streaked with streams, makeup running eyes, thru closed squinting lids and swollen skin, salty teardrops have fallen.
And we have felt better. We do feel better. We feel amazing release.
Letting ourselves bawl is actually cleaning out toxins from our bodies, lowers blood pressure, relieves stress, and releases manganese which is a mineral that affects our mood. It’s actually really good for us.
If I can just give myself permission to do it.
I have been unable to stop silent tears a few times on my bed pillow. There in the dark, no one sees, no one hears, it’s like I was doing something naughty. While on anti-depressants, I never cried. My emotions were stone cold. When I got off it and onto EQ like I wrote about in a previous article, I watched myself cry uncontrollably as I was swept away by a touching movie. I couldn’t stop it, and frankly, didn’t want to stop it. It was the fist time in years I had cried that way and frankly, it felt good to do it. I have always had a problem with owning my tear drops, the medication I was on only made it worse.
Sad things aren’t the only thing we cry about. I find tears welling if I’m moved by music. And music can move us, can it not? I find tears brimming now if I am in a proud moment of parenthood, or if I am letting my heart accept goodness from someone else’s words of affirmation. I will feel them creeping up when I am living in a moment that is destined to be a memory I will never forget.
I was married just a few weeks after turning eighteen. My wedding day is a day I dreamed about all my girl life. It was here. It was finally here. I was in the dress, the doors were open and the music was playing for me. All those hours of playing wedding with my little sister in our play dresses, the memories were flooding back to me. This was one of the most important days of my young life and I wanted to sob. The tears were being held back with every fiber of my being. I was determined to not turn them loose. I couldn’t hardly look at my husband because of the fear of tears being disobedient and falling. The whole ceremony was incredibly stressful to me because I wouldn’t allow myself to cry. I remember, coming close to the auditorium door and turning around to see my sister of sixteen behind me, breaking down in her own sobbing.
It nearly killed me right there. The truth is, I didn’t know how to cry. I didn’t know how to cry in control and losing control is not something I do well. I was afraid to lose control. I did, however, cry that night. When things were over, the memory was sealed and it was just me and my husband, and I couldn’t contain it any longer.
One would think, that shedding tears shouldn’t be a big deal. And one would be right in their thought. But life just has difficulty in being that easy. What is simple for me, may not be simple for you. I believe the hardest part of getting thru our hurdles is admitting there is a problem. I can’t teach myself to cry if I don’t recognize I have an issue with it. And we all have them, strange issues, weird ideas, and little and big problems. Where they developed, why they harass us, why we have to claim it as ours, that is a part of the mystery buried within us. We all better like a good mystery story, because if we decide to eradicate some of our obstacles we are going to have some detective work to do.
Ya, I like the title Detective. That is what we all can be. Detectives of our souls.
I have taken the first step. I am claiming a hindrance of mine. I don’t want it anymore. I want to brave enough to cry. And I can change. I am changing.
The first step is always the hardest to take on our problem-solving journeys, I’m there. I’m past the hardest part. The getting started part. Now it’s time for endurance and follow thru.
Let us all be brave and let us all cry a beautiful river.