The Gift of Tears
“Let your tears come, let them water your soul.” –Eileen Mayhew
I come from a family of “criers.” For those of you who know me well, you know that it’s true. I always carry a package of tissues with me — never know when I might need one! Just about anything can trigger my emotional side; the evening news, music, weddings, funerals, baptisms, hymns, movies, graduations, recitals, birthdays, or a special handmade card from our granddaughter. My tears can be happy, sad, mad or just glad. Posessing a strong sense of empathy, my tears can also be triggered just by seeing someone else cry.
I used to find it embarrassing to cry in public. I felt somehow ashamed that I couldn’t control my emotions. I would struggle mightily to keep the tears from coming, only to end up crying even harder. “Shindler’s List,” “Old Yeller,” “Bambi,” “Room With a View,” “Sound of Music.” You get the picture! (Oh dear, a pun on words.) One good thing is that it was definitely OK to cry at home. We could joke about passing around the tissue box on Sunday evenings watching “Lassie Come Home.” It wasn’t until I was in graduate school that I realized it’s really OK to let the tears come naturally. One of my instructors took me aside to tell me that “tears are a gift” and that I should give myself permission to cry. That has changed my perspective on crying. “Don’t cry” is no longer a part of my vocabulary.
And so, I hereby give you permission to give yourself permission to let the tears come naturally. It’s perhaps a gift from Spirit.
“Tears are a river that take you somewhere. Tears lift your boat off the rocks, off dry ground, carrying it downriver to somelace new, someplace better.” — Clarissa Pinkola Estes
Lesson learned: Let your tears come.
Thank you, Eileen Mayhew and Clarisssa Pinkola Estes!
When was the last time you had a good cry?