“We need never be ashamed of our tears.”
We all feel sad, stressed, overwhelmed, scared, and frustrated at times but rarely do we openly choose to express them through crying. Instead we are made to find other ways of expressing those emotions because crying is often seen as a sign of weakness. Why is that?
When we were babies, crying was the only mode of communication we knew. If we were hungry, we cried. If we were uncomfortable, we cried. If we felt lonely, we cried. If we just needed a cuddle, we cried. What is it about growing up that turned this way of communicating and expressing ourselves into something negative? Something we are shamed to do.
I was inspired to write this post because a lot has happened in the last three months. I’ll probably share in detail exactly what’s been happening at a later date but for now just know that a lot has happened. So much so that the only way I knew how to deal with it was to cry. I cried alone, I cried in front of people and I cried till my eyes went dry. Every time I’d go to speak about it, I would cry. After I’d finish crying I felt so much better. This made me realise how powerful crying is and how often we overlook this simple but effective form of expression.
Crying is a natural response to life and the many things we deal with yet more often then not we act as though this natural response isn’t natural. Instead we try to suppress it in an attempt to show how strong we are. But who said crying means you’re not strong?
Scientifically, crying is the shedding of your tears in response to an emotional state. The tears that are produced as a result of this emotional state are called psychic, or ‘crying’ tears. Psychic tears contain a natural painkiller, called leucine enkephalin which explains why you feel better after having a good cry. There is a reason and a purpose for our tears.
Tears are a representation of who we are. They can show that we are happy. They can show that we are sad. They can show that we are angry and they can show that we are strong. To deny yourself a moment of expressing that is to deny who you are.
When I had my moments of crying I didn’t have the capacity to distract myself from what was hurting me. My tears forced me to deal with my pain internally first instead of suppressing it. I couldn’t speak, I couldn’t see and at times I couldn’t breath. I could only cry and once I wiped away the last tear I felt a piece of my pain wipe away with it. I had emptied myself just enough to start seeing the positive things that were around me.
Crying gave me the strength and release I needed to empty out the bad and focus on the good and I want to remind you of that. I want to remind you how important it is to cry. Cry through the fear. Cry through the anger. Cry through the heartbreak even when you think you shouldn’t. Don’t think, just do it. Your tears are more powerful than you know. Don’t criticise yourself, your situation or those who have caused you to cry, just cry.
“God heard the boy crying, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, “What is the matter, Hagar? Do not be afraid; God has heard the boy crying as he lies there.”
What I’ve taken away from the last three months is this:
- It’s OK to cry over your own pain
- It’s OK to cry over other peoples pain
- It’s OK to cry as many times as you feel the need to
- It’s OK to cry without knowing what will happen once you stop crying
Make those tears counts by allowing them to do what they were created for – to express and release what you are feeling. Many alternative forms of expressing those feelings can cause pain to someone else. But tears never hurt anyone and they certainly won’t hurt you.
So cry if you need to. It’s okay.