“Heaven knows we need never be ashamed of our tears, for they are rain upon the blinding dust of earth, overlying our hard hearts.” ~Charles Dickens, Great Expectations, 1860
There have been rumors that elephants weep, but tears are unique to mankind. There are many types of
tears: joy, sorrow, embarrassment, and
the kind you get when chopping onions. Tears are the result of some distressing
thought – perhaps a memory or an experience that clutches at your heart.
Whatever triggers your tears, the end result is cathartic – your emotions are
drained away, you’ve looked at their cause, and you’re now more relaxed. You
feel somehow cleaner because you’ve “had a good cry.” In fact, sometimes a
hearty laugh with its accompanying tears can create the same sense of relief.
Since 335 BCE when Aristotle gave us his Poetics, we’ve
known about the concept of catharsis
– how cleansing it is to express our emotions. We place a value on being able
to cry because it’s during “a good cry” that therapy happens: we process our
emotions and dissolve the fear around our issues. We have diminished our
distress and reduced the level of hurt it’s caused us. Many scientific studies
provide wonderful evidence that crying has good health benefits. Some research
shows that stress hormones are diminished after crying.
If you don’t find it easy to “have a good cry,” let’s look for a moment at why you’ve developed this inability.
Was there a time in your life where someone in authority made you feel less-than because you were crying
and perhaps you resolved never to let them see this emotion in you again? Crying is not a sign of weakness
necessarily. It has other labels so
please don’t limit yourself to just this one label.
Do you think being happy all the time is mandatory? Sadness is part of the human condition and it is perfectly okay to express sadness.
When you feel frustrated or confused, do you sublimate those emotions?
Do you restrict them from showing up because you don’t think they are
strong? Limited? Incapable?
When your tears spill over down your face, it’s the most natural way for your emotions to drain away from
your mentality. Regardless of the cause
of any of your tears (and we’ve listed many of them in this article) releasing
them can be an interim step towards the solving of whatever problem generated
them. Once your tears are “out,” you can then heave a sigh of relief and
satisfaction, wipe the tears away, and get busy finding a solution for their
I think one of the benefits of crying is that it is free therapy that helps you to Be the Change you want
to see in your life. Crying crosses all
cultural platforms. It’s lasted for centuries
and if you look at the evolution of our human species, there has to be
something good in there to have persisted this long. Maybe it aids survival at
some very primitive levels?
I hope I’ve convinced you that a good cry can be beneficial for you once in a while. If you aren’t one to display your emotions publically, give
yourself permission to have a good cry in private. It can only be of benefit, and whatever you
can allow in your life that helps you to get up and face another day’s worth of
opportunity to Be the Change in your life is a good thing.
“The sorrow which has no vent in tears may make other organs weep.“ ~ Jerry Bergman