Tears get a bad rap. Laughter is coveted and welcomed most of the time—as it should be. But think of your most awe-inspired, miraculous moments: the marathon run, the job done, your love won. Were your eyes dry? When people cry at weddings, are they sad because the poor suckers getting married have no idea what they’re signing up for? Or are they touched by the joining of two hearts promising to share a lifetime together? Maybe a bit of both? The point is, tears are beautiful. Crying allows us to release, cleanse, and renew.
When we endeavor to take a spiritual path and engage our inner truth, it’s inevitable that our experience of life is heightened. We become sensitive instruments: channels of grace. Then laughter and tears come more easily. Don’t be concerned with whether it’s good or bad to cry. Emotions need not be judged. Tears are normal. Healthy. Even beautiful. They’re just a sign of life. You’ve penetrated the layers of ego, intellect, and cultural codes to the point that you feel deeply. Nice!
Because of societal norms (which aren’t always based on what’s normal), most of us are uncomfortable both crying openly and watching others cry. It seems a shame that we hide our humanity in favor of . . . what? Decorum? I’d prefer a genuine display of emotion over good manners any time. Wouldn’t you? It keeps life interesting.
Why do we build barriers to block feelings? If Great Uncle Jack gives a toast at the family reunion and he gets choked up, do we hope he’ll hurry up and get through it so we don’t have a table of 12 relatives sobbing along with him? Are we concerned that he collects himself to “save face”? Or might we allow ourselves to be touched by the richness of his gratitude? Forget the notion that tears are bad and laughter is good. Let’s embrace the full spectrum of feelings. Something as accessible as a waterfall may elicit awe in some form. If you cry, so what? It’s all good.
If someone’s crying for the sake of crying and making a show of it, well, that isn’t the point at all. Needless drama—even conjured emotionality—can be a product of the ego. Self-indulgent sympathy-seeking is not what I’m championing here. I’m just suggesting we embrace tears as a natural form of expression and not make too big a deal of it. If tears roll down my cheeks because I’m moved by the talent of an Olympic gymnast, please refrain from thinking I’m a “freak,” and I’ll not tease you about your over-the-top effusiveness during the Super Bowl. We can roll with it. When feelings well up—emotions of love and joy, as well as compassion and sorrow—releasing them is freeing and healthy. Hence the “good cry.”
So, as you venture forth on the path, I suggest you keep a tissue near and judgment at bay. There’s no shame in feeling deeply. If others are uncomfortable, maybe they’re spiritually asleep. Let it go. Think of your tears as truth serum from your Inspired Self: divine nectar. Congratulate yourself on honoring your feelings, touching in. Those moments are precious. Crying is proof that you are very much alive. Isn’t that the first thing we do upon arrival? Waaahhhh. That’s what the doctor’s looking for; affirmation that you’re gonna thrive, baby.