I know a lot about tears and crying.
The first 12 years of my life was spent crying at least once a day. I cried every day in elementary school on the bus on the way to school. I cried not because I was lonely, no one “hurt” me, and my family loved me but despite that all I was a depressed individual.
10 years ago I gave my life to the Lord and things changed.
Over the past 10 years I have cried often enough, in a different manner, but crying all the same. Crying is my default response: when I am sad, when I am hurt, when I am angry, when I am surprised, when I am happy, when I am dealing with conflict, etc.
In the past 22 years there are a couple of key things that I have learned about tears and crying:
1) Crying hangovers are the worst… your eyes get puffy, your head aches and your whole body is sore. This is what I imagine either the after affects of getting in a fight or being hung over would feel (I have never done either of these things). Thankfully there is a remedy… take some advil, drink a lot of water and get enough sleep.
2) Your default reaction is usually not what you need in the moment. When I cry I try to hide, I move a away from people and I try to be alone. This is not what I need because I end up rehashing whatever it is that made me cry in the first place. I become more hurt, more sad, more angry, more…. I need someone to process through the emotion with, to speak out what I feel and to be able to come to a healthy conclusion. Sometimes I need a physical person, someone mature enough to walk with me throught it and other times I need to go to God. But I should not be alone.
3) All crying is ugly. I don’t mean that you are ugly or that crying is a bad thing but it’s just a fact. There is no such thing as a pretty cry. Oprah Winfrey would disagree with me but let’s all be honest… when we cry it’s ugly. We wonder why we don’t look/feel/sound like the women in the movies. Let’s face it this is the reality of crying: snot, tears, make up run off, large sobs and incapacitating intakes of breath, etc. When someone asks you what is wrong, it takes about 3 times as long to explain the situation because you have to pause to catch your breath and you have to restart multiple times due to the repeat outbursts of sobbing. So all in all, crying is ugly. You will just need to accept it and embrace it.
4) Tears can be the beginning of healing. (Note: not all crying can lead to healing, I cried successfully for the first 12 years of my life without it leading to healing) When your emotions are healthy, when you are allowing yourself to feel, mourn and process you are moving in the direction of healing. God works through tears to heal the soul, to cleanse your emotions and to bring you to healing. It takes time, sometimes it hurts more but in the end it brings you wholeness.
Tears are something I know a lot about. When I was younger all I wanted was to never cry again because there was no purpose to my tears. But there is a purpose to my crying and there is health in my tears. I am better able to experience life, to express myself and to move into healing when I allow myself to cry. Don’t be afraid to experience the tears and move into healing.