The Mystery of Tears

Monday, May 12, 2008 |

T____T <<-- in chats they use this symbol to connote sorrow, or to cry. It's so used widely in games and online. But in real life, i doubt it.. So lemme ask you, do you have the courage to cry? In my experience, a vast majority of people I encounter seem to suppress their tears because our culture deems crying in public as unacceptable. I wonder how it is that if you and I are to fully encourage success in life that we can also discourage our emotional response to that life. It seems to me that inhibiting tears somehow means that you’re strong and capable; unaffected by and disconnected from the influence of others. What I'm suggesting is that to detach from others is to be invulnerable to one’s self; to be invulnerable to your whole being, your whole life, and your whole good.

Not crying when you really want to is not risking but choosing safety. To withhold your tears, whether painful or joyful, is to choose the gray fog of indifference to yourself. That, my friend, is the definition of neglect.

In my own life, I used to wish I wouldn't cry. My propensity for tears was always beyond my control. I couldn't stop myself and yet, I didn't want to cry. I didn't want others to see my pain or to know that I was lacking in confidence and self-discipline. Most of all, I wanted to hide my feelings because I associated them with my mother. I thought her tears were a sign of weakness. I thought her emotional waves were the reason my father left us. And if there was anything I didn't want, it was more abandonment.

I once believed that my ability to feel life so intensely was my greatest liability. And, once I had a baby, it only got worse. I could cry at the drop of a hat and ultimately I stopped fighting the tears. I cried at home, at work, in restaurants and at meetings.

Then one day, a mentor of mine explained the true meaning of emotions. Its translation entirely shifted my willingness to cry without judgment. She told me that the word emote was Latin in origin. She said that E stands for I and MOTE stands for MOVE. Emote means I-MOVE. And the more I cried, the closer I moved towards the authentic me.

etting go is so much easier to do when you understand that tears are the natural response to being provoked, excited or stressed. That's why tears come in so many flavors: relief, joy, grief, anxiety. Through tears, your body seeks to regain the balance that so many of us need.

So go on, let it out it and begin moving toward the personal prosperity within you. Open the door to your heart by feeling what's there and keep that door open to all the goodness that may enter into the space you've created inside. In the words of Washington Irving:

"There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are messengers of overwhelming grief… and unspeakable love." My challenge to you is to simply feel what you feel, in real-time, with real purpose. I encourage you to remember that anger is merely a mask for sadness and need not be directed at others or yourself.

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