“Within tears find hidden laughter.  Seek treasures amid ruins, sincere one.”  Rumi

I hate to cry.  No.  I don’t think you understand what I am telling you.  I actually despise it.  The big, red nose, the swollen eyes, the waggling chin, the choking sobs, the snot, the whole nasty business of it.  I will go out of my way to avoid it at all costs.  If I hear a movie or book is a tear jerker, I say “no thanks” and then find myself a nice comedy.  And when I feel tears looming, I scurry off to the nearest hole to hide so that nobody has to witness the god awful mess that happens when these waterworks let loose.  When the phrase “ugly cry” was coined, they were actually talking about me.

So imagine my surprise when, several years ago, it became apparent that my daughter, Em, absolutely loves to cry.  Now don’t get me wrong.  She doesn’t enjoy physical or emotional pain or anguish.  But she just adores watching a sad movie, reading books with tragic endings and listening to those minor key songs that make me want to plug my ears and sing Henry the Eighth I Am I Am at the top of my lungs to stop from hearing it.

Em, by nature is a happy person.  For most of her 17 years she has had a smile firmly affixed on her pretty face.  She loves to laugh and enjoys life to an enviable degree.  Even during the angst ridden teen years, she has managed to dodge the moody bits and has continued shining this amazing joy wherever she goes.

But.  Give her a rainy afternoon with nothing to do and I can guarantee she will be found cuddled on the couch, surrounded by wads of soggy tissues, sobbing her heart out as Jack and Rose take the big plunge.  Titanic, which she has watched at least 118 times, is a movie I sat through once, and ended up having to apply cold, wet washcloths to my eyes afterwards in order to pry them open, that’s how swollen they were from crying.

Why oh why do people do this to themselves?  Cry on purpose?  It is sheer madness!

Or is it?  As with all things philosophical, scientific or spiritual, when I have a question I turn to the source of all knowledge:  Google.  And here is what I have found…

Did you know that:

1.  Crying is good for your eyes?  Not only does it lubricate them, it also washes out any nasty bacteria that might have gathered while staring unblinkingly at your iThings.  Tears literally help us to see more clearly.  (There has to be a metaphor hidden in there somewhere).

2.  Shedding tears actually helps our bodies to shed the toxins that accumulate due to stress.  These toxins, when left unattended can build up and cause all sorts of disease and nastiness in our bodies.  Tears help to shed stress.  (And they are free, which is considerably cheaper than wine).

3.  Tears can help to lower levels of manganese in a body.  What is manganese, you may ask?  Well, I have no idea, but according to my googling it is some nasty stuff that increases our levels of anxiety, nervousness, irritability, aggression, fatigue, mood swings and a whole great big can of worms that are better left unopened.

4.  Allowing tears to flow can bring us emotional release and catharsis.  Once that snotty dam bursts, all of the pent up emotions that we carry around like unwanted, overpacked baggage, can flow far, far away and we can breathe easier, let the sun shine in and feel light enough to smile again.

Alright Google.  You win another round.  I will stop stopping myself from having a cry now and again.  I will bring extra tissues, and dark glasses and go sit through 12 Years A Slave.  God willing I won’t run into anyone I know.

Did I mention my ugly cry? *shudder*


“I’ll never let go, Jack.  I’ll never let go.”

Ah hell.

32 thoughts on “Teardrops”

  1. Oh what a beautiful and very topical post Brenda – absolutely love it. I love the humour amongst it all. Isn’t that just so very beautiful? That there is so much laughter amongst the tears. I believe we are beautiful emotional beings and that tears are a gift and cleansing in every respect. Tears may make our eyes red and blotchy, but oh boy, do they bring a lot of much needed relief and healing to our souls. It’s like a rainfall after a long period of draught. No need to hold them back boys and girls. We have a lot of crying and laughing to do. Personally speaking, I now feel like there is something wrong with me if I haven’t cried (tears of sorrow and joy) for a day or two. Here’s to always keeping the taps of our hearts and souls flowing inwards and outwards. Philadelphia with Tom Hanks and also The Awakening with Robert de Niro bring out the howler in me. Love and blessings. Christina

    1. “The taps of our hearts and souls”… I love that! Thank you for sharing these wise and beautiful words. I love Awakening and Philadelphia was a movie I avoided because of that whole crying thing. I will put it on my list to watch this winter. For me, Field of Dreams gets me every single time. I only have to think about that last scene and I start to tear up. Good tears. 🙂

  2. This actually put a smile on my face. I cried a lot in my 20’s and 30’s and 40’s. Hadn’t cried for some time until Gaza – and it was a good purification and centering. Thanks for all the info on the health benefits too. 🙂

  3. I had myself a real roar at the end of the last season of Six Feet Under, when they wrapped it all up in 10 minutes of amazing film, showing the children of the family growing older, having their own children, the older folks growing old and dying or dyin some other way, seeing the new generation spring forth to take from the previous generations. I was a sobbing, gulping mess. And after it was over and I sat there, getting myself together, I realized, I needed to do that. My shoulders felt looser, my heart lighter, my psyche calmer. I hate to cry because I always thought of it as weakness. I have never been to care about ugly. when one is homely to start with, you get used to it. But in that great catharsis, I realized the why of needing to cry. It took me awhile but I finally got it. I’m still shy about crying because I do not do a lot of public display of emotion unless it is happy or caring emotion. Crying is a hard lesson to learn.

    1. Crying as a lesson to learn… that is wisdom. I love that your body spoke so clearly to you after you had your really great sob. Our bodies never lie, do they? Thanks so much for your thoughtful comment. And please understand that regardless of your own perception, you are clearly beautiful. <3

  4. Hello fellow ugly crier! This happened to me last night watching a rerun of a favorite episode of The Newsroom. I seldom cry over real-life events, but give me an inspirational sports movie or hero moment and I’m a goner. Unfortunately due to last night’s episode my contacts are sticking to my bloodshot eyes and my sinuses are still backed up! 🙂

  5. . . . . and just think what it’s like, on this tissue issue at least, to be a bloke! I am left at the end of some movies working out when to time my exit so no one can see the state I’m in, and during the film – well, the lengths I have to go to trying to pass off my feelings as a cold or an allergy attack beggar belief. Interestingly, until seven years after my father died and I attended an encounter weekend in London in 1974, I’d never cried since I was a child. I clearly have a lot of catching up to do even after all these years. Perhaps I should start listening to my favourite melancholy music again – Chopin, Schubert, Kate Rusby and Gerry Rafferty here I come.

    1. Oh Pete, I hear you. I can’t even imagine how difficult it must be for blokes, seeing as society has taught us all that boys don’t cry. Craziness! Put on the music played in minor keys and let the waterworks flow! We are behind you all the way.

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