Cry Me a River

“Don’t cry.”

I hope those words do not come out of my mouth. Why? Because I believe that tears serve as a release valve, a safe way to discharge steam so the pressure doesn’t continue to build. If you are crying, it is because something needs to be expressed, released, or unshackled.

It might be sorrow or joy, fear or grit, frustration or anger, love or hate … All of these emotions are strong ones and harmful to hold inside ourselves for lengths of time. Trying to hold such strong feelings inside is as difficult as holding an inflated beach ball under water. One false move, and it will explode to the surface of the water and beyond. Everybody in the vicinity is going to get wet.

Instead, we might view tears as we would the whistle of a teapot—it’s time to turn off the heat.

Let them flow.

Release the pressure.

Mourn the loss.

Acknowledge the hurt.

Recognize the effort you just spent.

Let it go.

Why are you crying?

  • A teen crying because she has not been able to make the improvement her coach was asking her to do that day.
  • A woman crying because she just smelled the aftershave her father had always worn.
  • A soldier’s tears because he had not been able to save his comrades.
  • A mother’s hidden tears at the rejection her child was experiencing at school.
  • A boy choking back tears because he had given the bully his lunch money again.
  • Leaky eyes as you wave and smile at your 18-year-old stepping out into adulthood.

Tears are an inbuilt relief mechanism. Let them do their work. Cry when you feel the tears coming on—because you need to. Usually, we look for a quiet place or a hermit’s cave before we let them fall. Some of us are blessed with a safe person who will love us as we have a teary, snot-producing bawl.

The gift of tears is concerned with living in and with the truth
and with the new life that the truth always brings.
The tears are like the breaking waters of the womb
before the birth of a child.
~Alan Jones

Tears acknowledge that pressure and stress are present. And, most often, one teary session is not enough of a release. We find we must repeat the process over and over again.

Acknowledge and accept the truth that brings on tears. Let these salty drops wash over you and make room for what is coming. Because the next step requires space in which to operate. Tears are the teapot-signal that the next step is coming, sometime.

I must acknowledge that I am not perfect. No matter how good a person I may be, I cannot achieve perfection. If I don’t admit that and confess my sins, I won’t see or accept God’s loving gift of salvation that is waiting for me. If I don’t let go of my need for control and turn my life over to God, I will not experience the peace He has waiting for me. And this is not a one-time thing. Crying my heart out is often a part of the process of rebirth.

Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.” 
John 3:3, NIV

photo by Damnikia on Unsplash

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