The other day, I cried tears of gratitude (maybe even joy) while I was making myself a matcha drink. I guess that’s normal, right? What is normal? I don’t think I’m familiar with what that really is. Anyway, I think it’s okay to cry, and quite normal, whatever the reason. It’s part of the healing process and it is part of being a human (which involves a whole lot of healing from all sorts of wounds… even the ones we don’t know about yet).
“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, of deep contrition, of unspeakable love… I love to see tears of affection. They are painful tokens, but still most holy. There is pleasure in tears—an awful pleasure! If there were none on earth to shed a tear for me, I should be loth to live; and if no one might weep over my grave, I could never die in peace.” — Dr. Johnson (earliest attribution known)
We usually think of crying as a sign that something terrible has happened or that frustration has reached an all-time high. Then there’s the opposite: when you cry because something has finally brought you relief and you’ve crawled your way to solid ground after wading in quicksand for so long. Those are the tears I’m writing about today.
Not only do I think it’s okay to cry but I think it’s healthy because it’s natural, whatever the reason for the tears. The act is either a welcome reprieve or an overflow of grief; either way, it’s a necessary release.
Why am I writing about tears? I’m not really sure, but it just feels right for me right now, and maybe it’s right that you’re reading this. I think that no matter what we’re healing from, we need confirmation from time to time that we’re not healing alone and that our experiences are shared on a foundational level. Well, then, that’s what this is all about.
You are not alone in your grief.
Also worth noting is that it’s okay to cry tears of gratitude even right in the middle of your grief. You’re definitely not alone there. In fact, that’s why I’m writing this in the first place.
So, back to making matcha tea (it’s pretty healing, by the way). I haven’t done that in a while, probably because I’ve been severely stressed from the inside out since my father passed away. It’s been a tough existence ever since then, but not without its beauty and gemstones of wisdom. I fell out of routines and struggled to pick myself back up.
We tend to forgo the very things that help us heal when we’re in the direst need of healing. Interesting.
It was actually before I started making the tea that the tears came. I was in the shower, thinking “hey, matcha tea sounds good. I haven’t had that in a while.” Then, the tears.
How long had it been since I wanted to do something that felt good just because I was feeling good? How long since I made a healing decision from a place of love rather than necessity? I had been so stressed for so long that everything felt like a chore. Where’s the freedom and life in that?
It took something as ordinary and simple as making myself a cup of tea that woke me up to how beautiful life is, not despite suffering but through everything.Grievances are hard to release. That's why we're equipped with the ability to cry; tears release what we're not ready to. Click To Tweet
Healing from something as tragic as losing your first and forever love is not without its thorns, and it’s not without its flowers.
Another thing: you may be willing to heal, which is essential, but certain aspects just can’t heal until you’re ready. While your willingness is, your readiness is not always up to you.
It’s okay to cry because you feel free.
If crying is how your heart speaks when your words have all but escaped you, then you’ve got to cry. You’ve got to. It’s the language of the heart and it’s not meant to be silenced (though the world might tell you differently). I’d even say that you don’t need a logical reason to cry either—logic is secondary to matters of the heart.
On any given day, I have a hardened grip on my grief. Mostly, I don’t notice it unless I allow myself to sit back and meditate on the fact that I’m alive and, well, that’s about enough of a miracle for any human to hope for. Being alive is enough. Everything else comes with it, and it’s not up to us whether or not we experience the elation of loving or the sorrow of losing; we’re going to have both.
It’s okay to cry if you’ve been dealt a heavy, heartbreaking blow; that’s obvious. It’s okay to cry, too, when you feel like life is a miracle still. The tears aren’t just a release, but like honey flowing back into your life, sweetening the room you dwell in.
There’s something magical about tears that spring from joy; they’re like divinely sent messengers of hope.
There’s beauty still and always. There’s a holier freedom yet to be accessed, and it’s so worth all the humanness. There’s another reality waiting to be carved out of stone. And once in a while, the rock will have a gemstone hiding inside of it. There’s something incredibly, breathtakingly powerful about that.Tears are the mark of elevation from hardness and indifference to empathy and connection. Click To Tweet
What (I believe) has been helping me.
First of all, please note that I’m not a medical professional and therefore can’t recommend something that’ll be right for you.
My sudden wave of relief seems to have to do with a particular herbal supplement that I’ve been taking. I actually mentioned it in one of last week’s notes.
The supplement supports adrenal renewal and stress reduction. Though there seems to be a lot of well-reviewed products on the market, this is the brand that I have been trying and it seems to be working wonders on my usually-frayed, frazzled nerves. Apparently, your adrenal hormones play a vital role in how free you feel in your body. I’ll attest to that.
I’ll also attest to the fact that undying hope and honest presence are the true remedies for suffering.Honor the struggle without killing the hope. Both are needed for rising. Click To Tweet
If you have been severely stressed out for some time and have been trying to find relief to no avail, there is hope still. I honor you and your commitment.
There are infinite ways to feel better, some more relevant and accessible than others. As long as we stay open to all the ways, regardless of whether or not we want to try them, our resolution is sure to find us. Just like inspiration likes to find us working, healing likes to find us trusting.
- If you’re right in the middle of healing—whatever your wounds may be—what hopes do you keep? (Nothing is out of reach, even if it feels like it.)
- What’s one healing modality that you’ve tried that has successfully supported your healing journey?
- When is the last time you cried tears of gratitude?
Please share your thoughts on the topic of tearful healing, words of wisdom you’d share with someone walking that journey, what’s helped you, and any stories of transformation with me in the comments.
Let someone know they’re not alone in their grief or their surprise moments of overwhelming gratitude; send them this note because you understand.
Don’t let the thorns make you forget about the flowers they point to.