My daughter twisted her ankle walking up our steps. She’s 13 which means the agony of it shone on her face but no tears were allowed to come out.
I know her well. I could see the tears start to come and then I watched as she swallowed them up and reverted to other things – anger, explanation, rubbing, slapping the pavement with both hands.
Somewhere along the way, we decide that tears don’t solve anything. They’re not practical. Indeed, they’re embarrassing. Children cry. Adults don’t, and that goes for teens and tweens too, trying so desperately to be like adults.
Tears may not solve problems but they allow us to focus on them.
It’s like the body telling the mind: “Hold up a second. I got something here.” It’s a declaration to zone in, to accept the pain that’s happening.
Ain’t nothing embarrassing about it. Crying gets the sadness out. It works every time.
I avoided crying for the better part of my life. My dad watched me swallow up my tears one day and I didn’t let them out again until I was in my mid-twenties. A rainstorm of tears poured out into my girlfriend’s lap. An hour at least, no kidding. We actually had a laugh about it afterward because it was so time-consuming.
It’s like the hurt hadn’t gone anywhere, like those tears of 2 decades pooled in my stomach all this time, in my guts, my throat, behind my eyes, waiting for my heart to open and my mind to give in.
It’s best to take care of your tears when they show up in the first place, because they’re going to come out, somehow, maybe not as tears, but they’ll do their thing in one way or another and you’ll feel it when they do. You’ll feel the whole earth tremble and wonder if it’s you that’s making it tremble.
Yeah, best to take care of things right away. You don’t have to do anything special. Just let it play out. It will suck at first but the release is glorious. And then the laughter, that dry cracked skin feeling on your cheeks, the beautiful emptiness in your guts, and all those hands waiting to pull you up and help you along… yeah, they’ll be there too.
People will stop what they’re doing for your tears. The ones that matter will come closer. Your heart, radiating the truest of signals, will draw them in.
I promise you that.