There are tears scattered through my mind, my heart. They land softly in my world. And they are good tears. When my daughter left for college, I was bereft. I found comfort in a cemetery. It was a place of mourning. I joined the ranks of the bereaved and in those hallowed grounds of suffering, I let my tears flow. Refreshing - these tiny drops were my salvation.
There's a deep vulnerability in crying and letting go of holding it together. Tears detoxify the soul. They wash the dark places of our hearts and reassemble the puzzle pieces of our confusion. And yet, in no uncertain terms, society maligns our tears. They are deemed weakness by life’s hardness. Just let one tear fall and we apologize to our peers.
I love how children cry. I recall my grandson Thomas’s eyes filling with tears when we parted at the airport in Houston. He was only three, and as he walked away, with his mom, I remember his tear-stained face disappearing down the corridor. That memory fills me with sweetness.
I am a buffalo heart - one who feels others and cries with them. I cry for the trees, the air, the waters, and for the animals. My heart grieves as humanity commits crimes against itself and others. We need good grievers. We need those who mourn for the loss of sweetness, compassion, and tenderness. We need snotty noses and glistening eyes to bear witness to Mother Earth and to all forms of injustice.
We need the desperate moments of our lives to show up on our faces. They should not be hidden under a smile that never reaches our eyes. Our darkest moments need the light of expression, not suppression. There are already too many self-proclaimed martyrs.
The world peddles excellence, strength, and success and turns its nose upward, away from the complexity of reality. We have lost our ability to balance greatness and despair. It is not allowed. “Chin up. Where’s that smile? Don’t cry.” We are admonished for taking the medicine that can restore our strength. Tears are the medicine for weakness. We need a few moments in our lives where weakness can come forth or at least pass through with acknowledgement. We do not have to cry daily. We do not have to be perpetual wailing machines, but we do need a space where all sentiments and emotions have a voice. We need the grail of grief to open us to a field where the ego is not welcome. We need to listen to the rhythm of life and to open to what appears. We need the dark velvety blanket of grief to comfort us when our dog dies, when our child is injured, and when our partners leave.
We need the good, the bad, and ugly if we are to walk the sturdy path of aliveness – the path that leads us home to the self. We need the spa and the garbage dump to unlock our hearts and to restore our vision.
The next time our heart aches or we shed a tear, no need to reach for the light. Let us rest for a moment in the great unknown and see what our tears offer. Let us bask in the temporary shrine of the soul and create a soft space for the wounded parts. Let us not hide the parts or luxuriate in them either. Let us allow the wordless pain to flow for a bit so we can retrieve the joy that lies beneath the age-old sorrow of existence, because when we do, everything becomes Ezier and Ezier.