There were tears in my eyes this morning, and a vague feeling of something off kilter; a feeling of being hurt and upset yet I could not remember an accompanying dream to account for this occurrence. The tears were just there when I woke up, my pillow a little wet, and I felt a momentary sensation of sadness. Has this ever happened to you?
Overall, I am easily moved to tears. It all starts in the heart, moves up to the throat, and then spills out of the eyes.
I cry when women and children suffer injustices and are abused, not only in my neighborhood, but half way around the world.
I cried when a young woman in our town was abducted from her job at a coffee stand and later found dead in a local lake. She was so young and innocent and the world was rolling in at her feet and she didn't deserve to die...but who, really, deserves to die?
I cried when my old neighborhood friend was killed in an auto accident, even though I hadn't seen her for decades. She was endearing and funny and we used to climb trees and play baseball and race each other up and down the block on roller skates.
I've cried buckets over personal failings: when I've hurt someone with unkind words, or they have hurt me with a stinging betrayal.
A good long session of crying takes away the pain; it breaks you down, opens up a hardened heart, gentles your senses, and washes away internal pressures that inevitably build up in living day to day and making mistakes along the way.
Another time I remember waking up crying is when my first boyfriend broke up our relationship in favor of another girl's attention. That day and the weeks that followed, I cried me a long, winding and very deep river.
Then, as time passed, I built a bridge over that river and walked across to the other side.
Yes, love hurts and eventually the tears of sadness do dry up.
How many times have you laughed so hard, you cried? If you can't weep with your whole heart, how can you laugh with abandon?
I don't have the answers, but I like how an old sage described crying. He said that crying is the highest of devotional songs. One who knows crying, knows true spiritual practice. If you can cry with a pure heart, nothing else compares to such a prayer.
That is how I prefer to view the boatload of tears in my life...as a prayer. A prayer announcing to the universe that I am alive, that I feel my fellow man's pain as well as his joys...
...that I will mop up the floor when I'm done, put on a new pair of shoes and dance in acknowledgement of all the grand emotions that waltz into our lives, unbidden.
Tearful moments, a letting go of the flood-gates is profoundly healing.
As is laughter.
Joni Mitchell in her song, People's Parties, says it best:"Laughing and crying....you know, it's the same release."