Allow Tears

When we stub our toe, or pinch a finger in a door, we typically express that pain by making a loud sound like, "ow" or "ouch."

A sudden, sharp vocalization is a natural response to physical injury (Helmer, Loreine M L et al. 2020). It probably serves to help us release some of our pain. Our society grants us that grace even if our exclamations sometimes include a curse word. 

Yet when it comes to responding to emotional pain, our culture takes a very different approach. It often expects people suffering a tragedy to keep their pain hidden and their eyes dry. The cultural message is very clear, "strong people don't cry. To shed a tear means you're weak." 

This, of course, is not true, and it's not healthy. See this post from the Harvard Medical School offering a few of the benefits of crying.

When you go through a painful experience it is okay to allow yourself to cry. It may even be cathartic for most people. A research article published in 2015 found that individuals who cried while watching a sad movie actually felt better 90 minutes after watching the movie than they did before watching the movie. Tears not only signal our grief, they can improve our mood. 

In summary, don't be afraid to allow your tears to fall. And if you feel like you are crying too often or for too long, it's okay to reach out to a doctor, therapist, or another qualified health professional to discuss your situation and your concerns.

Remember that even the Lord Jesus cried when he visited the tomb of his friend, Lazarus. It is okay for us to follow his example.

"Jesus Wept." -- John 11:35

Painting of Washington Irving.

-Washington Irving (American author and diplomat)

"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 the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition, and of unspeakable love." -- Washington Irving

Many thoughts of many minds. Compiled by H. Southgate. (1862). United Kingdom: (p. 615).