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The Triumph in Tears

Updated on November 28, 2011

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 and unspeakable love. - Washington Irving

The above saying was a quote I heard while watching "Criminal Minds" on CBS a couple weeks ago. It is one of the most profound sayings I have ever heard in regards to something that is sometimes the effect of an intense, deep emotion within us.

I thought this was a good subject to write about for many reasons. One of the main reasons is because of the shooting in Tucson, AZ three weeks ago, which was an attempt to assassinate Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. I have mentioned this savage attack in a couple other articles I have written recently because it is such a huge, glaring example of the chaos that is rampant in America lately.

Another reason I decided to write about tears is because for so many of us, men and women alike, we shut down our feelings, stuff our emotions and refuse to cry. We sometimes believe that if we cry, we become weak. We believe it will open us to utter vulnerability. I am more prone to agree with Washington Irving. I believe tears are a mark of power. They show our humanity and compassion. They are proof to ourselves that we have a heart, that we can release and let go of the pain. We can release the hurt, the fear, the anger, the frustration we feel. It's like pouring a bunch of garbage inside a bag and when it gets too full, it spills out. Tears do that. We hold in and stuff down so much garbage, so much negativity, so much pain that it just has to spill out eventually.

Because of the impact of social networking, people can now find long-lost friends and relatives far easier than anything they could have ever imagined. I was honored to have found the children of my very best friend from my teen years. I had met these three precious children when they were very young - once when they were babies and once, just one year before their Mama's life was savagely taken by a deranged person who has never been found.

These children are all in their 30's now, which blows my mind all by itself! It has been my pleasure to be able to talk to the oldest of the three several times online and by just talking to him, he and his family have captured my heart. In speaking with him, I feel as if his Mom is still here. As if the person he has become is a reflection of his Mother's heart. And he is. I know he is. I can feel it in my spirit. I wish with all my heart that his Mom could be here to see her beautiful grandchildren and her sons and daughter. She would be so thrilled and so proud of all of them!

Her son and I talked about anger. We both agreed it is the "bane of our existence." My anger used to be. I have spent many years working on letting go of that anger. I have cried so hard so many times that once, I even rubbed my eyelids raw from crying so hard! I have learned through my intense self-development, that anger is just "Fear Out Loud" and that F-E-A-R stands for, "False Expectations Appearing Real."

I was hoping that in writing this that my friend's son (and anyone else who reads this)would realize that it's okay to cry. It's okay to feel vulnerable. I am hoping that we can all realize that in releasing that anger and fear, we can heal. We can let go of the past. We can let go of some of the most inhumane, unconscionable events we have experienced. Most of the time, it is not easy, but the freedom we get from the tears and the letting go is more valuable than anything money can buy.

I am hoping that we can all realize that even though our anger and fear sometimes motivate us to make changes in our lives, we can still make changes without relying on that fear and anger. We can benefit from remembering our innate strength. We can make our lives better by remembering our compassion, our empathy and the love we have experienced from those we have lost. We can make our lives better by remembering to cry when we are happy, to cry when we are sad and to know that there is nothing, absolutely nothing in this world that we can't rise above if we just believe.

My beautiful Mom, God rest her soul, always told me to remember: "This, too, shall pass." Many times in my life, I had to remember her saying that to me in order to get through even one minute of the pain I had to endure many times in my life. Another saying she taught me was the Serenity Prayer (even though she wasn't an alcoholic and didn't come from an alcoholic family):

"God grant me the serenity to Accept the things I cannot change, the Courage to change the things I can, and the Wisdom to know the difference."

That, too, has gotten me through many unfathomable situations in my life.

Tears are good. Tears are good.


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    • Lene Lynn profile image

      Lene' Lynn St. John 7 years ago from Glendale, AZ

      Carrie, thank you! I used to cry a LOT when I was younger, then I didn't cry for a long time and I found during the times when I didn't cry, my body was more physically ill than when I did cry, which I found to make sense. Our emotions and mental attitude definitely have an effect on our physical bodies. That's why I choose to change every negative thought, word or action into a positive one, to the best of my ability. It's the "mind over matter concept!" Thanks so much for the compliment.

      Jim, I totally agree with your comments. The solution or lack thereof has been the main reason I have ever cried about anything! But as I grew older, I found that there is usually always more than one solution to every difficulty. That knowledge made me feel a lot more determined to change something in my life and make it better. Again, the "mind over matter" concept! Thank you for the compliment as well. I really appreciate it!

      Danette, your field of work must be so amazing! I have had dreams that I was a journalist out in the field...and you are right about the lightness of mood after the eulogies. My precious Mom died in March 2008 and it was terribly sad. I wrote the eulogy and people were crying but they clapped when I finished it! Then after that, everyone was smiling and happy for the most part because we hadn't seen each other in so many years! There wasn't a soul on this planet that didn't love my Mom...thanks for your input and thank you so much for reading it!

    • profile image

      Danette  7 years ago

      Nice hub. As you mentioned, tears show our humanity and compassion for others. In my work as a journalist, I have had to cover memorials for service members killed overseas. Of course I am professional as I cover these memorials, but I also know I will get teary-eyed as that person is eulogized by family, friends and neighbors.

      Afterward, there is always a lightness of mood among the gatherers. Even though they are still sad, the tears have brought them together in honor of that person.

      Thanks for writing this hub.

    • profile image

      jimb302 7 years ago

      Nice hub. Well written. ;-)

      I agree that tears are cleansing, however, sometimes the tears alone are just not enough. The displacement of those feelings is only temporary, because tears alone do not always solve our problems. Sometimes it is not the problem that is frustrating. It is the solution (or lack thereof). Solving the problem, with so many different forces working against us in the world, is by far the most painful.

      I really enjoyed this...thanks for writing.

    • carrie450 profile image

      carrie450 7 years ago from Winnipeg, Canada

      I agree Lene Lynn that tears are cleansing. It's a refreshing feeling to let your emotions out through crying.

      Well written.