My eyes leak regularly and I’m OK with that now. I tear up daily and often several times a the day. My Today’s a Good Day song might move me somehow. The show on Netflix this week spurs emotion. Your story about your loss might trigger something in me. All of these experiences are somehow punctuated more accurately with tears.
So what should you do when we’re meeting for coffee and you’re in mid sentence and you see my eyes begin to well up?
You let me cry. Then ask me about it.
You have not upset me. You have not induced the tears. My emotion is not your fault. You are not the reason I’m crying. It’s actually the opposite.
Something good is going on inside me.
Grief takes me to a good place, even though it doesn’t feel or look good at the time. It can even make things awkward between us. But like any generous gesture that is difficult to receive, my tears may become a gift for you if you are open to accepting them.
Ever wonder why the tear ducts are in the eyes? Why not tuck them away where they can’t be seen so obviously. Why not the armpit? Then they could blend in with the sweat or be held back by anti-perspirant and no one would be the wiser.
I believe it’s because tears are not meant to be hidden. I’d rather see someone cry than watch them sweat.
Crying makes me more vulnerable, but it also makes me more alive and human. Tears are a signal to those around me that even though my world is out of sorts, my soul is operating properly. As you see me cry, you acknowledge that I have not numbed my inner world. In spite of this circumstance, I still have the ability to be moved. Yes, I’m very much alive.
I write this to you today who may have someone like me in your life and you’re never quite sure what to do when you’re around them. You’re afraid to say anything because your person seems to be so unstable and unpredictable. You’re at a loss so you either say nothing or try to cheer them up somehow. As food for thought, let me pose this reflection:
What are their tears telling you? What are they making you feel? Are they reminding you of something and you just don’t want to go there? In this way, your lamenting friend might be in a better place than you.
I’m so grateful for the ability to weep now. I’ll welcome anything from a misty-eyed moment of beauty to a full-on ocular deluge. I’ll try to be sensitive to the situation, but then again, I may let it flow. I won’t worry about you and how I might make you feel awkward. My emotion is extending a key to you to unlock something in your heart.