02/27/2014 06:44 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

The Gift of Tears

There is a gift in the falling of a tear. It is a human way of cleansing the soul. Shedding tears bathes us in the healing properties of salt water. As the tears leave us we are both emptied and restored. Water conducts those highly-charged emotions and feelings that course through our veins.

We weep because we feel, and we feel because we're all emotional, and we're emotional because we care. Or should. I'll just step up onto that soapbox for a second and get all judgmental and say that if you don't care then you should. We all should. We all should care more. About everything.


Why do we shed tears? Because we are sad, angry, frustrated, disappointed or wronged. We shed tears for our selves, our families, our friends. For poor test scores, rejections, failures. We shed tears for people we don't know and outcomes we don't understand and we shed tears for war and cruel behavior. We shed tears for poverty, we shed tears for not being able to afford the red shoes that we want and we shed tears when we feel unloved and alone.

But tears are not only for woes. We weep a stream of tears of joy continuously from the moment our children emerge from our bodies covered in goo to their first steps on up through school (okay, a whole lot of not-so-fab tears get shed during the teen years, but I digress, and even those tears I would argue are restorative to the soul) and through to marriage and their own children and futures. We shed bittersweet tears at every milestone in their lives as they move further away from us and into their own worlds.

Dear friend, I ask you, is that so bad?

There is a richness to an emotional life. A gift in feeling. It is a blessing to be aware enough of that which goes on inside and around us. It is a great gift to us as human beings that we can take in, process, and express our feelings.

Consider the alternative. Exploding? I think not.