We Need Never Be Ashamed of Our Tears
“Heaven knows we need never be ashamed of our tears, for they are rain upon the blinding dust of earth, overlying our hard hearts. I was better after I had cried, than before — more sorry, more aware of my own ingratitude, more gentle.”, wrote Charles Dickens in his novel Great Expectations.
For some reason the key words for me are “we need never be ashamed of our tears.” They grabbed me when I read the familiar line on an inspirational calendar. The entire quote came flooding into my mind and I Googled it to be sure I had it right. I did!
Look at and listen to those words: Blinding dust of earth, overlying our hard hearts, better after I had cried, more sorry, more aware, more gentle. WOW! That’s a lot of accurate emotion crammed into one simple description. (that’s Charles Dickens, huh?!)
Crying is healthy. It’s a release. It helps us cope. As Dickens describes, “I was better after I had cried, than before…” After a good hard cry, I often do feel much better. Somehow the tears wash in healthier coping mechanisms, happier memories. And they (mostly) wash out whatever sadness, anger, grief, frustration caused them in the first place. During a good, hard cry (as opposed to a weepy, simple, wet eye experience), my entire body, my entire Being, is involved. Finally, at the end, I’m exhausted … and more gentle. I never thought about crying quite this way.
There is research and there are facts about crying. According to AgingCare.com, research shows that:
· 85% of women and 73% of men felt less sad and angry after crying.
· On average, women cry 47 times a year, men cry 7 times a year.
· Crying bouts last 6 minutes on average.
· Tears are more often shed between 7 and 10 p.m.
There was a time that I cried 147 times a year! Today I’m closer to the men’s average of 7. Why is that?
My theory is that I am living my authentic life today…I am more Me than I’ve ever been. I understand that my thoughts, choices and beliefs create the reality of my life. I create my own Reality! When the reality I had created was totally off my life’s path, when I allowed myself to be controlled and undermined, when I was not living My Life, I cried a lot.