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Stories of Tears

Updated: Jun 12, 2023

I am a crier myself – meaning that I often find myself in tears in situations where others don’t. Odd things can bring me to tears – hearing people sing happy birthday, seeing kids in line to see Santa Claus. But, like others, I also cry at sad movies, at sappy Hallmark ads, beautiful sunsets over oceans, at weddings and over the lyrics of songs. When I saw a book at the used bookstore entitled. THE CRYING BOOK, I knew I had to have it. It is a collection of short vignettes about why we cry, where we cry, what tears are etc.

At two recent retreats the issue of tears came up. In the first one we began the retreat by going around the circle saying why we were there. One woman began speaking and then began to cry saying she didn’t know why she was crying. The retreat leader so kindly said that when we cry, we have taken off all our armor. It happens when we are safe. As he talked to the group about tears, he himself became tearful. Which opened up the armor we all were carrying but didn’t know it.

At another retreat when the subject of tears arose as we were singing, the leader said. “oh yes, tears are saltwater salutes to whatever is happening.”

There are beautiful small tear bottles that date back to ancient times – called “lachrymatory” – small glass vessels made to hold tears. They are often held in filigree of silver. I want to have a stash of those that I could give to my friends where they cry. You can apparently see them in Egyptian museums.

A Jungian analyst friend of mine told of a time when a woman was telling a story in therapy and her tears collected on her sweater. When she looked down, they had turned into diamonds. May that be so for all of us!!

Many blessings on your tears. May they be treasured, known as doorways into what is most important. And may you often find yourself in settings in which they are welcomed.

“When you were born, you cried

And the world rejoiced.

Live your life so that when you die,

The world cries and you rejoice.”


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