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The Comfort of Tears

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We All Need an Emotional Release

Public or Private

As far back as we can remember, we have always been told not to cry. Even when we shed tears because we felt bad or hurt, Mom or Dad would insist, "Now, stop that! You're such a cry baby!" And as our little brothers grew up they were constantly reminded that "men don't cry".

Crying, just like laughter and fits of anger, is a natural expression of perfectly human emotions. Its purpose is to relieve an explosive feeling we have inside.

That overpowering urge that cannot be contained. Those emotions that if suppressed can lead to discomfort, stress, or even a nervous breakdown.

Don't Hold Back

the Comfort of Tears

We Are All Emotional Beings

Why do we cry? We're not talking about the crying that happens when there are irritants in our eyes like dust, harmful vapors, or the sting of slicing onions. We're talking about crying emotional tears. And this happens for various reasons.

Overflowing happiness often leads to tears. Laughter and tears tandem so very naturally when long-lost loved ones finally get together again. A father can seldom hold back his tears as he embraces his daughter who just won the gold medal.

A young man will happily shed tears for his best friend who had survived a car accident. When in a special moment when we feel truly happy, some of us jump for joy but most of us smile and shed a tear.

Let It All Out

the Comfort of Tears

The Power of Feelings

Many of us are gifted with empathy. A friend's sad plight affects us and makes us cry. Me, I must admit that "sad movies always makes me cry". And I am fortunate to have a sad-movies male companion who sheds tears even faster than I do.

He doesn't care if I see him cry. Empathy is shown. We both find it easy to relate to the characters in a movie, a play, even a cartoon, that as soon as a tender moment comes on, we beat each other to the box of tissues.

Of course, these shows always have happy endings so we eventually find ourselves laughing our way out of the theater, red-eyed, but feeling quite good inside. We both believe that crying in the movies helps us relieve our day-to-day stress.

Pain Is a Powerful Motivator

And yes, tears are always associated with pain. Pain is the most common cause of tears. Emotional pain more than physical pain. Even the strongest, most courageous man will shed tears when suffering emotional pain.

For being human, all of us are vulnerable to the pain caused by the sense of loss. Being separated from a loved one, whether temporarily as in a foreign assignment, or indefinitely as in a break-up or a divorce, or permanently as in death, drives the toughest individual to tears.

Sadness, aloneness, and longing, are powerful emotions that knows no best release other than tears. Sure we may try distracting ourselves with hobbies, parties, or vacations, until we eventually get used to the absence. But a good cry lets us accept the situation, allows us to come to terms with our feelings, and takes us across the darkness onto a better perspective of the new scheme of things.

Crying Is Good for the Soul

Handling Defeat and Failures

Much like in separation, there is the pain in defeat. We try our best, spend all our lives on that goal to be a winner, but when the moment comes, we fail and we are devastated. And all we could do is cry. So we cry. We let all the frustration out. All the disappointment in ourselves was overbearing. And when that's done, we move on to another day, another goal, another challenge.

Quite obviously, tears are never the solution to pain or defeat. No amount of crying will bring back a girlfriend who had found another love. And the darkest eye bags won't send you back in time so that you can win instead of lose.

Tears are the human body's manner of expressing intense emotions, of easing the tension inside. When we let our tears flow, we accept our limitations and frailties as human beings, and by doing so we quickly regain strength to wipe them away, open our eyes, lift our heads, and move on.

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