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It’s A Crying Shame

Recently I had the wonderful opportunity to see my first opera, Le Bome.
As I listened to the live orchestra and the singing I thought, life could not be any more
exquisite than this. A quite beautiful and powerful performance.
But there was a veil over this exquisiteness.
At the end of the story we all knew one of the characters would die.
Knowledge of this withstanding, as the music climaxed and the character passed I felt tears
fighting their way out. I had connected to the characters and their life.
I tried to think of cats in yoga poses, whatever I could think
of to fight back those unwanted tears.
I did not want to be blubbering at the opera.

As the lights came on and everybody got up from their seats I turned to my mother and
tears were streaming down her face.

What is it about crying?
Is it a sign of weakness or shame?
Sure it can take a bit of effort to keep tears away.
However, would it be more powerful to let them fall?

Why is it thought of as weak to cry (especially for men) when it is a natural occurrence?
It is okay to be happy, okay even to be mad..those feelings are natural too.
Tears elicit a different response.

You would not catch a business man or business woman crying in the office.
Both would lose credibility and respect.

Why?
Is it because one feels powerless of the thought to surrenders to tears?

My mother and I recently gave a homeless person a ride to a shelter.
She had an appointment and was late. She was also apparently high.
We gave her the ride and then my mother burst into tears.
So sad for this human being to be struggling so much.
I told my mother she is where she needs to be and can get help.
Through my mother’s tears there was that connection to another human being.
Be it a strange but no less human and no less different than myself or my mother.

Recently, on a Nature show I watched a Lemur make a decision to either stay with her weak
baby and risk becoming an outsider to her group or leave her baby to certain death to follow the group.
She went back to her baby five times,no tears came from her eyes but her anguish was clear.
She looked towards the group as they moved away and she looked at her baby.
It was heartbreaking, the decision this mother had to make for survival.

Animals have emotions and we are animals. We are a part of, not divided from Nature.
To deny the basic emotion of tears is to deny a part of ourselves, a part of Nature, a part of the Divine.

Tears are connected to the ocean, the womb of Mother Earth.
When one cries one is connecting to Mother Earth and to power beyond what words convey.
Through tears we connect to Divinity, ourselves and others. Creature or otherwise.
Many times deep purposeful action occurs after the sadness of tears have fallen.

I believe it is a necessary step towards one’s enlightenment to accept tears.
Accept the grace to which we have been bestowed, the gift of empathy and let it be known.

So let the ocean fall from your eyes.
May you be cleansed. Surrender not to one’s will but one’s heart.
May you find the power to change what needs changing from within and from without.
May your tears fill you with love.
The connection that binds us all.