December 9, 2008
Let It Flow
From the Daily OM
How wonderful it feels to give in and let tears flow when we are overwhelmed with emotions, whether we are happy or sad. Tears come from the soul, from our well of feelings rising from deep down. When we give in to the prickling behind our eyes and the lump in our throat to let teardrops fall from our eyes, we allow our feelings to surface so they can be set free.
Proud parents shed tears of pride in a child’s accomplishments, a baby’s first step, birthdays, and graduations. Long lost friends fall into each other’s arms, tears rolling down their cheeks when they reunite after years of separation. Tears may flow from us when we are witness to a commitment being made at a wedding or even while we are watching a love story. Tears of relief may spring forth from our eyes when we hear that a loved one has survived an ordeal, and tears may fall when we bow our head in sorrow over a loss or death. Tears born from heartache can flow like they’ll never cease, whether our tears are for a love that is over, a friendship lost, or an opportunity missed. We shed tears because of disappointment in ourselves, tragedy in the world, pain, and illness. Tears of anger can burn with emotion as they fall down our faces. Tears offer us a physical release of our feelings.
Shedding tears can sometimes make us feel better, although it can feel like the tears will never end once the floodgates are open. There is no shame in letting tears flow freely and frequently. Tears are as natural to us as is breathing. There is beauty in allowing yourself to be vulnerable enough to shed tears. Open up, release your tears, and let your feelings flow.
How do you feel?
Comment: John Nakagawa Posted Dec 10, 2008 10:23 AM
When I was little I saw a TV show where studies were done comparing tears from people cutting onions to tears from people watching sad movies. It changed my life. I saw that “onion tears” are chemically mostly water. “Sad movie tears” or emotional tears, on the other hand, are chemically very different. They contain toxins. We expel these toxins from our bodies via emotional tears. Not crying stops the tears from washing out the toxins and detoxifying our bodies. By not crying we retain and reabsorb these toxins. Crying is as necessary as eating and going to the bathroom! So in a sense when we cry emotional tears, we are detoxifying ourselves.
In the same way we detoxify our physical bodies – colon cleanse, liver cleanse, etc. I believe we need to also pay attention to detoxifying our emotional bodies. On physical levels we find a safe place and cry, on an emotional level we guide ourselves to healing emotions of higher and higher levels, on a mental level we can affirm that there is no shame in crying and that it is human. Shared tears can help our hearts bond. Communicating our feelings via tears can help others understand how we are feeling beyond words. Seeing where toxic emotions are coming our way and steering clear of them can make the sail down life’s river of tears more pleasant. May you have many tears of laughter, beauty and inspiration.
Biochemist William Frey (Crying: The Mystery of Tears, Winston Press, Texas, 1977) compared the normal moisturizing tear with the tear caused by emotion and found that stressful tears contained ACTH or adrenocorticotrophic hormone. ACTH is a hormone associated with high blood pressure, heart problems, peptic ulsers and other physical conditions closely related to stress.
Dr. Frey's lab also chemically examined tears produced by onions and compared them with emotional tears. While chemical tears (caused by onions) were 98 percent water, emotional tears contained more toxins.
Dr. Margaret Crepeau of Marquette University College of Nursing studied 100 men and women with stress-related disorders - 50 with ulcers, 50 with colitis, an inflammation of the colon. She compared them to 50 healthy persons of similar age and life circumstances . . . those with the two stress-related disorders were more likely than the healthy people to regard crying as a sign of weakness or loss of control. And, according to their own reports, those who were ill were less likely to cry in a variety of situations.
"There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than 10,000 tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition, and of unspeakable love." ~ Washington Irving