I’ve always had a tendency to cry a lot. I can remember crying as a child & not knowing why – having my family ask why I was crying & not being able to answer them because I didn’t know! But I knew it wasn’t because I was sad.
Throughout my adult years I have, on occasion, found my tears to be embarrassing and have worried about them enough to let them stop me from doing things I wanted to do, especially when working in male environments or with groups of people.
I remember receiving really positive feedback from a male boss once and crying – I was embarrassed at how uncomfortable the situation was because he didn’t know what to do or say to me. I’ve also on several occasions, during coaching or action learning, felt unnerved whilst looking people the eye with my eyes full of tears and asking them the searching questions I know are important for them.
I cried at the birth of my children (perhaps unsurprisingly) and often cry when meeting friends’ babies for the first time. I cry when others cry. I cry when I can see something is painful for someone else. I cry when I feel powerless, I cry when I feel sad, I cry at injustice, I cry when I’m relieved. Don’t be mistaken in thinking that all my crying is heaving & sobbing, often it is just my eyes silently filling with tears.
I do think that quite often tears are interpreted as sadness or perhaps an inability to cope with a situation. We often assume the reason for another person’s tears when we don’t really know …sometimes when they don’t even know themselves.
Recently with a coaching client my eyes filled with tears and she asked me why I was crying (in a curious not critical way). I considered her question for a while and answered ‘connection’.
Afterwards I reflected on this some more… wondering if it really was as I’d said ‘connection’. I’m talking here about the unexplained tears – the tears that aren’t caused by sadness, joy, powerlessness, etc. As I considered, I remembered a weekend course I’d attended where I’d spent the majority of the weekend in tears. For some reason I’d felt intensely connected with the 30 or so people I’d shared the weekend with. So much so that on the Monday morning I’d felt adrift in the world somehow – without anything to anchor me – and I put the feeling down to having had such an intense connection and then losing it. As I left the course on the Sunday afternoon two people told me separately how my tears are ‘a gift’ and that I should always keep them and never try to suppress them… something I’ve found has helped me to reframe my crying and find comfort in ever since.
I’ve recently noticed that when receiving words and images during meditation, as I decipher them, still in my meditation, questioning their meaning, I begin to cry.
On 11/11/11 at 11.11 I took part in a world peace meditation sending light and love out to the world. I was overwhelmed by a feeling of love and the received the words ‘you are loved’. As I thought about it & wondered if I’d ‘heard’ correctly I suddenly burst into tears.
In other meditations, and more recently outside of my meditations, I’ve been receiving insights which, when I question my understanding of, move me to tears. One of those insights in the last 3 months was “I cry when I’m right about the insight I think I’m receiving” – it made me cry – confirming to me that my tears are indeed my soul’s truth! When I connect with my divine source and correctly interpret a message I cry and know that’s the message I’m supposed to receive.
So, I was right when I said its connection that makes me cry – connection to my source, my soul, the universe. I also think its connection with others (souls?) and I think that’s why I cry when I meet babies! I remember when my children were born, looking into their eyes, saying to them ‘so, that’s who you are’ and feeling that deep connection.
As part of the weekend course I mentioned above, we did an exercise where we spent a few minutes looking into the eyes of another to see what our intuition told us about that person. I remember really sobbing, not because I saw sadness (I remember quite clearly getting a message of ‘great strength’), the tears were our souls connecting!
I’ve noticed lately that my freeness to cry (not that I have much choice in the matter!) is empowering to others and allows them the freedom to cry – helping them to open up and to perhaps be vulnerable and connect with others. I believe tears are not just my way of knowing my soul’s truth, but others too. Just yesterday someone told me that I had helped her to reframe tears in herself – reframed from being a weakness to being a connection with soul.
On a meditation day the other week, we did a meditation where we asked our soul what it needed, one person there said she didn’t know what her soul was telling her, but that she kept getting something about truth and as she said truth she started to cry & said ‘and for some reason that makes me tearful’ – which told us that was the meaning she was supposed to get …the tears gave it away!
So, next time you have an urge to cry, allow it, let it out and just wonder what your tears are about – perhaps they’re sadness, perhaps they’re joy or just maybe they’re your soul telling you something…
- What makes you cry?
- How do you feel about your tears?
- Just suppose it was your soul telling you something, what would it be?
I’d love to hear from you… either by leaving a comment here or @ThePensiveCoach
PS. As I was writing this I just received a phone call telling me of the birth of a baby of someone close to me… can you guess my reaction?! 🙂