Saturday, 19 September 2015

It's okay to cry (The Catharsis of Tears)

Crying is Okay (The Cathasis of Tears)

“I cry very easily. It can be a movie, a phone conversation, a sunset-tears are words waiting to be written. ”
                     ~Paulo Coelho

Not knowing that releasing emotions can be a sign of strength, we far too often try to hold back our tears. 
A person who knows how to appropriately show emotion without fear of what others think is a strong person in my book.

This week, my mother posted something on Facebook that made me cry. 
Crying is Okay (The Cathasis of Tears)

It reminded me of my late son, Ben and took me down the pathway of "what ifs." What if Ben lived; what if Feb Jr. was a younger brother and no longer regarded as the firstborn; what would my home be like with four boys instead of three... Dwelling on these sad thoughts isn't healthy, but allowing them to pass through and not repressing them is very healthy.

In my hotel room in Port Harcourt this week, I watched the Adam Sandler movie, "Blended." (Yes, even Pastors watch movies sometimes.). In the midst of this comedy, there were scenes that tugged on my heartstrings and made me cry.  One particular scene that inspired tears for me involved the young daughters coming to terms with their mothers death from cancer.

Crying is Okay (The Cathasis of Tears)

Not all tears are sad tears, some are because of beautiful and happy experiences.

My husband took me to dinner on Thursday. As we walked into the restaurant, the melodious sounds of John Legend`s song, “All of Me” played loudly through the speakers and intently set the ambiance of the evening. Befitting for the atmosphere, we walked into a proposal in progress. The young lady was in tears while the young man was nervously excited. As I recorded the proposal on my phone, I could sense myself fighting back the tears.

Crying is Okay (The Cathasis of Tears)
Truthfully, I believe that since the passing of my first son, I am more prone to tears than ever before. I seem to get emotional more over tender, happy moments than sad ones.  I can compartmentalize sad emotions; however, genuine and sentimental moments of love strike an emotional chord with me.  Somehow, experiencing deep pain has opened a part of me that was previously closed.

I hope this post isn't depressing. I'm not trying to make you emotional like I was today, but, I need to make a point.

Tears are healthy.  We cry to release pain, to express joy, to overcompensate for overwhelming hurt, when we have been through a trauma and sometimes out of empathy when we identify with someone else's pain or joy.  I've been pregnant four times and can also attest to the fact that sometimes we cry simply because our hormones get the best of us.

A study performed by Dr. William H. Frey II of the St Paul-Ramsey Medical Centre found that stress-related tears and tears caused by physical irritants like cutting onions do not serve the same purpose.  Stress related tears help your body eliminate unwanted chemicals that raise cortisol levels (the stress hormone). In other words: you’ll feel a whole lot better after the emotional down-pour passes. (

Even Jesus showed emotion in John 11:35 when his beloved Lazarus was dead. the tears Jesus cried demonstrated His love of his friend Lazarus to the Jews.
Crying is Okay (The Cathasis of Tears)

So, the next time your eyes leak, don't feel ashamed. Leaky eyes are a sign of a genuine soul. 

Frankly speaking, tears are not always ideal for our everyday facets of life.  Being confronted by your boss or a public situation may not always be optimal for tears. 

Need some tips on how to control the ol`water works factory?  

1.  Take several slow deep breaths. 
Inhale through your nose, hold for 10 seconds and slowly exhale.
Crying is Okay (The Cathasis of Tears)

2.  Focus on something completely unrelated to the situation that initially inspired the tears.
Recently, I experienced an emotional funeral of a young woman leaving behind three small children. In order to control my tears, I focused on a wet paint posted on the walls of the mausoleum and how many people stained their clothes because of the wet paint. 

3. Change locations. 
Take a walk or go for a drive to clear your mind.
Crying is Okay (The Cathasis of Tears)

4. Play happy music 
Usually praise music works for me.
Crying is Okay (The Cathasis of Tears)

5. Laugh at yourself for losing control.
Crying is Okay (The Cathasis of Tears)

It is not helpful to always take yourself so seriously; laughter is food for the soul.

6. Discuss the issue. 
Talk about the issue making you sad with a non-judgmental friend who has good listening skills.
Crying is Okay (The Cathasis of Tears)
7. Cry it out. 
Sometimes the best therapy is to just cry.  A good occasional cry never hurt anyone.
Crying is Okay (The Cathasis of Tears)

8. Pray. "From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I." Psalms 61:2. 
Crying is Okay (The Cathasis of Tears)
So, in case you're reading this and wondering if I cry all the time; I don't.  I'm probably one of the most happy, optimistic, non-teary people you'll ever meet, but, even happy people need a good cry sometimes.

My prayer for you is that you will be able to find the right balance for your emotional responses. I pray that your life will be filled with reasons to cry tears of joy rather than tears of sadness. 


  1. Amen!
    So inspiring and soul lifting
    Thank you Rev.

    1. Thank you so much for reading and commenting, Cynthia.

  2. Today, I asked this same question. Is it Ok to cry? I wondered especially about the fact that most times crying happens when you are thinking of the "what ifs" and that's not very healthy like you said. Great to know someone else was thinking the same thing. I do love happy tears. When I'm sad and feel like crying I pray, better to cry to God dan in self pity.
    Nice write up

  3. I really enjoyed this. Some people think that when I cry, I am weak; however, unless there is a sad event, a movie, etc., I cry when I get very angry. I think this might be a mechanism to keep me from "exploding" when I am so angry. (this does not happen often) And, that is a good thing for me. I am not usually a person who cries easily; but, when my heart strings are pulled, I will cry. To me crying is something that each person has to evaluate in their own lives. I sometimes really do feel much better after a good cry. The best tears to shed are the tears of joy unspeakable in our Lord. God will continue to bless you and your family so mightily.

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  5. Interesting post ma'am! one that inspired me so much that I took a pen and just kept writing.
    Used to think I was the only one who had the so called "weird water problem" starting from when babies cry to when I watch a movie like one of my favorite movies "blended" . I lost someone so dear to me sometime ago and I was the attention of the family for a whole year... everyone waiting for me to do something crazy or just "pop".. but then the day I wasbin the most unreasonable place ever to cry a river..."the market".. reality hit me so hard that i forgot all I was to do and just sat in a kind woman's corner and cried my eyes out!...some days though..I'm able to control such rush of emotions. ..some days I'm not so lucky. .My mum would usually say...its kind of a crime to be such a bubbly spirit and still hold this amount of tears and I'll just smile. thanks laurie for teaching me some new techniques.Today I've learned something from my director that I can't wait to try. have fun in God's presence today ma'am! .

  6. You're a good writer
    You should think of publishing books you know...
    Nice post!!!
    Amen to your prayers


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