Strangely enough, one of my fondest memories as a child involves riding in my father’s car as I stared out the rear window through tear-swept eyes.
Street lights seemed faded and turned by rain, and each block curved and twisted as my eyes grew accustomed to a wet and somber viewing, flush with life and a full breadth of pain.
These were the inspiring and yet dark moments of childhood when I found out who I was because I allowed myself the space and time to deeply feel my own feelings, including sadness and grief.
As human beings, one of the first things we do on this complicated and beautiful earth is cry. Leaving the warm and protected nest of our mother’s womb, we cry as we breathe in our first gasps of air while our parents delight in the fact that we are alive.
But somewhere along the way, early on in the innocence of childhood, we are taught that tears are to be kept to ourselves, and that crying is a sign of weakness, immaturity and even selfishness.
But nothing can be further than the truth, as the honest feelings of sorrow and the act of crying is not only necessary, but healing in the most profound of ways.
When I first discovered the beauty of quiet tears that sometimes came on suddenly like a hailstorm, and at others like a petal-strewn cemetery blown clear by August winds . . . I gasped in relief.
I have found that by allowing myself to shed authentic tears, I have been able to cleanse my mind, body and soul in a way that no meditation has. It is also an entirely personal act that can deeply connect one to a spiritual path and calling, if you will.