Why We Cry
I just had a pretty epic meltdown.
It was one of those sobbing fits of rage that just hit’s you almost out of the blue.
It’s the kind that you berate yourself for, while simultaneously collapsing into the floor, or the pillow on your bed, convulsing in heaves of inexplicable pain and grief.
Despite your arguments with it, it feels utterly helpless to do anything but let the tidal force of sorrow crash through you like a slow-moving wave. Stirring up the mud of your stifled emotions, and purging ecstatic debris to dry land.
And when it is done, there is a moment of incredible stillness.
Where you can only hear your own exhausted breathing, pressed up against the void.
That is when I saw it.
That is when I saw for myself that every tear that’s ever been cried in all of human history, was cried in the name of one thing, and that is: Grief.
We cry as if we’re at a funeral, and we do so, because we ARE.
We’re at a funeral for the self. We are standing over the loss of our own precious life-force, and weeping that we have lost it once again.
When I say “self“, I do not mean your body — or your personality.
I mean the precious ineffable beauty you were before you were born, and will continue to be when this body’s time is up.
The ultimate self. The self beyond self-hood.
We think we cry because we are overwhelmed, or frightened, or stressed, or angry, or just “feeling sad”. But the truth is that we cry because we sense that something absolutely precious has been lost, and we are wailing inside for the loss of that preciousness.
That preciousness is you. That preciousness is me. That preciousness is all of us.
Every time we go into a thought or story about the past, or the future, or another person – we step outside of the present, we step outside of ourselves, we step outside of who we are, and we leave ourselves alone — right here and now. The present is where life IS — and you ARE Life.
Everything else is just a thought. A painful story you are telling yourself in your head-space. And if you are out in the story — who is here with you? Who is here with the HEART of you?
And so we crumple into cleansing sobs, as we realize — for the gillianth time,
what it costs us to live outside of ourselves.
We weep over the body of our beautiful self, the one we have killed in the name of concepts like “better”, “more”, “faster”, “should”, “shouldn’t”, etc. etc. Each adjective that argues with the present, is like a knife wound to the heart of your precious self.
But, my love,
this does not mean we do not cry.
This means we cry like an F-ing BABY because we finally understand what we’re crying about.
You cry until your eyes puff shut, my love.
You cry rivers and rivers and buckets of tears.
You cry your sweet eyes out until the well is all empty.
For when the well is empty…
clear water rises up.
It is from that fullness that your human-heart flowers.
It is from THAT fullness that happy tears are shed.
Because there is nothing left but understanding.
Until it’s time to
P.S. – even happy tears are sprouted from grief. They are the unavoidable result of the deep realization and recognition of how absolutely FLEETING and precious this life is, and every being in it. Except you are connected to yourself, so instead of just sadness, it feels like the most staggeringly beautiful mixture of joy and sadness all at once. This is when we get to see how wonderful – even sadness – truly is.