I was thinking of tears today.  There are so many different types.  Excited tears, happy tears, sad tears, empathetic tears, angry tears.  Each serves a purpose to relieve one emotion or another.

In the past couple years I have shed my share of sad tears and angry tears.  I found they served the purpose of releasing the emotions in a way that would not damage or destroy something precious to me.

Recently I had a day where I shed two different types of tears for two very different reasons.  I shed happy tears when I found out about a wonderful gift from my father that was completely unexpected.  Later that same day I shed empathetic tears, the kind that cause you to have a runny nose and blubbering sobs.  These tears were caused by watching a video that was released about the boat rescue of the people in Manhattan on 9/11.  As I write about it I feel these empathetic tears on the edge of my eyes and know that I could shed the very same type of tear if I were to watch the video again.

What is it about things – movies, events, families – that no matter how many times you see them or even remember them, you have tears at the same time each time.  Take for instance a movie – any movie – if you cried when you watched it the first time, when you watch it again do you cry in the same part of the story?  I know I do.  Every time sometimes harder then before other times not has much. I find it depends on the movie.  What about families?  I come from a family of criers.  We cry when we get to see each other and we cry when we have to say goodbye again.  It doesn’t matter the length of time between the visits.  It could be one week or one year.  Always the same outcome, the tears are flowing as we hug our hellos  or our goodbyes. Is it the knowing that we might not get to see each other again that causes this or the relief of being in each others company after a long separation.

Why is it though, that no matter what type of tear it is, I always feel the same way?  Physically drained, my eyes and face feel warm and tight, my nose is stuffed, and I feel no relief.  If the tears serve a different purpose, shouldn’t I feel differently each time?  Shouldn’t the reason for the tears be reflected in the way my body feels afterwards?

And if there is no relief by caused shedding the tears, why is there no relief when you hold them in?  If I try to hold my tears in, I end up with a headache and feel much worse then if I shed the tears in the first place.  I have come to the conclusion as I write this, that I am not going to try to change my very nature.  I am naturally emotional, I express my self through my emotions, and if that means that I have to shed a tear or two or even buckets then that is what I will do even when it might make others uncomfortable.


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