We come into this world crying, as it is a natural way to be, yet from that day on, we are told to suppress our tears. We live in a culture of emotional oppression where the suppression of emotions is valued above their free-flowing expression.
From birth to death we are told, chastised and even threatened by those who have walked before us, to keep our eyes dry. Who are we suppressing those tears for, it is certainly not for ourselves, but for the feelings of another. What a crazy world we live in?
We learn from an early age that we are not to cry, especially and more so if you are a boy, big boys don’t cry after all. If only they would then maybe the world would be a better place.
Held back tears cause frustration, anger, and violence.
We suppress our tears when we are children not because we cannot handle our own tears but because the adults around us cannot handle theirs. They too were taught not to cry and cannot stand to see their children crying because it only triggers their inner pain. They have mastered over the years on how to push down their true feelings which has resulted in their hearts becoming hard. They cannot bear to look into the tearful eyes of their children because it reminds them of their unresolved pain, which is still alive inside of their inner child. The last thing they want is for someone to come along and remind them of their suffering. So they chastise and punish their own children because of their inability to be truthful with themselves and admit they too have their own tears.
It is not only our parents who suffocate our emotional expression, society does the same. We hold ourselves back in order to fit in and be one of the herd. It interesting to note that children cry less when they go to school, people think this is because they are growing up but no it is because they have been ridiculed, chastised, embarrassed and shamed into drying their eyes.
Parents see a child’s tears as some reflection upon themselves and often see the child not as an individual with their own emotions but as an extension of themselves. My mother used to say “ stop crying or I will give you something to really cry about “. She used the threat of physical violence to get me to stop. How threatened must she have been at the expression of my pain, how hard had her heart become because she too was taught not to cry. We are told to grow up as if tears are only for children, yet when the ego lessens its grip in old age, we see many old people in tears, no longer can their ego hold back the floodgates.
We are close to the creator at birth and at death and this closeness brings us to tears.
Tears are water they are meant to flow yet we dam them up behind walls of control. We are told to squash our emotions into the tiny space which is our heart, no wonder heart attacks are on the increase, as we as a society become too cool to cry. This cultural expectation of control leads us to constrict our emotions and this results in us stifling our self-expression and thus our unique creativity dies.
When we hold back our tears we do it first and foremost by holding and restricting the breathing. So when we start to meditate and we learn to relax and allow the breathing, often those floodgates are opened and the tears come out, in a tsunami.
“ Tears are the blood of the soul! In meditation, we often touch our hearts, the very essence of our being. We find ourselves coming home. Tears naturally flow when our hearts are received, absorbed, enjoyed deeply. Let the tears come. They may be tears of unresolved feelings, grief, loss but more likely they are just tears. Our heart, our soul is being touched. We feel ourselves, our very being deeply without all the details, demands, stress of our normal day. Tears are washing us, embracing us, bringing us closer to who we really are… Heart full awareness of light, love, clarity, understanding, and grace.”- Bruce Davis