It seems odd, even to me, that on a moments notice watching a thirty second commercial I can be overwhelmed to tears. Music can also, arouse such intensity, as can prayer, where I am so overcome with emotion, I find myself crying. TV shows that involve children, especially in harms way, will cause tears that last long after the show is over. I can’t seem to get it out of my mind and tears well up all over again!
I read once if a person is moved to tears, then an emotion has been touched. If that is in a story, it means the author has done his job well! (I’d like to think one day the words I have penned would cause such emotion to the reader.) Humans are said to be the only beings on earth who cry for emotional reasons.
There are other reasons for tears, however. Have you ever noticed a tired baby cries? Studies have shown this same phenomenon applies to adults. The study suggests the reason we cry easily at a commercial is we are tired, and while I won't argue with the findings, I don't know that it is always the case!
Most men will quickly tell you, crying is just for women. A lot of little boys are told “it’s sissy to cry” and many men believe crying is proof of weakness. I disagree. Personally, rather than a display of weakness for a man who cries, I consider it a demonstration of strength. Apparently, however, we women are designed to cry more, because we have an extra X chromosome.
Additionally, we, as humans, live very complicated, busy lives. Stress factors in crying vulnerability. When my stress level is very high, I am quicker to cry than at other times. My emotions, when I’m feeling overwhelmed in a negative kind of way, seems to make me also, more easily offended even when it wasn’t meant in that way, again, causing me to cry.
I’ve heard people say, when dealing with an unpleasant experience, “Don’t you dare start crying, cause you’ll get me started again!” I’ve been there and that indeed happens. My daughter calls my little granddaughters, “sympathy criers.” When one is in trouble or hurting, the other one will cry with her. In fact, recently my daughter took her six month old in for scheduled shots. He received three and never even cried for the first two. He just looked at his momma, with a questioning look of, “Really?” His five-year-old sister on the other hand, who witnessed the infliction of needles, started crying as soon as she saw the evil instrument in the nurse’s hand.
Depression is yet another reason we cry and goes with our emotions being on that higher level I mentioned earlier. When we are sad, our mood is down, and sometimes we might even feel numb due to circumstances we feel are beyond our control. It’s a feeling of despair. Even if it’s temporary, crying seems to soothe the soul even if it doesn’t solve the problem.
I am grateful for the “gift of tears” for whatever reason they come. It’s a genuine way to express emotion, even though we don’t always feel in control when it happens and can even be surprised by the overwhelming feeling of sadness, joy, tenderness or pain which elicits the behavior. So the next time you see someone crying, accept it as perfectly normal; emotions have been touched. You may want to hold them, cry with them, or just accept them, until the “waterfall” passes.