- by Dr Craig
For me, tears are usually healing. I do understand that there is such a thing as depressive crying in which someone cries continually in a way that keeps them stuck in replaying the same emotional movie over and over. In this essay, I am not talking about depressive crying; rather, I am talking about some instances in which tears the tears of others have felt healing, and in which I was the stimulus for the tears.
There have been a good number of occasions during which I have said something to touch someone’s heart while they were standing over me in my wheelchair or leaning over me when I am lying down, and their tears dropped on my skin. Within the past few months or so, I was deeply touched when this happened with a person who had only worked with me for a few times began to shed tears on my arm.
This woman was holding the urinal while I was using it and while this was happening I found myself beginning to share something heavy that had been weighing on my heart. I kind of surprised myself when my words flowed out so beautifully about something that until that moment had chiefly existed in the realms of my heart and mind.
I told her that my life was currently seeming particularly challenging and difficult, and that I found myself having the thought that I was not sure how many more years I wanted to live like this. Then I told her the truth that resulted in a few of her tears sprinkling down on my bare forearm. I told her that I know that I am here to serve Allah through having a loving influence on the planet, as long as I am here. I am not able to accurately recall what I said, because it felt like such a spontaneous experience of heartfelt expression. I believe that I may have also said something about surrendering to using my life for good, regardless of whether my personality likes it or not–that I must endure and serve with gratitude.
I felt so honored, as her watery eyes revealed a greater depth of her soul. For me, having my presence be instrumental in some way to open up a greater soul expression for someone feels quite meaningful. I also feel grateful that there must be something about this person’s presence that helped create the field in which I found myself openly expressing my existential quandary. This person told me that what I had said was exactly what they needed to hear.
Prior to the teardrops landing on my forearm, I noticed that I was experiencing some relief as I seemed to feel the truth behind the words that were flowing through me with confidence. There are so many gifts to be found in such seemingly small experiences. I love the feeling of having my journey inspire or touch hearts. The moment I realized how deeply they were touched, I had a transformative experience regarding how I viewed my handling of my challenges. In that moment, I realized that the way I was approaching my grappling with the issue pressing upon my mind was…inspiring. I sometimes do see the gifts that I have in my life, and some of them I only see with the help of others.
Most of the time, people are laughing with me rather than crying, and these joyful times are what fill many shelves of the “movie” memory library of my mind; yet, there are many beautiful memories of healing tears as well. Sometimes the tears are mine and sometimes they pour forth from another; regardless of the eyes from which they pour forth, the tears are accompanied by a depth of the heart opening, and that is what matters.
With love and gratitude,
Craig Oster, PhD