Long ago I realized something about myself... something that I know will never change, because it is part of who I am... part of what makes me me. I have stopped apologizing for it for just that reason. And when it happens out in public, I have learned to take it in stride... and not worry if someone is staring, or smirking. Because I just can't help it... I just can't stop the tears escape my heart and roll down my face. Happy tears, sad tears, tears of relief...you name them, I seem to have them.
Sometimes the tears are quite justified... the sad ones, I suppose. I have cried a million tears, or more, over missing my husband while he has been away on deployments. And over loved ones lost. Sobs have simply taken over my heart and my body until the voice of reason slips into my mind and quietly whispers What are you going to do, cry forever?
And I cry a lot at church... I don't usually even realize it until the rivers of salty tears have reached the corners of my mouth. It might be a song that speaks to my soul... or a sermon that seems just for me... or it might be that in His house, I have been stripped of all the protective layers of Me, so that I can best worship as the woman God intended me to be.
But the tears that are always closest to the surface are the tears of empathy, and the tears that love. When my eyes take in a scene from a movie, or from a Hallmark commercial (or worse yet, a Kodak commercial from back when they were selling film!) that celebrates life or in which a dream has been fulfilled, I can feel it... I can feel the happiness of the moment, as if it were my moment... and something catches in my throat, which pulls a string that is wrapped around my heart, which in turn, opens the flood gates that are my eyes. We were in a cold dark movie theatre- My Mom, Bob, and my sister- watching Cinderella... and how she could dream... how she could just keep on dreaming, never losing hope... Yes, it made me cry... and it made my Mom cry... and we have never lived it down. Bob & Tina just laugh... or shake their heads in confusion. But the story... it is real. How many times have I held onto a dream, never giving up? Whether the dream comes to fruition or not, we have put a lot of ourselves into that dream... and to never give up hope can take a lot out of you... and so to see a dream come true starts the tears bubbling up.
Crying, for me, is simply a way of my life. When teardrops fall, I know that my emotions are alive. Sometimes I can close my eyes, and breathe in, and hold my tears behind closed doors... and sometimes, it feels good to just let them roll. Because for me, I have learned that my well of tears come from great love... great love that spills up and over the boundaries of my heart... No, I wouldn't trade the love or the tears for anything- because I would be nothing, without love.