The Softer Side of Tears

Several years ago the jingle for Sears department store – the softer side of Sears – flitted through my mind, then quickly transposed to the softer side of tears.

That reached into my heart. With good reason.

Jingles work. That’s why advertisers use them. The unforgettable ones stick and sales are propped up accordingly. (I always know to set my oven to love at 425 degrees for my take and bake pizza!)

While pizza pies may be jingle friendly, we fare better in our personal pie of life with a heart moisturized by a deep, honest cry from time to time. When life is painful, disappointing, or just plain sucks, it takes more than a meme to soften that dry soil.

It takes the softer side of tears.

There are all kinds of reasons, and sometimes seasons with them, behind the need for a good cry:

  • the occurrence or anniversary of a deep loss, be it the death of a loved one or demise of a close relationship
  • the passing of the baton upon retirement, relocation, or moving on to a new job or endeavor
  • the inevitable change as children grow up and transition from ‘the nest’ to less friendly skies
  • grieving sadness over ‘what might have been’ or ‘what never was’ or ‘wish it had never been’
  • words spoken and thoughts better kept private uttered
  • words unspoken and meaningful thoughts unshared
  • real-time relationships in unrest or disconnectedness
  • loneliness – whether one, or one in the midst of a crowd
  • serious, life-debilitating, and life-threatening health issues; financial stressors gone off the charts
  • fleetingness of life as each year passes more swiftly; the passing of time in seeming slow motion

Brief examples, each listed scenario has the potential for buckets of angry, heated tears; resentful, blaming tears stopped up with a ‘don’t even’ label on the valve; or, as released, dissolving from bitter and unhopeful into the softer side of tears.

The Softer Side of Tears

Emotional tears relieve stress and heal the heart. Biochemists and physicians alike – and, I would include counselors and life coaches – have learned and continue to, hopefully experienced themselves, and witnessed with others, that tears are essential in helping resolve grief and returning a person’s physiology to a calmer state in the midst of difficulty.

To this, I would add that emotional tears can bring beauty and healing with them: which is my definition of the softer side of tears. How rich then to discover that even the sciences agree that tears are healthy:

Judith Orloff, M.D. in her July 27, 2010 article The Health Benefits of Tears, said this in part:

“Crying makes us feel better, even when a problem persists. Tears help us process the loss so we can keep living with open hearts. Otherwise, we are a set up for depression if we suppress these potent feelings.” {emphasis mine} “Thank God our bodies have this capacity. I hope you too can appreciate the experience.”

Whether during the holidays, or reasons and seasons of your year, I close with a soft, encouraging Amen.

~ Nancy

You might also like Beautiful is Blue.

As always, I can be reached here.

Free Photo: Morguefile

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  1. Amen Nancy,
    Tears are great – but after many disappointments – sometimes they don’t come as easily as before.
    But they are precious before Jesus.
    Perhaps that is why He was also called a Man of Sorrows and acquainted with grief.
    Sometimes our emotions are right on the surface and easy to release, especially this time of year.
    Your writings are like the Balm of Gilead.

    • Thank you, Donna. I’ve always loved the verse that tells us God stores up all our tears in a bottle. I have found a balm in knowing that; better than keeping them bottled up. May we learn to pray, “Lord, help me cry.” He understands, as you richly wrote. So glad He does. Merry Soft Christmas to you, my dear friend.

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