Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Life's Tears

I return, today, to a thought shared two years ago. For, this morning, I sense a ready and wanting Soul looking and listening for what lies in this reflection.

“Dad…Why do you always cry? You cry when you are happy and you cry when you are sad. Why?”

I knew that this was one of those rare moments when my concrete thinking daughter was open to an insight that could have long-lasting consequences in the development of her ability to relate to her feelings. I had best be brief, succinct, and accurate. “Please God” I silently prayed.

“I cry because I allow myself to feel… and tears are an important part of the feeling system. You see, Sweetheart, we were created with our hearts capable of feeling both joy and sadness. But our hearts can’t contain too much of either. So…we have a safety system that keeps our hearts from breaking if we feel too much of either sadness or joy. The extra comes out as tears. They can be happy tears or sad tears. But they both come out so that our hearts don’t have too much of either to hold. Because I permit myself to feel a lot… I have a lot of extra.”

Those with whom I have shared the first part of my emerging book 'Why I Am Here and You Are There', will know that I live my life in response to the leading of “The Master Gardener” as my “still, small” inner voice speaks to my heart. Today I awoke with the recollection of the dialogue (with my daughter) that I just shared with you and an acute sense that there is someone, some “plant” in the “Master Gardener’s” care that is in need of the nurturing benefit of this little message of encouragement. In my capacity of “Minister of Manure” I am compelled, by previous commitment to the Master, to spread some of the “compost” of my past experience where preparation has been made and a receptive heart is readied. So, My Friend, whoever and wherever you are, here is the answer to your petition.

Go ahead… it is OK… allow yourself to feel… to embrace…to experience… to savor life as it is being presented to you at this very moment. Your heart will not break… tears will protect it from the hazard of too much (and the garden all around you will benefit from the watering of the excess of your courageous participation in the adventure at hand.) Live life… all of it…saving it is not an option… invest YOURSELF in living. And if tears are the result… let all (your children, your family, your friends) know that the tears are from a heart overflowing with the excess of living life.


Rosie said...

What an incredibly insightful and moving post, a delight to read, it brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for the wonderful comments you have left on my blog. They are always so incredibly helpful and unlifting, and I am very grateful.

Shrinky said...

Gee, my garden surely needs some extra drainage installed by now! (You don't happen to know of any reliable workmen, by any chance?)

Beautiful words my friend, and oh, so true. Smile.

John-Michael said...

Rosie, I thank you for your kindness!

John-Michael said...

Let's see now Shrinky ... "workmen", "reliable" ... seems that we have an irreconcilable dichotomy in terms in play here. Alas!

Thanks for the kindness (and the smile, no less.)

Classic Charm said...

Wow...I'm speechless.

CrazyCath said...

Wow. Very moving and powerful. I too have conversations like that with my children. There is nothing wrong with emotion or showing it. But I'm going to save your explanation for them because it is the best I have ever seen!

John-Michael said...

Rose, My Darlin', you made me smile so BIG that I feel my ears participating. Bless you!

John-Michael said...

Thank you Cath!

I have appreciated responses to this idea from physicians who have commented that the illustration is a psychologically and physically sound one. If we allow ourselves the 'safety valve' of expressing our emotions, we 'empty out' potentially damaging stresses.

Your pleasure makes me happy!

Lizzy in the Burbs said...

John-Michael, (or should I say Juan Miguel?) :o)

LOVED your comment to my name post, you gave me a good laugh this morning! It really doesn't matter HOW your dear mom came about the name, just the fact that she loved it, right?

This post really spoke to me. Our hearts surely do need a safety valve, don't they? Otherwise, those pent up feelings come out in such destructive ways sometimes. Very wise advise!


John-Michael said...

Lizzy, You wickedly delightful Lady! I simply KNEW that you would enjoy my "dear mom's" story. Oh well ... so much for 'dignity.'

I also knew that someone who has her sensitivity and caring setting on 'infinite' would appreciate the thought of this post ... and YOU, My Darling Friend, qualify!

nitebyrd said...

Touching words, J-M. Sometimes allowing oneself to feel too much is just painful. I do like the thought that the tears come from an overflowing of life. I'll need to think about that.

John-Michael said...

NightByrd, My Dear, Because I do understand the diversity of temperament/personality types, I appreciate those who are comfortable with life lived closer to the emotional mid-line. As one of the small minority who live with emotional immersion as my norm, I am given comfort in my assurance that I can rely on my tears as evidence of a wonderful safety valve system in working order.

Jules~ said...

John Michael...I love your explanation of tears. That is a beatiful way to explain in simple terms one of the many unique things we were created with.

"Minister of Manure"?! I LOVE it!

Jules~ said...

Okay, I was curious about the banter with you and Lizzie in the Burbs and what your name story was about so I found your comment and read. That is so cute! I love it.
So your name doesn't have "noble bearing" from the beginning. It is okay. It is what you make of it. Besides, "Juan Miguel" is so very romantic and there is no denying that you are a passionate romanticist at heart.

John-Michael said...

I am happy that you like it Jules.

The "Minister of Manure" thing was the result of a chat that I had with God one morning. I asked what He intended that I do with all of the accumulated 'dung' that all of my life mishaps had left. He said that I could leave it in a big stinking heap or let Him guide me to useful purposes for His application when and where the 'compost of my experiences' could be beneficial. "So, You are asking me if I want to be your 'Minister of Manure'?" I asked "Yep, pretty much it!" was His reply. We then shared a good laugh. It is good to laugh with god!

(though my newspaper customers might have been a bit uneasy with me driving around the neighborhood laughing ... Oh Well!)

Melissa said...

I'm glad to know I'm the only one tearing up here. You insight will never be considered manure in my book!!

John-Michael said...

Jules, You are SUCH a joy!

The Myers/Briggs test removed any possible dispute about my being the "passionate romanticist" that you mention.

I do wonder, though, how much 'influence' my mother's sleazy-romantic-novel induced state of mind (whilst I was 'in the oven',)had on that development? (REALLY! I have wondered.)

John-Michael said...

Precious Melissa ... How you do touch my heart! Thank you, Dear One, for your kindness.

Crystal Jigsaw said...

I love a good cry. My father who passed in 2001 was a very emotional man and I hear his cries often.

Crystal xx

John-Michael said...

To feel, to taste, to listen to, see, and know Life in all of her wondrous facets is to be free to laugh uproariously, and to cry without reserve.

This is complete, spare not the horses, living. And your Dad obviously had some understanding of this. What a lesson for him to teach and pass on!

Vienna for Beginners said...

You put in beautiful words what I believe too. Where would we be without tears?

(Today, I followed David's tracks!)

John-Michael said...

Your endorsement is an encouragement.

I too am comfortable following a path provided by David.

Lee said...

From a girl who once learned how not to cry (because of a guy) and now works, with the help of the Lord, to get that back, "Thank you!" Tears are vital to our emotional and spiritual health. Without them we become dry, bitter, and cracked, with all the joy disappearing from inside.

I came over from David's, btw.


John-Michael said...

From a guy who, in full USMC uniform, was comfortable standing at attention and saluting the flag whilst our national anthem played ... with tears flowing down his Marine Corps Sergeant face ... I will pray with you, for your freedom of emotion, and a sense of safety and comfort in allowing those emotions to be known.

Thank you, Lee, for trusting David's guidance (I do too!)

Bradley's Mom said...

I, too, came over from David's blog.

What a beautiful post! Thank you for your wonderful, inspiring words.


John-Michael said...

Hi Linda, and a warm "Welcome" to you. Your liking my thoughts makes me feel right good! (And your saying so even better!)

Celebration of Life said...

"...tears are from a heart overflowing with the excess of living life." What beautiful words you have written!

I came from David's blog. Thanks for sharing this beautiful life lesson!

John-Michael said...

I thank YOU, Jo, for trusting David (which I am always comfortable doing) and "dropping by.

I am pleased that you like my words.

Daryl E said...

Wonderful .. really touched me on a day when I needed just that.

David sent me.

And thanks for stopping by the other day, it was nice to 'meet' you

Lee said...

John-Michael, Thank you for your prayers. They are much appreciated.
Also for visiting back.

I see we share military experience. Mine was Navy. The MC Sergeants that I met were the beating heart of the core keeping honor and duty shining and bright.

You can find that photo of me as a redhead on David's blog. I was the first Sunday Roast. :)


San said...

Keep spreading the insight, you Minister of Manure you.

Lovely post!

Came over from David's and I'm glad I did.

Jenera said...

What a beautiful way to explain the tears. I'm a big cry-er too. Every emotion I have seems to tie to crying.

GoneBackSouth said...

CrazyCath led me here. Lovely to read your words, having always been a person to cry about everything!

John-Michael said...

Thank you Lee, I will check that out!

"Semper Fi"

John-Michael said...

To tell me that I "touched" you ... well, Daryl E, I simply can not ask anything more of life's experience than that, now can I?

I am reminded of one of my favorite hymns "He Touched Me." A simple and uncomplicated statement with infinite potential for effect. 'Tis humbled I am!

John-Michael said...

Tank you 'san'... I am so sorry that you encountered difficulties in getting your voice heard through the "comment" thingy.

But am doubly honored that you made such an effort to speak to me. That is very nice ... and appreciated!

John-Michael said...

Jenera ... You just gave me the BIGGEST smile!

I immediately though about how much easier it is to trust someone who is able to cry. I find it a indicator of openness and willingness to be vulnerable. Both allow me to let some of my defenses down more readily.

A Friend is someone who you feel safe being silly with and crying with. Let's be Friends!

John-Michael said...

Well, Dear GoneBackSouth, I bid you "Welcome." For, any friend of Cath's will find open arms and an embracing heart with me. I do love and respect that Lady!

And, though I haven't any idea what "BackSouth" indicates in the UK, I do know that here in the US, "The South" is something that most of us Southerners like to believe indicates hospitality. So, I invite you to share a box of crying tissues with me as we indulge ourselves in some good ol' Blues music and tear-jerking stories.

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