February 1, 2007


“The tears of the world are a constant quantity. For each one who begins to weep somewhere else another stops. The same is true of the laugh”

-Samuel Beckett

As a little boy, I remember checking myself from laughing a lot, because someone had told me that if you laugh a lot, you have to make up for it by crying later. Over the years it seems to me that this axiom holds, or at least it seems like it does.

This post, though, is not about laughter, but tears. Who among us has not tasted the little drops that trickle down our cheeks, to our lips and down our chin, or who has not, at one point of time or another, pressed one’s face into the pillow and wet it with the little precious drops.

Biologically speaking, tears are nothing but a saline, alkaline liquid secreted by the lachrymal glands for keeping our eyes well lubricated and also for providing some immunity from bacteria and harmful microbes. But, in truth, tears are so much more.

It is often said that a person needs to control his tears; needs to stop the storm brewing in his eyes and hold it back, for tears, they say, are a sign of weakness. Though. I feel, they are not a sign of weakness yet it is indeed imperative at times that we hold them back, maybe to let them flow freely later in the confines of a rest room or a closet.

Life is a beautiful thing but it has its downs and tough times when emotions swell up inside us and our mind is in a turmoil. We do our best at such times to wear masks- masks that hide what we feel inside. But the longer we wear these masks, the worse we feel inside and at such times tears provide us with intense relief. The sadness, the pain and the worries flow out of our bodies with the tears. It is not without reason that crying is said to be good - it lightens your heart.

What do you think? Is it better to hold the tears back or let them flow when they will…


cooltopten said...

I thik if you hold your emotions inside they will find a way of coming out in the end,whether it be in tears or anger , depresion etc..

Secret Simon said...

It's certainly better to allow ourselves to express our emotions fully, though most of us are taught not to - especially we men. So this means that we go through life accumulating a load of suppressed emotions which eventually start to drive us crazy. Mid-life crisis anyone?

I tend to use a cleaning analogy. We spend our lives sweeping all this stuff under the rug until eventually the rug won't hold it any more and it starts spilling out into the living room of our lives. Then, belatedly, we have to try to find some way to deal with it, such as therapy or spiritual practices such as meditation (which I favour myself).

But it's much better just to express our emotions in the first place. So let the tears flow if you can.

otilius said...

Let them flow, let 'em flow, let 'em flow...
Nice quote from Beckett!

Cat said...

cooltopten is right. I spent over 30 years dissociating from life and refusing to cry. I'm now spending time crying more than I would have...it's worth it now but I would go back and change the way I felt about crying.

I felt it was weak for a while.

girl said...

I say let them flow as a general rule. There are some times/places where you need to hold your own and show some strength but, otherwise, let them go. You'll feel better when you do.

Blue Panther said...

Cooltopten: I would agree with that. There is a limit till which we can suppress our emotions, then they will find a way out in one form or the other.

Secret Simon: I like the cleaning analogy! And it is also true that men are told that crying or showing ones emotions is an un-manly thing.Most of the times it does harm than good!

Otilius:I like the quote quite a bit too.

Cat: Its better late than never and I feel most of us feel that its weak to cry, and I think we can blame the society for the propgation of that idea.

Girl: I would agree!

MarkD60 said...

Let them out

stev said...

i think the older we get,
(hopefully) the less we care about the perception of others

life is hard enough as it without masks

but of course everything has its time, place & should be in moderation


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