Sunday, March 25, 2012

Tip #13: Crying is fine

How can you follow the course of your life
if you do not let it flow?
- Lao-Tzu

That's the quote for March 21 in The Book of Awakening by Mark Nepo, which has a reading for every day of the year. In the reading for that day, he tells us that like nature, we need to shed from ourselves what we don't have a need for anymore. But we tend to do the opposite. We hold on to bad experiences, we internalize problems, we grow discontent inside of us. You can read the excerpt here.

In my life, I have found that sometimes it is hard to let go or to accept what we are facing. But we have to in order to move on. That's one reason why we need to cry. Tears are a way to let our life flow. Cry. Let go. Feel the sadness the tears bring. Really feel it. And then, feel relief. Like the baby in the picture, just brought into this world when he was so comfortable in his mother's womb.

And, as I was thinking about this post, I heard on the radio, by chance, the psychologist James Pennebaker, author of The Secret Life of Pronouns, talking about how he discovered that people who had a traumatic experience and kept it hidden had much worse health problems, so he asked a group of people to write about those experiences, while another group was asked to write about trivial things. The first group saw their health improve immediately, while there was no such effect in the second.I don't know if they cried while they wrote, but I'm sure they felt something very close to crying.

If you still need convincing, know that tears are actually good for you. In the article "The health benefits of tears," Dr. Judith Orloff explains that "like the ocean, tears are salt water. They lubricate your eyes, remove irritants, reduce stress hormones and contain antibodies that fight pathogenic microbes."

After my second diagnosis, I think I probably cried for three months. I still do when things accumulate in my plate. But, as my mother always says, "Tears make your eyes more beautiful, let them flow." What's there to lose?

What do you think? Let me know!

With lots of love and peace.

(Photo by KungFuStu)


  1. Crying is therapeutic, healing and liberating. I am talking from experience. So, cry when you have to and laugh afterwards as both are good for you.

    Love your blog, Pilar!

  2. Pilar - When I'm upset I usually get a good cry in and then I'm good to go - Its just such a great release to let it out.

    I was so happy to see you mention "The Book of Awakening" - Oprah did an interview with Mark Nepo recently and they talked about his book. Mark is a cancer survivor himself I was really impressed with his vision on spiritual healing.

    Thanks for sharing your blog with us.