I have a confession: I am an ugly crier, the you-ain't-got-no-alibi type. I'm talking about a Tin Man from The Wiz and Viola Davis combination.
My voice goes up an octave in a shrill register, my lips turn out like I ate a sour lemon, my eyes turn red, and whatever my eye makeup situation is canceled for the day. While I hate how ridiculous I look, I have learned to appreciate my tears.
You see, my tears are the next best thing to coconut oil. They are essential for my self-care. My coconut oil tears cleanse the grit and bathes in the happiness of life.
Coconut oil is sacred to me. I use it to moisturize my hair and skin, take off my makeup, clean the house, and I've even cooked with it. What can't this natural oil do? Serious, Dr. Oz listed 99 different uses and I'm sure there's more. The same goes for the versatility of my tears.
There are so many times I've cried in the face of adversity, fear, and depression. And while those tears came from a dark place, I've found light in my cries.
Tears are line-steppers
From an early age, my tears were signals for pain or to stop a behavior; they are the reflexes that you never thought you had. Biologically, waterworks are designed as part of our sympathetic nervous system. It's what kicks in as a physiological fight-or-flight response. Tears are our first teachers, of sorts. Whatever your boundaries, you know there is a limit to how much you can take before you need to release and channel your emotions.
Tears are anchors to the present
My tears keep me present in the moment. It's kinda hard to ignore your feelings when they come pouring down your cheeks. You can only fight tears for so long before you open up. You welcome vulnerability in and offer it tea.
Vulnerability is not a bad word, and there is strength in being in tune with your feelings.
Tears make you strong
I am fortunate to see my mother's strength in action during the trial of her life. At times when she is the most frustrated, defeated, and exhausted; I get to see her perserve with courage and grace. Her tears showed me that it was ok to cry, to be vulnerable and that it makes you anything but weak.
Tears validate my emotion and my experience. I once dated a guy that refused to give me the closure I needed to move on. He was dismissive of my feelings and would gaslight me as if my experience in that relationship didn't have merits. I questioned whether I even had a reason to feel the way I felt as if that was all I deserved. My tears affirmed my feelings were valid and nurtured my healing journey.
Tears propel you forward
At my lowest, my tears showed me that there's no place to go but up. In those instances, I declared I would never feel like that again. It motivated me to make different, perhaps better decisions.
Tears are not only for sadness
Tears don't just offer a release from pain. They can offer joy, celebration, and love.
According to Psychology Today, we can "generate empathetic tears. We feel for the “pained” individual. These situations stimulate our empathetic responses of care and sympathy."
Tears make you human. It's okay to be human.
Tears are the cleanser for the soul
Tears are the cleanser for the soul | Like cleansing properties of coconut oil, crying washed away my pains for a fresh start, it renewed the joys of my life and validated that the feelings I navigate are necessary for my growth.
The human experience is just as puzzling as solid coconut oil. Still, I recommend lathering it in for your self-preservation.