Investigating Tears

Anyone who knows me knows I’m a cryer. I cry in book club, processing groups, therapy, when talking to friends about my experiences and even when I laugh.

I cry at the drop of a hat.

Throughout my journey I have realized that crying is an indication to me that something more is going on under the surface. ESPECIALLY when people show me compassion, empathy, and kindness.

It reveals a level of grief and a deficit that I haven’t processed yet. Sadly, I didn’t grow up in a home which modeled empathy or self-compassion, so when I receive that it is shocking to my nervous system.

I also had to undo a conditioned fear response – from years of being “trained” that when I use my voice I get mocked, bullied, pushback, yelling, and physical violence. My first response was to freeze and cry. I was scared. Dysregulated, of course – and for good reason.

So now outside of abuse when I have conflict, need to confront someone who is loving, kind and safe, and need to lay a boundary for myself – I STILL cry because my body is expecting the old punishment I used to receive.

Have you experienced this before? Sometimes, we are gaslighted out of our own tears. I have heard all the things, with comments like these from my own family system and ex-husband:

1. You’re too emotional

2. You take things too seriously

3. You’re making a mountain out of a mole hill

4. Are you on your period?

5. You’re crazy – you should take medication.

6. You bitch – get over it

These comments DISMISS and INVALIDATE the reality of what is going on under the surface. And a lot of times in the beginning of our healing – WE can’t even articulate what is going on underneath the tears.

And yet, there is hope in tears. Tears carry neurochemicals, called oxytocin and endogenous opioids, also known as endorphins. These feel-good chemicals help ease both physical and emotional pain.

My Dear Sister,

Please do not hold back your tears. They are a signal. You’re body is telling you something deeper is happening within – underneath the surface. Lean into it and LET them FLOW. You become STRONGER when you cry, because you are allowing your body the endorphines that it needs to grow in capacity to handle the pain.

Tears are beautiful – they signify the GROWING CONNECTION with SELF – let them flow as the river of life flows within you. Let them begin their healing work, and in turn they become Tears of Shalom. A connection to self and God within.

I’m so glad the Lord allowed us to see that TEARS matter:

Psalm 56:8 says, “You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book” (NLT)

May you be empowered today to let your bitter sweet tears flow – lean into them and be curious.

You are not alone.


Rochelle Sadie

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