Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Fears For Tears

Tears are such scary things to women of my preferred label vintage. We try so hard to manage our homes, careers, children, elderly parents, money, health, weight, relations with spouses or exes, communications with extended family or in-laws. Tears seem uncontrollable, so we fear and loathe them, as Hunter S. Thompson might have written if he had a sex-change operation in Las Vegas.

Nearly every woman I know is in this strange region of caring for others, loss, and grief. It is exhausting emotional work, but we are afraid to let our emotions do their best work. We shut them down, when they can serve us best by flooding.

The ancient Egyptians knew the annual flood of the Nile provided the fertile growth. A flood of tears can move us into a new growth of creativity, sensitivity, and awareness. It's a new experience for me, and I resisted it to my utmost. I'm pleased to find it is making me a richer human being, and a better teacher, too. Letting the tears flow doesn't remove the loss or lessen our honor of our parent or relative. Letting the tears flow irrigates and energizes us to use our loss. It makes us more approachable and inspiring adults. The tears let us unload many large black yard-size trashbags of unimportant garbage from the mildewed cardboard storage boxes in our worry-laden emotional basements.

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