I was a good child who rarely got in trouble, but when I did I was in really big trouble. Like the time my little sister and I were playing with matches and set the grass on fire. We were just trying to help my Dad because for some reason he burned the edges of the grass every spring. When I knew I was about to get the whipping of my life I started crying ahead of time so Dad would have pity on me and give me a mini spanking. Instead he told me to hush , "before I give you something to cry about!" What exactly did he mean? Would the whipping be less severe if I waited to start crying after the first lick? I was just reacting to the sight of the belt coming out of the pants, crying was an automatic response regardless of who was going to get it.
In essence he was saying, "Stop crying now, because I haven't even done anything to you yet, and all that crying isn't going to stop me from giving you the punishment you deserve." Whatever. Anyway, I am sure I used the same phrase on my own kids.
As an adult I find myself needing a good cry every now and then. Sometimes I need to cry when I have heard of other's sorrow and then for my own hurts and sadness. The difficult part for me is that I suffer from dry eye disease which makes it difficult for me to make tears on my own. In fact I put tear eye drops in my eyes every morning just to make sure my eyes have enough moisture.
Actually crying has many benefits, so we should all have a good cry when we need it. It's not hard to guess that women cry more often than men. On average women cry 47 times a year while men cry around seven times a year. It seems more acceptable to see women crying and men often do not cry because it shows vulnerability. Maybe it gets better with age for men because my husband says he is a lot more apt to cry now than he used to be.
Most people (90%) feel better after a good cry, although not everyone. There are some who feel worse. I am one of those. Crying is physically exhausting for me because of the work I have to do to make tears and then what it takes to recover. I need ten hours of sleep and a wet compress over my eyes overnight to control the swelling in my eyes. I am jealous of those who look absolutely beautiful when then cry. How does Halle Berry do that?
Crying has wonderful benefits including helping one to deal with stress and coming to terms with loss. People are encouraged to cry when they have lost a loved one and when they are suffering emotionally. Crying also helps rid the body of toxins and relieves stress.
Crying has to be good for us because God created us so that the first sound we make as a newborn baby is crying. Many have heard the first cry of their newly born child and it was the most beautiful sound in the world to their awaiting ears. Even Jesus showed us how to have a good cry with the shortest scripture in the Bible. "Jesus wept." (John 11:35)
Next time you need a good cry go for it. Cry about those things that make you sad. Cry about those things that make you happy. Cry as you remember a loved one on a special occasion. Laugh so hard that you can't help but cry. Rent a tear jerker movie like "Beaches" or "Love Affair" and let the tears flow. Hopefully I have "given you something to cry about!"
Janice R Love, Author
First Lady, Mom, Stepmom and Divorce Ministry Coach