From a physiological standpoint, shedding a tear is a very significant bodily function, with a very important role. A tear contains vital nutrients, including water, electrolytes, proteins, lipids, and mucins. All of these ingredients help tears perform many vital roles for eye health such as: lubrication, cleansing, protection, nutrition and enhancing cell function, just to name a few. But do you know what? As impressive as this is and as important as these nutrients and their benefits are, they are not what I believe makes a tear so powerful. So, what does?
I have said it before and I will say it again, I am a crier. Over many years, I have had a plethora of tears leak, fall, stream, and cascade from my eyes. Tears of incredible joy, tears of devastating heartbreak, tears of proud moments and tears of painful regret. Let me tell you, in all of these tearful moments, I have never once stopped to think about the nutrient content of each tear, nor the role the tear plays in my eye health. Have you? To me, the power that resides in the tear is the emotion that it carries, and the potential of that emotion to change lives.
The word emotion is derived from the Latin word emovre, which translated means excite or agitate into motion. It is rare tears flow for reasons that are not emotion based, which means there is incredible potential for ongoing positive change in your life, if that’s what you want. I know it’s what I want, and now that I understand this power, I look forward to these tears, because I know, when they happen, I am ready to make great things happen in my life.
For much of my life I have been embarrassed by my tears. I thought they meant I was weak or too sensitive and that it was a bad thing. Well, let me tell you my friend, tears are not a sign of weakness, they are a sign of readiness. The key is to understand this and be prepared to take positive action when they appear, because in that tear resides a potential force more powerful that anything you can think of. I remember, when I was 16 years old, after years focus and determination, I received a letter from the St Kilda Football Club inviting me to come and participate in their pre-season training. I sobbed like a baby! Those tears represented the work I had put in to realise a dream, and the desire I had to make it as a professional footballer. With the strong emotions that were contained inside those tears, I got to work even harder to make that vision a reality in my life.
I remember a very dark day in my life, when I was in huge debt, had no time, a failing business and I was helpless, hopeless, discouraged and broken. I sat there with tears flooding out of my eyes, thinking about where I was in my life, and visualising the life I wanted. With the emotion that was so built up in those tears to change my situation, I had the illogical idea to write my first book. Those tears and powerful emotions were almost 20 years ago, and the result was that my life changed forever in that moment on that day back in 2002.
My final story of tears is quite a recent one. After my third marriage ended in the second half of 2019, I was left feeling inadequate, flawed, regretful, confused, and shameful. Oh, I cried many tears, for many hours over many days, weeks, and months. I must admit that my initial desire was to run away and hide from the broken man who was looking back at me in the mirror. But I realised those tears represented things about myself and my life I wanted to and needed to change. They were the catalyst of a transformation that I don’t have time to unpack in this blog, but one that helped me understand, accept, forgive, heal, and learn to love myself. It was all in the powerful emotions that were living in those tears.
We are all human, which means we are fabulously flawed, and amazingly emotional. This is to be celebrated, not hidden or ashamed of. Please take the time to listen to my podcast this week with Jacqueline Shaulis, called Embrace your awesome. You are incredible just as you are, and when the situations in your life bring you to tears, rejoice! Those tears hold within them emotion so powerful that it can move you into action to change your own world, and the lives of others. Embrace every tear, love every tear, and use every tear to help you move on and live the incredible life you are destined to live.