Today I came across an article called, "How to Stop Yourself from Crying." It gave 31 different techniques to help you stuff your emotions when you feel like crying. As a repenting 'emotional stuffer'...well, I find this article extremely sad.
After becoming a Christian, I developed a bunch of questions to help myself get in touch. (You can find that post here) I very much desire to be soft hearted. God has given me great victory in this area since now I'm more apt to share my emotions and even my tears with others! Although, just last week, I found myself getting emotional while I was driving and I actually snapped my fingers and stopped crying. So, needless to say...I still have a long way to go in learning not to stuff.
Some of you have no problem crying...so this might seem an odd topic but I know there are other 'tough' girls who have somehow bought into the lie that crying is a weakness. In Psalm 56:8 it's written, "You [LORD] keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book." So for you girls like me...go to biblegateway.com and look up the words, 'tears' to see who talks about their tears and how often they share them. It is OKAY to cry and show your emotions. This study has encouraged me so much in remembering God created me and he created you to be soft-hearted.
For the Geek:
Here's a bit of scientific information you might find cool. These articles show that not all tears are created equal: "Not all tears are of the emotional variety. In fact, three types of tears exist, all with different purposes. Basal tears are omnipresent in our eyes. These constant tears are what keep our eyes from drying out completely. The second type is reflex tears, which serve to protect the human eye from harsh irritants such as smoke, onions or even a very strong, dusty wind. The third type of tears are emotional tears. It all starts in the cerebrum where sadness is registered. The endocrine system is then triggered to release hormones to the ocular area, which then causes tears to form. In fact, one study collected both reflex tears and emotional tears (after peeling an onion and watching a sad movie, respectively). When scientists analyzed the content of the tears, they found each type was very different. Reflex tears are generally found to be about 98 percent water, whereas several chemicals are commonly present in emotional tears. [Article link here]
Another source expanded on this and said, "It's been shown that tears associated with emotion have higher levels of some proteins, and of manganese and potassium, and hormones, including prolactin than mere eye watering. Manganese is an essential nutrient, and too little can lead to slowed blood clotting, skin problems, and lowered cholesterol levels. Too much can also cause health problems. Potassium is involved in nerve working, muscle control and blood pressure. Prolactin is a hormone involved in stress and plays a role in the immune system and other body functions. Its involvement in tears may help to explain why women cry more than men." [Article link here]
Obviously, we NEED emotional tears for our health! When you are tempted to stuff your tears, remember they serve a purpose, one that God created and even keep us in continued good health!