June 24th, 2011ORGASMS & OTHER “-GASMS” THAT BRING TEARS
What makes you cry? Really: what brings tears to your eyes?
Being able to cry is an awesome human ability, although many people (maybe you are one of them) do everything they can to avoid crying, attempting to push back the lump in the throat which often precedes the tears falling, then do whatever it takes to prevent those tears from continuing to fall.
We are born with tear ducts. The newborn baby’s first sounds are usually loud crying, with tears. Tears are natural, from the time we emerge from the womb. Crying is a release of energy, an expression of emotion – strong emotion, “overflowing” emotion. We are born to feel those strong emotions, those emotions that cause us to “overflow” – often with tears.
Bruce Lipton in his book “The Biology of Belief” describes his “heart orgasm” at the moment of discovering how our cells really work. He was overwhelmed with emotion; the best way he could describe it was a “heart orgasm”. Ellie Drake has described the role of the hormone oxytocin as the “prosperity hormone” for women. As Ellie was speaking about this “prosperity hormone”, she was expressing feelings of deep gratitude and overflowing joy with her evolving BraveHeartWomen community: she called her full joy a “SoulGasm”. My friends and I, in the midst of enjoying a concert with “Il Divo”, the four male singers who can take your breath away, often say we feel like we are having an “orgasm”. Like the excitement of good sex and having an orgasm with our lovers, there are moments in life when we are overflowing with emotions, feeling all kinds of “-gasms”. When we have these “-gasms”, we often feel moved to tears – tears of overwhelm, tears of fullness, tears of gratitude, and tears of recognition of a big truth and a big love all around.
A friend of mine spent all of yesterday crying lots of tears: it was her tenth anniversary…and her beloved husband had died six months ago – six months short of this tenth anniversary. She spent the day remembering their life together, the sweet and magical moments of their love and married life. She cried tears of sadness that her husband was no longer by her side, and yet…she cried additional tears, feeling that his spirit and his memory was right next to her, if not totally inside of her.
A few days ago, I officated at the marriage of a beautiful young couple: I joined their friends and family in crying tears of joy and fullness as this couple begins another chapter of their lives together. The bride couldn’t have been more beautiful and glowing as she walked down the aisle, and I felt that lump in my throat, pushing back the tears, since I had to maintain my calm composure as the clergy person in charge of their wedding ceremony. I needed to be able to see my notes, so I couldn’t allow the tears to get in the way of my clear vision. But I felt the tug. I felt that lump in my throat which told me that I was touched: by the sweetness and promise of this couple’s love. I also knew that I also felt my husband’s hand on my shoulder as I chanted the wedding blessings. It was my husband who taught me so much of what I do in that wedding ceremony. My husband’s memory became palpable as I stood beneath the chupah. Our 32 years of marriage flashed quickly past my memory, as this young couple stood in front of me, as I handed them the cup of wine to share, as I pronounced them to be husband and wife.
Sometimes the tears fall when we are afraid: they fall when we feel alone, afraid we might lose our health, or if our health is at risk, that we might lose our lives. We cry tears of sadness when we have feelings of desire and no partner with whom to share love and passion; we cry tears of bitterness when we feel regret for choices we have made that seem to have created our current reality, which is not the way we thought it would be.
One of my favorite Rabbis, Abraham Joshua Heschel, said that “tears are the lubricant for the heart” and that without allowing our tears to fall, we cannot heal, or celebrate, or grow.
You and I are born to cry, and to laugh. We are born to create each moment of our lives. We are born to feel the full range of emotions and to accept each moment as a perfect gift, whatever it is.
When it hurts, be grateful that you can feel whatever it is that hurts. Imagine not feeling anything at all…that would be like a walking deadness. I don’t know about you, but I would much rather feel the pangs and arrows that remind me that I am fully alive, able to feel the emotions that surge through my body, reassuring me that I am fully alive.
Do yourself a favor: if you feel like having a glass of wine or a martini, go ahead and enjoy it as a form of celebration. But…I urge you to avoid taking a drink or popping a pill just to “escape” feeling… Let yourself feel it all! Without the drugs.
Here’s a toast to your tears of sadness and joy; here’s to your “-gasms” of all kinds.
May you be overflowing with emotions that go along with being alive; overflowing with emotions that have no place else to go except through your tear-ducts into your tears that make your face all wet!
May you have the problem of mopping up the mess on your face!