The fifth of an eight-day series of blessings inspired by Br. David's book "99 Blessings: An Invitation to Life." Welcome to our practice. Let's begin. We invite you to close your eyes and take one or two slow, deep breaths. Then open your eyes and simply take in this blessing...
SOURCE OF ALL BLESSINGS,
you bless us with tears — tears
of sorrow and tears of joy, tears
of outrage and of overwhelming
beauty. May I let them flow freely,
especially the waters that rise up
when the ice of anger cracks and
thaws in my heart, and the flood
tides of an oceanic feeling deep in
my heart that wash my eyes from
within and make me gentle toward
Sense how it feels to honor the healing, cleansing work of tears. When we allow our tears to flow freely, we open to and trust the innate wisdom and healing power of our human hearts.
“May this patchwork quilt of blessings help to sharpen your taste for the gift of life in its innumerable facets,” Br. David writes. “May you grow ever more blessed, ever more able to bless.”
Should you be inspired, please leave a reflection below…
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My counselor is retiring. I’ve been trying to hold back the tears, unsure of whether it’s an appropriate response to this loss. Now, seeing tears as a blessing tells me that it’s ok.
After seeing Toy Story 4, we sat long after the credits ended, cleanup crew moving around us, allowing the tears to flow. To grieve and celebrate all the seasons of our lives.
I am grateful for being able to embrace tears.
“When they walk through the Valley of Weeping, it will become a place of refreshing springs. The autumn rains will clothe it with blessings.“
I cry very little. Mostly at funerals. Occasionally when really stressed out. I used to see it as weakness, but the older I get I see it as strength. Tears are a blessing for sure.
I submit my reflection in the form of a free form poem as follows:
THE GRACE OF TEARS
by Jason Rodriguez
July 3, 2019
(“Jesus wept.”) John 11:35
Jesus, You have wept!
Grant me that experience of tears …
That in my joy, in my pain,
And in my depths of sadness,
That I may shed their flow …
And, that in those very moments, I,
May get to see and know You, Lord …
Know and understand Your purpose!
And with all my senses,
With all my heart, and soul, and mind …
Experience the love You have for me,
Indeed the love you have for all …
Humanity! Thanks be to You Lord!
Dear Jason, that is so beautiful! Thank you for sharing it! God bless you.☮
Your kind affirmation and expressed blessings strengthen me and are sincerely and gratefully appreciated! Blessings to you as well!
Jason, I am truly grateful for your blessings! It means alot to me! Thank-you!
As one of 6 active rowdy kids, none of us would ever ‘break down’ and cry, or we’d be at the mercy of the other 5. Now, all post middle-age, it takes very little to trigger the ‘gift of tears’ in any one of us. After my husband’s death, the hardest hurt now is when there are NO tears, just a dry aching heart. I’m reminded of the wonderful lyric:
“Blessed are the tears that fall
that wash the windows of the soul
And usher in a change of heart
And bring a joy that angels know”.
Growing up, I was told to “stop wearing my heart on my sleeve” and remember being asked “why are you crying?” as if there was something wrong with it. It has taken me many years to accept the deeply feeling, emotional part of myself and feel safe with it around others. It is sometimes difficult for those who love me to understand that the fact that I am crying doesn’t always mean there is something that needs to be fixed or something they have done wrong. Sometimes it is feeling overwhelmed with joy or beauty, sometimes it is sadness or anger I haven’t named yet, sometimes it is just cleansing.
One rainy afternoon, my husband and I were driving around looking at houses. I saw an elderly man waiting at a crosswalk, holding a greeting card in one shaky hand and an umbrella in the other. I suddenly started to cry and my husband, befuddled, asked if something was wrong. I said no, that man is walking somewhere in the rain to deliver that card and something about his effort made me overcome with emotion. My husband has reminded me of that event a few times since, and always says it was one of the days he knew why he loved me so much. It was also one of the things that helped him understand that my tears are not always his to try to fix.
Every once in a while, I catch myself asking one of my teen daughters why they are crying, and I don’t like the tone of my voice. I am so grateful for this special blessing and reminder today.
Cristina, I admire your reflection! Very well and meaningfully expressed! Thanks for sharing!
Thank you, Jason, for your kind words of affirmation.
Cristina, your description of the elderly man holding the greeting card in one shaky hand and an umbrella in the other brought tears to my eyes. Thank-you for sharing! Bless you, Cristina and your tender heart.?
Thank you, Sheila. I replay that image in my head often; I’m happy that it moved you. Blessings to you as well.
Somebody once told me that tears are considered “holy water”. I am a Spiritual director and every time I see tears flowing, it touches me very much as I feel that I am immerse in the sacred.
I’m still wanting to understand where/how I walk this journey to where I find gratitude for depression/C-PTSD and for wanting to cry/grieve every single morning. But I can appreciate that tears can be a cathartic release. So thank you for this astute reminder. Are there other places on this site that folks would recommend- I’m not super familiar with it. Thank you.
Hello Creek, Br. David has often said that there are many things that we can’t be grateful *for* — certainly depression/C-PTSD could be included in that list (along with war, violence, etc.) — but that it may be helpful to open to the possibility that we can be grateful for an *opportunity* that the situation may provide. “Healing comes when you see the opportunity for growth that a painful situation has provided.” I love that you write “But I can appreciate that tears can be a cathartic release.” This simple acknowledgement of appreciating the cathartic release of tears is beautiful and points to the part of you which is already open to opportunity. You ask about other places on the site, and perhaps by now you have explored further and found some articles, videos, Q&As, poetry, or practices that have been helpful. I like Sheila’s encouragement to click on ‘explore’ and then visit ‘new to gratefulness.org?’ to orient yourself. We encourage you to roam around, there’s a lot here! Also under ‘explore’ you can click on ‘Areas of interest’ and there you will find an area called ‘healing the mind’ which may be helpful. Lastly, many in our community have told us how comforting they find our ‘Light a Candle” feature which can be found in the list under ‘Practice.’ Sometimes sitting quietly with an intention and ‘lighting’ a candle can soothe or transform a moment. In fact, I’m going to go there now to light a candle for you. It will ‘burn’ for 24 hours and will carry my wish that you find peace. With all well wishes to you, dear Creek, from Saoirse on behalf of the gratefulness team.
Creek, if you haven’t done so yet, you can go to their menu and then click on ‘explore’ and then on ‘new to gratefulness.org?’. This will show you all that is offered. This site is wonderful and has helped me tremendously! For me the blogs are most helpful, but everyone is guided to what is of greatest benefit to them. Glad you are here! Many blessings to you.?
There is something about the presence of God and Spirit that has for many years made me teary. I remember not having gone to church for
a long time and then attending a Eucharist service at my brother and sister-in-law’s Episcopal church in Beaufort, SC. I was kneeling at the communion railing with my hands outstretched to receive the host when the first of several sobs just seemed to break through my chest.The seeds of spirit had been planted in me many years before at a then all-boys Episcopal school in New Hampshire. I used to sing in the choir as a soprano in the 6th and 7th grades, and was also an acolyte assisting the priest with communion. In some wonderful and mysterious way the ritual of the Eucharist got into my DNA and deep memory. Such is the way of Spirit.
I have considered tears to be sacred for as long as I can remember. The longer I live the more I realize that tears come at life’s most significant moments. They give us physical awareness of a changing heart. How do we thank God for such a blessing as tears?
Just reading this blessing brings tears to my eyes. Honestly so much of what I read on this site brings tears to my eyes, as my heart is touched by the sacred. My heart is so filled with love and gratitude right now. Br. David and gratefulness.org, how do I thank you, let me count the ways…..?
Write an entry in your private gratefulness journal
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An eight-day practice inspired by Br. David Steindl-Rast’s appreciation of haiku.
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