Archives for posts with tag: tears reduce cortisol levels

I left work later than I’d planned, after getting both more and less done than I intended – and needed – to do. I slumped against the hand rail in the elevator as the doors closed around me, alone at long last. Tears didn’t wait. I stoically stepped off the elevator doing a first-rate impression of being dry-eyed and calm.

I messaged my Traveling Partner that I would be heading home. It’s of no direct consequence for him, though, is it? Hardly. I’m here. He’s there. Fuck, why do I do this? I wonder as I buckle in for the commute home. Rain. I start the car – my washer fluid warning tells me I’ve run out. Shit. Really? Today? God damn it. As I pull out, the “time for an oil change” reminder comes on, too. My lips tremble. I’m not up to this. I’m not adult enough. It’s too much…

My phone bing-bongs at me. I haven’t pulled out of the parking lot, and stop, set the break, and check the message. Love and well-wishes for a safe drive from my Traveling Partner. More than that, really, a proper love note, heart-felt, yearning, and reminding me how much I would be missed if I didn’t make it home. Wow…

…I cried most of the way home, the slow enduring weeping of strong emotion that won’t be defeated. Not quite “happy tears”, just… relieved? Reassured? Profoundly moved. I took care with the drive, hearing the reminder still fresh in my thoughts and in my heart. I made it safely home in the usual amount of time, maybe less, and with far less stress – I’m sure there’s something to learn from that.

The box on the stoop reminded me again how loved I am. I sat down on the stoop, in the rain, and just fucking wept. “Too much.” Too much stress in the week, too much emotion in the moment, and it all came pouring out at once, on my front step, on a rainy night. When I became to cold for sentimental moments, too rained on to pretend I wasn’t cold, and my tears had dried, I gathered up my package and went into the house. I messaged my partner, so he’d know I was indeed home safely. His evening had already moved on to other things, and I don’t expect any immediately reply, so I move on to a hot shower, a few more tears, and then make a healthy bite of dinner.

I hurt, but it’s just pain. I’m not on the edge of tearing someone’s head off over nothing, or disintegrating into a sodden tearful wreck. It’s a quiet evening. I have made a lovely home here. I start a fire in the fireplace and take a seat on my meditation cushion, and feel “too much” begin to fall away, leaving behind only enough.

I had an amazing evening with my traveling partner, last night. It didn’t end as well as it started, and I went to bed feeling off-balance and a little sad. I wrapped myself in my blankets and wept for a few minutes, even tolerantly allowing myself a few ‘it’s not fair!’ and ‘it isn’t me!’ moments. I didn’t notice, but at some point I realized I had moved on; my tears had dried, my breathing was deep, relaxed, and even, and my heart felt calm. 72 minutes. Tears became meditation pretty quickly, and very naturally, and I don’t know quite when, but it was 72 minutes from when they began to fall, to when I began to fall asleep, and realized that I was actually entirely okay in that moment – and that moments being what they are, the earlier one that caused the heartache was long over.

Moments are not a big deal; they are moments.

Any one moment, utterly unique, and filled with potential.

Any one moment, utterly unique, and filled with potential.

Moments do not define me. I define me.

We really, truly, are each having our own experience, moment to moment, day-to-day, and it any one such moment we may each – or all – be at odds with one another, because those individual subjective experiences are our world, and we view the rest through those filters, on the backs of our assumptions, and doing our best to find our way through our very own chaos and damage. “Being right” doesn’t really enter into it, for me at least, because “being right” is just as subjective as our experiences, themselves. The challenge for me, last night, was in figuring out how to stay aware and engaged with my hurting partner, and make room – compassionate, tender, understanding, supportive emotional space – for him to have his own experience right along side me having my own.

I have room for improvement. This is a very general statement I believe to be universally true of my experience.

So often things seem more complicated than 'this versus that'. Perspective matters. Relevance matters. Compassion matters.

So often things seem more complicated than ‘this versus that’. Perspective matters. Relevance matters. Compassion matters.

I found my way last night with the awareness that the moment didn’t define me. The challenge we were having communicating and loving wasn’t a characteristic of ‘who I am’ – it was a moment. A challenge. Sure, it’s pretty easy to take that challenge and turn it on myself as a weapon, but where is the value in that? Growing as a person is more easily fostered in gentle conversation, shared insights, connecting and discussing needs, limits, boundaries with compassion for each other, and present with each other even when/if we are hurting. (It sounds easier than it seems in the moment, at my current skill/awareness level.) Remembering that I define me, and that my experience of myself is 100% reliably true to the self that I am when I allow it to be was powerful.  However hurt a lovers feelings may be, those are their feelings, about a moment (their moment); their feelings do not define me, (and considering how little tie to objective reality emotions may truly have, it seems a very poor practice to internalize someone else’s feelings, or taking them on as characteristics that define me, for myself).


We each make our way using the perspective we have, and the tools we develop. 

I woke feeling pretty awesome this morning, and very centered. It’s a lovely way to start a day. Today is a good day to be reminded we are each having our own experience, and that they co-exist with equal validity. It’s a good day to reread The Four Agreements. It’s a good day for love.