the sacredness of tears day IV

Rita's grave

Jesus wept. Then the Jews said, “See how he loved him!”
John 11:35-36

Since my mom’s death I closed away my heart. Quietly, neatly, and compacted into the tiniest, most minute, soul package possible. Growing up, there were so many people around me who loved me that I thought I was not allowed to feel sad- to feel loss. I equated my sadness to feelings of self-pity. A sentiment, in my family, that was sternly forbidden.

Jesus wept. No two words are able to offer me more comfort. Jesus sanctions my tears. He recognizes my tears, not as weakness, ingratitude or self-pity but as a deep heart-hurt. My tears are, to Him, an authentic expression of love. Authenticity is an apt teacher. Here is what I learned:

When I feel afraid I am not pathetic. I am, for a moment, only a bit frightened. And it’s okay to sometimes feel frightened. For my bravery forever outweighs my fear.

Regarding the death of my mom, I am not self-pitying, only sorrowful. And sorrow, for a time, is permissible, necessary and, in fact, very beautiful.

Through my tears I am learning to unfurl the tightly coiled edges of my heart. I am learning to trust the authenticity of my love for others. I am learning to love myself and I am learning to give myself more grace.

I wept. And I heard Jesus say, “See how she loves!”

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