"Keep a stiff upper lip"

"Don't cry over spilled milk"

"It's a crying shame"

"Big girls don't cry"

"Don't waste your tears..."

"Tears are a sign of weakness"

"What a crybaby!"

What IS wrong with crying?

Society tells us to buck up, grow up and stop the flow of tears. When we fall and bump our nose as a toddler, mommy runs quickly to hush our tears and daddy gives us the stern look to act our age!

Later, we choke down our disappointments and hurts, coating them with sugar to ease the pain. We're "brave little soldiers", "big boys or girls"; despite our suspicions that we are really weak and bruised. If only someone would tell us, "Cry!"

When we're older, we let some of it seep out at the cinema, a scene of Old Yeller providing release. Or, maybe, if we're lucky, on a moony night alone on the back step, we notice how beautiful the sky is and give forth some weepage.

Ever brave, we carry on, even when trained to help others, we believe tears are dangerous...scary...we avoid them at all costs, ill-prepared due to our own fears. We fail to recognize the power of this form of emotional release and the deepest, most intense purpose of this wetting of the cheeks...to cleanse the spirit, to relieve the heart.

Start within and give yourself a gift: some tears. Of gratitude. Of regret or loss. Of disappointment. Indulge yourself, for a bit. Then, look in the mirror to see the shine on your face...you're lovely.