Sometimes sadness is a spiritual doorway that does not need to be healed. We run from tears, offering platitudes and solutions, good books and wise words when often we just need to listen. Or let someone have the space to cry.
I have been crying off and on all day for no real reason, which honestly is a bit embarrassing. I am warm and safe and dry and my health and finances are all in good shape. Yes, the past 3 years have been tumultuous, but I have had the courage to face each challenge. I have family and friends who love me. My life is full and rich in many ways. And still, I cried.
I did all the right things. I worked out and laughed at the gym, ran errands and stopped by the library, played piano and studied some Hebrew, all the while fighting back a tide of sadness. There were people I could call, but I felt like I had to breathe through this, lance whatever wound was festering in my heart. So I did not reach for any glib joyful sayings, or empty encouragements, or wise words of solace from those who fear sadness.
Life leaves scars on our hearts, some of which form cracks that let the light in. These help us forgive the past and love again. But some scars fester and burn and hurt, calling out to be remembered and loved, and cleansed with salty sweat or tears. Or ocean waves. Or a lover’s kiss. When my sweat did not work, all I had were tears, and they were exactly what I needed to remind me that the way out of sadness is into and through it.