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I find myself in a place where I feel as if a few minutes of self-indulgent crying would do me a world of good. Yet, I cannot shed a tear, for I am by nature and nurture not a crier. Tendency towards thinking, yes. Crying, no. The purpose of tears escapes me somehow. I can never find the good in them.

As a matter of fact, when beginning to cry, I’ll ask myself this question. “How is this helping you to solve the problem?” At which point I dry my eyes and begin to think of a solution. If an answer escapes me, then, I put on my “acceptance” hat and keep it moving.

I guess this comes from a lifetime of being reared by some awesome people. Our conversations about crying went something like this:

Me: (beginning to cry about something)

Mom or Dad: Why are you crying?

Me: (Whatever explanation was appropriate at that time.)

Mom or Dad: Well, is crying gonna fix it?

Me: No.

Mom or Dad: Ok, then.

That was it. End of conversation. At this juncture I could have either kept weeping or dried it up. I typically decided to dry my face and either solve the problem or go on about my business. Evidently, I have the same internal conversation with myself as an adult that my parents had with me as a child. I always have the choice to cry but rarely choose to do it.

This scenario reminds me a bit of the proverbial spilled milk. “What’s the use in crying over spilled milk?” they say. I guess whoever “they” are weren’t the ones who spilled the milk in the first place. Maybe “they” didn’t understand the yearning for the milk, and just maybe it was the last glass of milk. However, in this moment, I do not understand this “they” that thought this was the appropriate thing to say to the person whose milk was spilled.

If I could cry at this very second, I certainly would. I have often heard that tears are cleansing to the soul. (My soul must be filthy and in need of a power wash for all the tears I haven’t shed.) Yet, I cannot induce or allow this necessary washing of my spirit. That infernal question keeps popping up in my head. “Will crying solve it?” and the answer is always, “No.” So, I continue on with my day’s journey with a rip in my heart that at this moment seems irreparable. Because I feel I am making a bigger deal of it than it really is, I shake it off with the assurance that all will be well and work out as it should and the knowledge that nothing will change if I cry.