All through my teen years, I thought not letting a single tear flow down and wet my cheeks was a sign of my inner strength, of my will power. And so, I tried with all my might to control the tiny fat tears from pouring out of my eyes at those umpteen number of times my heart shot arrows at myself and my eyes brimmed with tears, threatening to betray me. I had tutored myself that not giving away to tears was being strong, independent and capable. Perhaps I had misunderstood the whole notion of ‘mental strength’ from the numerous articles I read (online and otherwise) about personal development. In the early years of my teen years, that’s what I strived for. Until the day of a bright morning (of summer, spring or winter, I do not remember) when my English teacher at school decided to keep away the books for a while and initiate her students to the ‘ways of life’. ”When was the last time you cried?”, she asked, addressing the class. Several answers came up : yesterday, a week before, this morning. When my turn came, I proudly answered: ”It’s been a while, I do not remember when.” My answer brought a couple of ‘wows’ from the rest of the class. Reckoning that my teacher would appreciate me on my ‘achievement’ I stood tall and confident, beaming. But, the teacher’s reply stooped me even more than my actual five-foot. ”I am afraid, my child, you are a frustrated soul”, the teacher said. That indeed shook me out of my reverie. She said ‘crying’ was not always a sign of weakness, a portrayal of one’s helplessness. It doesn’t always have a pessimistic side attached to it. In fact, crying is a form of ‘letting go’ not of hope, but of all the negative energy that has filled one’s mind. She also said that one must understand and know when to stop crying over things. That was important too. It is a great stress buster, those tiny drops of liquid you have in your eyes. Doesn’t mean one has to cry all day long, but a little bit of crying sessions occasionally is said to be healthy. That night, tears just flowed from my eyes as if it never wanted to stop. I didn’t have to think about the bad events in my life for the tears to rush out. Then was I convinced that I had really been a frustrated soul until then. The teacher had, in the truest sense, initiated me to the ‘ways of life’.
P.S: I still have my occasional weeping sessions once in a while, which helps me keep up my optimism and build on my inner strength.