It’s a crying game

It’s a crying game

Tears have happened a lot around me of late. Not sure what is up. I’ve been a walking snot bubble increasing the stock price of Kleenex I’m sure.

In class rooms, I’m watching people talk about what they really care about, and tear up. My son recently had to give blood and he cried like I have never seen. A dear friend teared up talking about the loss of his childhood dog. My best friend teared up when I teared up when I talked about how much I hated all the social conditioning I am still fall prey to even though I really would like to think I’m unique.

My son had to give blood to do some tests. His doctor warned me before the tests that a lot of parents shush their children for fear of the annoyance of others. She mentioned that there was a medicinal benefit from crying and to let and encourage Sebastian to cry.

So, I did some research.

It seems there are 3 types of tears. The stuff that keeps are eyes wet. (98% saline) The stuff that is reflexive from onions or dust. (98% saline) And THEN there is the emotional kind. The contents of emotional tears have more of the protein-based hormones like prolactin, adrenocorticotropic hormone, and leucine enkephalin (a natural painkiller).  (When I was a kid, a trip to the library and 7 reference books… today, 5 minutes and an ergonomic keyboard)

In my son’s case, his tears made the tests not hurt as much. Prolactin stimulates breast milk and is often high after sex. I’m not really sure how to tie that into my rampant desire to undo my social programming… but I’ll go with it.  Just keep reading, it didn’t make sense to me either I just like the idea of the word ‘breast’ in my blog.  Might hit some sensors though.

Adrenocorticotropic hormone releases Cortisol can increase blood sugar, certainly something that feels good.  Where am I going with this?

I like people more who can tear up.    There is something going on in the world where we are seeing it more often.  Real tears.  Real emotion.  Feeling stuff.  Is it the chemical high?  Are we realizing just how great it feels to let out some salt once in a while?

I’m on a new rant in my business world about labeling.  Humans take in a lot of information and to save time, we label things.  For years, crying was labeled as ‘something’ and it wasn’t always pretty.  Cry Baby, Vulnerable, Girl, Emotional etc etc.

Now, crying is absolutely, um, well,  sexy.

So… blubber you.   If you need some you tube clips that’ll onion you all up, just let me know.

  • SarahD
    Posted at 05:57h, 08 April

    Oddly enough, I just told my daughter to go ahead and cry last night when she was just sad and tired. 5 minutes later we were giggling like mad (the preceding 2 hours of grumpiness disappeared!)

    Also, when I got spinal taps as a 3 yr old, the doc instructions to my mom were to keep me calm while they found the insertion spot and got the needle in, but after that to let me cry or scream or whatever. I don’t know if they knew all the redeeming qualities of the tears back then (1975) or if it was just the instincts of the nurses.

  • John Hittler
    Posted at 06:06h, 08 April


    As usual, you hit the nail on the head! Nothing is sexier than real emotion, especially that which involves tears. It lets us connect that that which is trully human. Painful? Maybe. Spiritual? Absolutely. In the end, we are much more spiritual than human, and tears hydrate that spirituality quite well!

    As for Sebastian, probably not the first time he will be asked to give a pint of blood for the cause…He’s getting prepared for life!


  • Christina
    Posted at 06:22h, 08 April

    What you are saying is SO TRUE. All the shushing of kids leads to more need for shushing! OUCH! Spinal taps at 3… ouch. Hopefully we are going to avoid that with Sebastian and the upcoming tests. Sounds so painful.

  • Christina
    Posted at 06:22h, 08 April

    ‘pint of blood for the cause’… LOVE that.

  • Lisa J
    Posted at 06:27h, 08 April

    Thanks, Christina! I’ve noticed the same phenomena of late. Whether it’s the stress of our current world climate or stubbed toes, the tears seem closer to the surface and less controllable. It’s everyone, good to know we’re all letting our leucine enkephalin take the place of less healthy pain killers.

    p.s., girlfriend, your classes always bring out the best in folks – and usually touch places that are soft. tears are a natural part of the experience.

  • Christina
    Posted at 16:44h, 08 April

    leucine enkephalin? I’m going to use that in a sentence today. YAY

  • Ekim
    Posted at 13:03h, 03 May

    When I was in 6th grade, I fell off some climbing bars and went to the school nurse. She chided me for crying, “Boys don’t cry”. Somehow, I knew she was wrong – I didn’t really have it in me to debate it with her, so I just ignored the advice. Turns out I had busted my shoulder, and what did she know, anyway?

  • Christina
    Posted at 05:43h, 04 May

    The sad thing my son’s preschool I STILL hear adults telling boys not to cry. It is a conspiracy I swear.
    Shoulders take FOREVER to heal. ouch.

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