Tears of Joy

By Samantha McKenzie

I cry during the most happiest moments in life. I just can’t help myself.

I have cried at every wedding I’ve ever attended, even the ones I’ve watched on TV. I have cried at all of the college graduations I’ve gone to. I’ve been known to cry when I get engulfed in a romantic book or when I listen to a beautiful ballad by the late Whitney Houston.

Every time I witness expressions of love – marriage proposals, a dad returning from a military deployment, well wishes between families at the airport – I get all choked up.

 

I shed tears of joy when I watch movies. I had to stop watching the TV show Undercover Boss  because I couldn’t make it through the touching endings.

I cry while I’m listening to the preacher give an inspiring message – you know the ones that make you open your hands to the heavens and weep with thanksgiving.

I cry too when I pray. Or when I hum the church song, “…You didn’t have to wake me up, you didn’t have to wake me up, I’m glad to be in your service one more time…”

The happy tears keep coming.

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When I was a young child, my brother discovered me crying while we were watching a family movie. “I’m not crying,” I squealed. Of course, like any big brother, he teased me. I’d make up silly lies to deflect my embarrassment. “I accidentally hit myself in the eye,” I said once. It would happen so many times after that I stopped trying to lie and eventually the taunting ceased.

A study at Yale University found that people who express two opposite emotions at the same time, like smiling and tearing up, when they are experiencing a joyful experience, do so as a way of keeping themselves from getting too overwhelmed with good feelings. It’s your bodies way to maintain your emotional equilibrium. It’s a balancing act, so to speak.

Nowadays, I just let the tears stream down and welcome all of the joy that comes with it. I’ve learned that those tears are the best words my heart can speak, and sometimes, nothing else needs to be said.

If you’re part of the happy tears crew, just stay joyful and let if flow.

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