“I call this Tears for Water because, in looking through all these words, I have come to the understanding that everything I have ever written has stemmed from my tears of joy, of pain, of sorrow, of depression, and of question. Every single word has come from some form of my tears. I use them as water to nourish me, quenching the thirst for understanding myself, and because of them I am able to survive, I am able to stay alive, I am able to breathe. So I don’t mind drinking my tears for water.” —Alicia Keys
For Alicia’s collection of poetry and lyrics called Tears for Water, she doesn’t shy from revealing the inspiration behind her writing: crying it all out.
In the good times, the bad times, and the numb times, a tearful release can be just what our spirits need to feel seen. Crying is super vulnerable though, which can sometimes bring on a little shame. Many of us have even been conditioned from a young age “not to cry” at all in efforts to avoid being seen as “weak” or “emotional.” But the truth is as clear as the tears that cleanse us: there is power in processing our feelings and relinquishing control.
In letting our tears flow like water — a nourishing, natural element that’s essential to our survival — we clarify the gifts of feelings in the first place, including deepening our relationships with ourselves and others.
During your next (or first) cry, kick shame to the curb and try to change the narrative. Feel at peace with your process and get curious about what your tears are trying to tell you. Who knows, maybe you’ll create the next great collection of noteworthy poetry.
When was the last time you cried? What were you trying to release? Share your experience in the comments!