Tears of a Clown

Tears…babies shed many of them and it is our job as a loving mommy to try and stop these tears from falling or at least limit the amount of tears they shed. The less they shed the better we feel. Because babies can’t talk, crying is their special way of communicating to us that something is wrong. It’s amazing how we as mothers can distinguish between the hungry cry, the fussy cry, the angry cry, or the, ” I just want to be held” cry. We at this point in our lives are the master at listening to the tone of the cry. This even continues beyond the toddler stage, but there comes a time when we tell our young children, “use your words, don’t cry, tell mommy what’s wrong.” We even teach them to wipe away the tears. At that moment we listen…we want to know what has evoked our precious children to cry. We want to fix it.

Well what about us as adults what do we do with our tears. For a few years now, I’ve made a conscious decision to observe the crocodile tears that adults shamefully or even secretly shed, including my own. Tears are quiet communicators, but they can yell a story to those who will listen. It’s interesting how we can produce the tears, but not know the story or take the time to discover what’s lurking behind the “tears of a clown.” The mask we wear that some how holds back the flood gates of tears that could provide an emotional cleansing. I personally refer to crying as an “emotional enema.”

Think about the last time you cried, or observed someone begin to cry…what’s the first thing they do? They immediately wipe them away and then apologize for crying. Why??? Can we stop and stoop down low as we would with a child and examine the story those tears are trying to tell?That story has been there for years, but no one is listening. “Who will cry for the little girl inside of us?” Use your words…allow yourself to listen to your story. The psalmist David knew the value of tears, for he asked God, “Do put my tears in your skin bottle.” (Psalm 56:8) He wanted our Heavenly Father to know the story behind them, remember them and honor them. David knew his tears had a story.

I well know the tears of grief. I remember what they taste like and the sound that accompanied those type of tears. I can remember the hollow feeling and the void of losing someone. I can remember feeling like an orphan at the orphanage and wanting someone to chose me on, “adopt a child” day. Losing my mom was like no one showed up that day to chose me. That was the story behind my tears of grief.

Tears not only flow in sadness…there are happy tears. I recently experienced a gut busting laugh when my husband and I went out for date night. Remember, I’m still in the process of observing tears, so my husband told a funny joke and I couldn’t stop laughing. I laughed so hard that I momentarily lost my breath, then I began to hold my stomach and the tears rolled down my face. I remember what they felt like and the pace in which they rolled. I wanted to stay in this moment. As I listened to the deeper story, I could use my words to describe it to myself, thereby being able to access the beauty of that moment at anytime. So here it is ladies, I was amazed that I could be married to this man for 32 years and he could still make me laugh like this. I was so happy that I could feel just as giddy as I did on our first date. That’s the story behind those tears.

For your Journal: There are an array of emotions between happiness and grief that may cause us to produce tears and then mask them. So ladies….If your tears could tell a story, what would they say? Please, by all means use your words.

43 thoughts on “Tears of a Clown”

  1. i came across your website because i googled the tears of a clown. ive had many losses in my family over the years ….I decided to join a group at a church on grief. i had said the tears of a clown was my theme song. for some reason i didnt feel like anyone understrood or like i said something wrong…i dont know..ive always been an over sensitive person and it was my first meeting there……i liked your insight and all the comments

    1. Thank you Theresa…I’m so sorry for the many losses you’ve experienced. Death is such an enemy and can bring such havoc in our lives and those around us. Most often people don’t know what to say or can be uncomfortable in the space of grief. I found great comfort in finding someone who could comfortably dwell in my emotions with me along with prayer and the hope of seeing my mother again. (John 5:28, 29) Thank you for sharing Theresa

  2. Tears……. I believe our tears tell a lot about us. Whether they are sad tears, because of the loss of someone or something or whether they are joyous. It allows us to express that we are feeling something. When my mom passed away, I cried tears of sadness, tears of emptiness,then tears of joy knowing that I would see her again. I don’t set out looking for tears, but I also don’t hold them back. I embraced them and move on. Today someone said to me” it will be what it will be” . Amen to that!

    1. Thank you Roz for sharing the story behind your tears. The song “Tears of a clown” alludes to the tears we cry when no one else is around. Your comment helped me to appreciate a scripture I read this week in the bible. It was about David and Johnathon, very strong warriors and yet when they had to part ways they both wept profusely. (1 Samuel 19:41) Our Heavenly Father saw the value of preserving the story behind their tears so that we could read years after. Tears are by no means a sign of weakness, it is a sign of emotional strength and you have strong tear ducts. Thank you so much for sharing Roz;-)

  3. A smile is just a frown turned upside down. I have been told that I have a beautiful smile, and when I don’t smile I looked: mean, cold, aloof, sinister. .. So, growing up and well onto my adult life I have always try to wear a smile even when the pain inside me was raw and bloody. How did I come to allow my feelings on the inside match the facial expression on my outside? I started telling me: Barbara Washington that it’s okay to be upset, mad, angry… and show it. I was good at showing the smiley side. So now when people see the tears of my clown face, it is truly sadness that this clown is experiencing and not the fake smile turned upside down. Oh how liberating!!!

    1. Beautifully articulated Barb! That’s what we call FREEDOM! I think that comes along with age ane experience. Your comment a couple of blogs ago about the decades in a woman’s life and the stages they go through was so accurate. I love the FREEDOM that 50 has brought! Thank you for sharing…I’ve missed your comments;-)

  4. Wow! Believe it or not, I cried this morning….it was a joyous cry…..a deep down self-fulfilling cry which made me feel like I could conquer anything…In my secular life, I had been challenged recently at every twist and turn and then finally after a long three week waiting period, I was told that I was the selected number one top candidate who had glowing results despite the obstacles set before me….through my haze of tears, I said silently to myself, “you did it, you showed them your worth…thanks to our Grand Creator!” My tears were those of joy, happiness, hope and sadness….they made me feel strong, they made me feel proud, they enhanced me….I was glad to cry today!

    1. Wow Keely! Thank you for sharing the story behind your tears. How wonderful! Congratulations! I’m so happy for you. Yes, you showed them your worth, something that was there all along, Our Heavenly Father knew it, deep down inside you knew how valuable you are, they were just late in noticing your worth. Your tears encompassed so many emotions and its wonderful you gave yourself the time, the space to cry thereby capturing every emotion produced by those small droplets of moisture. Way to go Keely…so proud of YOU!!! Thanks for joining our discussion;-)

  5. Thanks Cathy. I have had the tears of joy and hurt. Tears I think I should have and have not shed to this day, are tears of sorrow for both of my grandmothers. I was close to each of them and did not shed one tear. I always wondered why. Was it because I knew they were in a better place, I shared wonderful times with them and its ok. This is the question I asked myself when I think about them.

    1. Thank you Rosa for sharing. It’s not too late to shed those tears and if you give yourself the time and the space to do so, I’m sure you will be able to answer that question. “Why didn’t I shed a tear for my grandmothers?” Grandmothers are special, there is not other relationship like it, no matter how old we get, our grandmothers have a way of making us feel safe, secure and special just like when we were little girls. To get you started in your process of discovery of why you did not shed your tears of sorrow, ponder this question, “who will cry for the little girl inside of me?” I’m sure she misses her grandmothers. Thank you so much for sharing Rosa.

  6. An amazing post. As I started reading, I could feel the emotion of sadness remembering my own loss. But then the post takes you to a different place, laughter, and I could feel that emotion too. As I reflect, during that period of sadness, I never thought I would laugh again. Little did I know because I have laughed so many times since then. Thank you so much for sharing yourself with us.

    1. My pleasure! Yes, I can remember asking myself that question too, wondering if I would ever feel happiness again, and wondering how people could laugh in the midst of loss. It is a beautiful thing when you can see their laughter shift from a smile on their face to a smile from their soul. I’ve seen both. Thank you Donna for sharing.

  7. I often say I could cry a miiiiiiiiilion tears and still not scratch the surface of the deepest expression that reflects the condition of my heart. Happy, sad, hurt, anger, grief, anguish all of these feelings describe the emotional condition my heart has felt. Sometimes though the pain can cut so deep that you can’t even cry or you’ve cried so much that you just stop because crying doesn’t change what the reality is so some people just don’t allow themselves to cry. On Wednesday April 7th I had one of those moments because it was my only option. Crying was the onnnnnnnly option…….That’s all

    1. Wow…I can feel your pain Tam Tam in your words. I’m so sorry…I know some of your losses and they are deep. I can’t say I know exactly how you feel, but I know that when crying is the only option, it’s probably the right option. Some people don’t allow themselves to chose this option and experience the physiological and emotional healing that can take place. Some losses leave a scar that can only be healed by the beautiful future our Heavenly Father has planned for us. With a literal scar every time we look at it we remember what happened, it may even ache and depending on the severity of the scar we may shed more tears, but as time goes by we some how move to acceptance and growth, but in the mean time we can support, love and encourage one another. Thank you so much for sharing Tammy. I value you and our friendship. Love you!

  8. Tears……hmmmm not my strong suit. I do enjoy tears of joy, especially the ones I experience when someone has overcame an obstacle or worked hard and accomplished their goals. Those are the best tears. Those other tears still not comfortable with. I feel so vulnerable and weak. Plus it makes me go sleep afterward. lol. I’m just drained. I hate the process but love the results of crying. When I cry sad tears I feel like I’ve failed at something. I’ve recognized that I’m just really frustrated of trying to handle the situation; so I’m trying to embrace the fact that it is a cleansing. But that’s when I’m reminded to give it to God. The apostle Paul said it best at 2Cor. 12:10 when he said, “when I am weak I am powerful” because we remember to give to God in times of weaknesses. When I do that I feel strong again emotionally and can now go on.

    1. Beautifully expressed Sheila! I love your reference to Paul’s words at 2 Cor. 12:10. You mentioned how you hate the process…it is often the process that is difficult, but it produces such beautiful results. Take the example of a caterpillar, it is the struggle that creates the beauty of the butterfly. Or the process of grinding coffee beans to produce a dark roasted cup of coffee with an aroma that can awaken the tired and weary soul and warm the spirit! The sound of grinding coffee beans can be an irritation, but the result is beautiful. The quiet sound of tears can be difficult, but as you mentioned you love the results of crying. Whew! Hasn’t this been an awesome brew this week!? Thanks for sharing Sheila! Love your insight!

      1. Thanks cathy for sharing my journey withe me. Coffee with cathy has been a very satisfying cup of coffee. I’ve learned how to step outside my comfort zone and do things I never thought I would do or enjoy.

        1. From the moment I met you, I knew you were a phenomenal woman. I’ve always called you my Shero, not because I wanted you to save me, but because I knew once your wings were clipped you would soar. I’m standing on the ground with my cup of coffee in hand watching you fly. Your theme song you may ask??? “I believe I can fly.” I’m so proud of you Sheila!!!

  9. Thanks for sharing, I am a person that doesn’t cry often. To me it is a sign of weakness, but I have learned crying is just a small part of the story.

    1. Yes…it is a small part of the story Dana. Example, Jesus cried before he resurrected his friend Lazarus. In his strength he allowed himself to feel what others were feeling before he resurrected Lazarus. It was a very happy ending, but crying was a part of the grief process…You’re not the only one who views crying as a weakness, however, I think Sheila’s comment on the Apostle Paul’s statement, “when I am weak, I am powerful,” because he would then rely on our Heavenly Father gives us all permission to let those tears flow. Thanks for sharing Dana…you are so insightful. Well beyond your years. Love you.

  10. who can laugh at the tears of a clown only the clown who is masked behind the tears such a profound and prolific post I recently had to validate another mature woman’s tears wondering while she was crying wondering why she was feeling the way she was it’s okay to cry as you have stated which is so true because many times people wanting to wipe them away because of the vulnerability that you put them in. if anything we’re in exchange, an emotion will be given an for emotion and that’s OK too but in the midst of crying or releasing emotion it is the body’s way of saying I can’t physically do anything about the present situation the tears cleanse the soul I’m going to cry I will always cry d for rejoicing or for sorrow its just OK to be caught in a feeling thank you again for letting me take a sip of a good brew

    1. You’re very welcome. Well said…yes it is an exchange of emotion, a special sharing that takes place if you can hold the space for someone to release emotionally. I feel as the Psalmist David who said, “in a fear inspiring way, we are wonderfully made.” (Psalms 139:14) We clean house in so many ways, why not emotionally. Spring is right around the corner, let’s do some emotional spring cleaning! Is it time to change our filter…or shall we simmer in this brew?
      Mmmmmm it is, “good til the last drop!” Thanks for sharing Ms. Exclusive;-)

  11. Cathy you did it again! Reminded me of something that makes me cry every time I allow myself to think of it. It’s a place I could go to and share but don’t want to. I fear being judged, lectured or talked out of it by others. I know you wouldn’t do any of those things, but still right now there is a knot in my throat. Only Jehovah knows and will help.
    These blogs really bring out some deep feelings. Who knew!! Keep them coming. 🙂

    1. Thank you for sharing Maxine…this is a no judgment zone, but I truly do understand your reservations. I only wanted YOU to listen to the story your tears have to tell. Allow yourself the time and space to allow the lump to dissolve. It promotes the healing process. With Jehovah’s help you can do it. Remember…your tears are valuable to Him and to all who love you. They matter;-) Thanks again for being vulnerable.

  12. Cathy thank you so much for sharing “Tears of a Clown” I know from experience that after a good cry, whether sad or happy I always feel much better. I agree, crying is as an emotional cleanser, something I never thought about. I too, like David appreciate the privileged that I have of praying to my heavenly father, because when I can’t talk about my sad tears to others, I know that I can tell my heavenly father all about my tears and he listen. Again thank you.

    1. My pleasure Linda…and what a privilege it is to be able share our tears with our Creator, who knows us better than we know ourselves. Who understands our make up. I like to sometimes taste my tears, because the taste can tell a story as well. If we’re angry our tears are more salty than when we cry tears of joy. I’m telling you…there is knowledge in those little droplets that roll down our cheeks. Oh, the value of a good cry…it’s priceless.

  13. Another Monday, with an awesome brew. How I enjoy my sips .
    Today was very thought provoking, i don’t remember the last time I cried. I mean the last time I cried for myself. I cry over a movie, I’ll cry with or for a friend. But to have that emotional release that David spoke of or to taste the tears of Joy, seems to be a lost art. At least for me. I feel like Lisa Lisa/ cult jam’s song. I’m all cried out. . sometimes I feel like I need a good cry hmm I think I’ll go watch a sad movie.

    1. LOL…I love it Kathy! I remember years ago when I came on my cycle, I used to watch sad movies to validate the emotional roller coaster I would often ride before I knew anything about PMS. I would always feel so much better afterwards. Yes, it is a lost art. Steve Wonder wrote a song about it, “My eyes don’t cry no more.” Let’s give ourselves permission to create something beautiful through the masterfully designed artwork that rolls down our cheeks. Let me know what movie you decide to watch. Step mom with Julia Roberts always does it for me;-) Thank you for sharing Kathy.

  14. First, I would like to start with how proud of you I am. Your blogs really make people reach deep, very therapeutic. I’m starting to realize now that my tears are more toward happiness lately. I’m moving in directions that were not expected. It shows hard work pays off. So I cry tears of joy and it feels great.

    1. Thank you Jessica…what a transition you’ve made! I celebrate with you. I’m so proud of your growth as well. I’m honored to create a space for women to be able to share life lessons for the benefit of each other. Life is so fast paced when do we get a chance to communicate on this level? I have learned so much since I began this journey of sip Coffee with Cathy. We have been brewing something special! Thanks for joining our discussion.

  15. Mmph mmph mmph Cathy! So deep lol! Girl if i told the story of where my tears came from it would be one loooong book! I have held back so many tears in my life that when I finally let a few flow they come from everywhere! I can barely stop myself! My eyes and nose run my well dry! I have always felt that tears were a sign of weakness and too much vulnerability. I don’t know where that comes from within me but it’s been my way of life since I can remember. It’s funny that since I’ve been in my late 30’s I noticed they (my tears) are much harder to hold back. I am more emotional than ever before. Perhaps it’s from holding so much emotion in all my life. I will take the time to examine why and how to become more comfortable with my feelings. PS- I love that you and your husband are able to connect on new levels after so many years! What a blessing to still be so in love! So Inspirational!

    1. FREEDOM…Open the floodgates and let them flow. Create the time and the space for your emotional enema;-) So often I’m in the midst of a conversation with someone and the tears will start to flow. Following those tears is a look of shame and then an apology. I always say, “no apology needed, this is a safe place.” We can all create that place of safety to release our tears and honor them by listening to the story they have to tell. It is so therapeutic. There is also value in holding onto the happy tears. If you’re not a person who generates tears from laughing, notice people who are, it is a beautiful thing. I just witnessed my dad laugh until tears rolled down his face. He was very slow about whipping them away, no look of shame, no apology to follow. He allowed himself to dwell in that moment and then pulled out his handkerchief to dry his face. Had I not made a conscious decision to observe the story behind the tears…I would have missed this beautiful moment. Ahhhh the value of tears. Go ahead and fill a skin bottle, our Heavenly Father will hold them. It’s worth every drop. Thank you Kiki for sharing your soul.

  16. If my tears could tell a story I don’t know what story they would tell. I seldom cry if at all. When I do cry it is because someone close to my heart has died. Sometimes I want to cry but the tears never fall. I wish like so many other people who weep when they need to, that I could but it just doesn’t happen. I never saw my mother or father cry unless someone had died. When I am frustrated i want to cry but I don’t instead i either marinate in my frustration or I began to rant like a crazy lady to my circle of friends. Is that normal?
    Lakeeshi

    1. Yes Keeshi…you’re response is “normal,” from the stand point of a class that I teach called, Crucial Conversations. One of the principles in this class is, “if we don’t talk it out, we act it out.” I’m wondering if your choice of the word marinate, which means to make moist is indicative of your need to release emotionally by way of tears??? Just a thought. There is great value in the process of crying. Many view it as a sign of weakness, but as so many have expressed this week is the example that Jesus set in taking the time to cry before he resurrected Lazarus. None of us would view this as a sign of weakness. There are so many benefits to crying. Check out this website and afterwards pop in a good tear jerking movie and let the nature take it course. I recommend Step Mom.
      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2047605/Dont-hold–crying-really-IS-good-you.html

      Enjoy!

      1. I guess my tears are acted out and filtered through conversation, never thought about it like that…. Good observation!

        By the way I love the movie, “Stepmom”, no tears their I watched it too many times… Lol

        1. LOL…You have watched, produced and lived that movie. I love that movie…I cry every time. I guess I haven’t watched it enough.

  17. My tears would tell of a lifetime of joy and pain that produce sweltering moisture upon emotions that evoke a response.

    1. Sounds like real life. There are the ups and downs of life and when we respond appropriately, I think it lets us know that we haven’t become emotionally callous or fearful of the uncertainties that life may bring. I love your description, “sweltering moisture.” Sounds like a weather forecast. Thank you for sharing Heidi.

      1. Crying is ALWAYS a good thing rather its out of happiness or sadness because it represents the ” emotions ” of what I am feeling. Being in tune with my feelings is EXTREMELY important, because it has been a key factor in understanding “ME”.When others cry it is good for me to see that, so I can *INSTANTLY* be aware of being more sensitive , more tender and more compassionate towards the person who NEEDS it.Sometimes I have no idea the pain a person may be going through rather its either because I am focus on something else or them hiding their pain. Regardless seeing tears in others FORCES me to be AWARE of someone else’s pain, which makes me a better friend or person. One of my favorite account of Jesus was when he cried and gave away to tears when he resurrected Lazarus.The reason why this account has always touch me DEEPLY is because Jesus *KNEW *he was going to bring Lazarus back to life. So why did he cry???- He had deep love and feelings for the pain that comes with death – He understood COMPLETLY what pain others go through, he was DEFIENTLY in tune and on POINT with humans emotions! The bible says he gave away to tears showing empathy for others ,all while knowing he was about to fix the problem!— How AWESOME is that!!!– That account makes me feel SAFE and gives me complete CONFIDENCE in Jehovah and Jesus.This account teaches me so Many things… 1. Tears are a natural human emotions that I should NEVER EVER be ashamed of ..because I am human, I am ALWAYS ALLOWED to cry for whatever reason, good or bad! 2. Their is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING wrong with a man crying, in fact a man not being ashamed to cry makes me admire him because it shows his confidence being in tune to his emotions!– “If” I marry and my future husband can cry!(- How sexy that will be!!!) 3. Tears by others FORCES me to aware of others joy or pain- so I can rejoice with them or weep with them.(Romans 12:15)—The core of * EVERYTHING* I am trying to say is —- TEARS represents balance for me! It keeps me in tune with my emotions rather good or bad AND it keeps me in tune with other peoples emotions rather good or bad because it CANT and should NOT always be about me, otherwise that would be SELFISH , a quality I hate so much I try very very very hard NOT to display!

        1. PS…. Since some people or all of us at sometime don’t always feel like expressing our pain or feel comfortable in opening up to others – We can easily miss or be total clueless to the pain another person is experiencing – Especially because Prov 14: 13/says even in laughter the heart may feel pain! — SEEING tears on someone’s faces helps all of us to display the qualities of Insight and discernment!!!!.. Wow, seeing tears makes us wiser AND more connected and in tune with others and not just ourselves!. Just the thought of that blows my mind away.!!!!What a excellent topic to discuss for this week Cathy-! GREAT Job again, Keep it coming!

          1. Thank you Lisa…Yes, tears make us wiser when we listen and observe. One of my favorite sayings is, “great things happen in the silence.” If we’re comfortable in the silence we can hear our own tears and those of others and respond appropriately. What shall we discuss next week…any suggestions ladies?

        2. Well put Lisa! I love your view on giving men permission to cry. They have feelings too. We are so blessed to be able to share our feelings and emotions, even in this forum. Where do they go for support. How many men look at Jesus’ example of shedding tears and feel they have been given permission to express their deepest emotions? I believe in many ways tears are the window to the soul, it’s only after that window has been cleaned can we clearly see what’s inside. Thank you for sharing Lisa…very deep thoughts.

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