My mother always told me that tears are good for the soul, but why? There are several reasons tears are good for us. Let me give you a framework to begin with.
They are a signal for God to release His goodness and power into our lives. John 16:20 tells us God will turn our tears into shouts of joy! What was meant for harm to us in this world will be changed and transformed into happiness and joy-filled moments. There is no promise we will be sorrow free. We are to expect to suffer. In the same respect, we are also to expect joy.
God collects our tears. In Psalm 56:8, king David says God collects our tears in a bottle. This means God keeps careful track of all of the tears we shed, and at the right time, they will be released for us in the form of blessing.
Tears help us to let go of emotional baggage and relieve stress. There is something powerful about releasing from our eyes. Whatever was clouding our vision will be cleared, and our way will be shown to us.
Our tears bring hope through our joy. Not all tears are sorrowful. Some are joy-filled. When joyful tears are shed, hope is on the rise. With our tears, we give ourselves hope for today and tomorrow. We also show hope and compassion to those around us.
I’m not sure where or when it became terrible or wrong to cry. All of the prophets of old cried out to God and to others. We are a unit, and when one cries, we all cry. We don’t always see ourselves through the lens of our oneness, but the truth is, we are one. When we cry out, we cry out for ourselves and all. Our hearts are more than just a pumping muscle. We have a soulful heart that is a miracle creator should we choose to allow release and healing to happen. Don’t worry. God has this, and so do you!
For a very long time, I was a seeker of peace. After all, peace is what I was taught to pursue. To me, having peace meant happiness. Even more profound, having peace meant going beyond happiness and into joy. I have come to realize that joy is peace expressed. When inner peace overtakes the soul, we have joy and joy-filled responses to the world around us.
It’s a lot like genuinely being in love; the world can be falling around us, and we don’t care that much. True peace is the same. When we have it, we know it because the world can be in utter crisis, and we still have the expression of peace: joy.
From what I have gathered just by observing my own life, and maybe some others, true peace comes from living in the moment. The moment can be filled with torrential seas and churning emotions. Our answer is to be still during that churning moment. Jesus taught us when the boat begins to rock in the storm, our response is “Peace be still.” Being still in the torrential moment is the answer to peace. I determine to do nothing except breathe for that moment. Each moment passes as they always do. Not one moment can be captured and held.
So, we let that torrential moment pass and allow peace to flood into us and eventually out of us. We will enable the breath of the moment to fill us with tranquil thoughts and, ultimately, peace during our bodies’ surge of uncertainty. Pursuing this type of peace takes practice because we have to override our instincts to react and act. In truth, our actions can wait for the torrential moment to pass on by; and it will.
“Trust and allow” are words that always have echoed into my spirit after a torrential moment has surged up to haunt me, overtake me, or wreck me. The reality is, the world can wait, people can wait, and life’s issues can wait for one sacred moment when peace will expand inside. Let’s make a pact with ourselves to survive the next torrential moment with a breath, with peace, and with dignity. The peace gate might take a few moments or more to open. So our solution is to sit, not to keep our eyes on the storm surge, but to focus on peace entering into us with breath and with life.
This is the body’s medicine for the soul. Breathing in peace and getting into the habit of continually doing this will save a great deal of heartache and allow healing to begin within the wounds that are begging to be exposed and healed. Let’s heal ourselves while there is time on earth. We can do this! It’s not hard. All it takes is the dedication to wanting to live a more peaceful, serene, and joy-filled life!
Remember, you influence the rest of the world around you. Being in peace and having joy-filled responses will heal you and heal those you influence.
Have you become sloppy in your good habits lately? No doubt, during these difficult times, many of us have deviated from our usual healthy routines. We have been all about comfort, and we should be. Yet, many have also ran to the habits that have comforted more than healed—things like eating junk food, watching stuff on the computer or TV for more time than usual. We might have even substituted many of our good habits for bad ones with good intentions.
Good intentions are great, but without executing a good plan, they are not so good. Maybe now is the time to get back to good habits. Things like eating the best foods for your system, going for walks, or enjoying fresh fall air can be useful for the body and soul. Simple acts of kindness can be a habit that heals the soul. We all need healing habits. We also need to remember them. They bring us comfort and consistency. Our healing habits are like a warm blanket of security that gives us strength more than drain it from us.
It’s a great time to explore new habits. Write some things down on paper and create a plan to do them daily. Don’t forget to pen in the self-care. Take long baths in Epsom salts, read for pleasure, or make a grocery list that has comfort foods that heal the body instead of filling the hurting spaces. Right foods can’t heal a broken heart, but they can keep us healthy while we do recover.
Get back to a good prayer and meditation life. Choose your weapons wisely, and be careful what comes out of your mouth. We all need these reminders. Get plenty of sleep. Being a night owl is alright sometimes, but our bodies regenerate during sleep. Being healthy when the winter season comes will depend upon what we are doing now. Being fit for a lifetime will depend on doing the right things continually every day.
Only you know what is right for you, but some things are pretty easy to pinpoint. Some of the items above are a good start and a reminder for you. It’s time to get back to the essential good habits that heal the body, mind, and soul!
When something is concealed, it is hidden from human exposure. Concealing occurs to keep others from knowing something, either for our protection or for someone else’s destruction. Weapons are not always material. Sometimes they are hidden truths about ourselves we don’t want to expose. Often for our perceived protection, these also can bring just as much destruction once they are revealed.
When a person conceals things from others around them, they are not hiding anything. Every single item is exposed eventually. The fallout is hard, depending upon how long it was concealed. I know how much this hurts others. I’ve had things hidden from me. When they were discovered, the pain of the revelation was so much worse than the original issue.
Deeds concealed, justified by our inner thinking, can be worse than a real weapon because the fallout will kill the inner being of another person. When a wrong deed is done to someone, it hurts. When it is concealed and exposed, it kills. Let me explain. We all have soul scars and boundaries. Soul scars are not so great. They are covered over wounds that are also concealed, but often even to ourselves. When a concealed deed hits the soul scar of another person, the result is the opening of the wound. This makes the exposed act worse than a real shot in the stomach. It bleeds out all of the inner injuries from before and multiplies the effect of what was revealed.
Humans can’t stand exposure. It reveals something terrible about their character. Even worse, they blame the very person they hurt because they often don’t want to take responsibility. This is a “garden of Eden” situation. Adam and Eve concealed the weapon they disobeyed God. Once revealed, the painful part of the exposure was so much worse than if they had just been honest about it. They suffered the consequences for many generations over and over.
Yet, God covered them. This does not mean God made it alright to conceal things. They suffered greatly. They were forgiven, but the fallout from their concealed weapon was more than they bargained for. Adam had to toil and work hard for a living that God had previously gifted to him. Eve had to have painful childbirth women still experience today. Childbirth is a joyful experience, but like everything else that is birthing, it comes with pain and sorrow.
This is the fallout of the concealed weapon. Information is discovered about it, and the bullet causes pain for years to follow. What is even worse, we often don’t take responsibility for our own things we purposefully hide. We tend to justify as to why it is right. Believe me; it is never right. Concealed weapons will even bite its owner. Remember the snake in the garden of Eden story? The snake struck the heel of humans. It’s a snake bite that can hurt for a long time. The good news is the snake was also stomped upon. Although the pain of the bite was present, the victory is in the truth.
Symbolically Adams’ crushing of the snakes head stands for victory when truth wins out. This only comes from the love of God when covering happens. Don’t mistake covering for concealing. Every deed is exposed in the light of God. Covering occurs when, after exposure, repentance and forgiveness occurs. God will never help us hide our weapons. God’s desire is for us to walk uprightly and free. We can not be open when we conceal our guns. If we think so, we are kidding ourselves. The only way to freedom is through exposure.
First we have to face our own inner concealed weapons. Then expose them through speaking the truth about them. Repent, be sorry for hiding things from others that we know would hurt them if they knew. Then take the discipline and the lesson that comes from concealing and hiding something. It might be hard to take, but its better than God exposing it for us later. Sometimes we are unwilling to face our own demons, so to speak. It’s much better than God’s light shining upon them for everyone to see. Don’t allow concealed weapons to kill others and yourself. Take the fallout now and confess your gun. It is so much easier now than allowing God to pull it out and shine a light upon it.
I remember this in a previous relationship. God exposed infidelity. The wound for me was crushing, but the exposure for the other was so much worse than anything I might have felt. It was exposed openly for everyone to see. Do you want this for yourself or others? Maybe its time to pull out our weapons and lay them down at the feet of the One who knows it all anyway. Even more, expose it before it gets told for you. This is done out of love. It might not seem like it, but it is. God never wants His creation to have to carry such a heavy responsibility. It takes a lot of heavy lifting to keep those weapons concealed. One will build upon another. Confess it all, and deal with what you need to deal with. In the long run, your life will be so much lighter!
When you were growing up, have you ever heard someone say to a child, “You should be ashamed of yourself!” This usually came after some perceived error in judgment or just plain bad behavior. I wonder if any parent ever stopped to think about those words and what they might mean when someone becomes an adult. I wonder where parents heard those words themselves, took on the shameful perception of themselves, and then unconsciously passed it on as “good morality” teaching. When I hear those words myself, I see a little girl sitting cross legged on a bed with her head down ready to cry.
When a person grows up in shaming then shame is what they carry either unconsciously, consciously, or both. As shaming is passed down through family lines it becomes like a genetic disease. Most of the time it goes unnoticed like a program that runs in the background of a life, just like on a computer. Then it comes out the first opportunity it gets, to stab a person right into the shame wound. The next thing they know it comes out of their pores in the form of anger, fear, humiliation, and the list goes on.
Someone who has been seriously shamed can never take any type of correction, teaching, or instruction. They just believe they are being wronged, bruised, and shamed again and again. This does not end until awareness is brought to the wound. Once something is known it can not be unknown. It becomes a person’s truth and can be very transformative if an individual decides to make it that way.
The next time someone corrects you, tries to teach you, criticizes you, or worse, think about what feelings are suddenly brought up. How does your body feel and is it reacting as well? Sometimes you might feel sick in your stomach, your breath might become faster and shorter, or you might feel like you want to storm off, lash out, or RUN! Pain is always an indicator of illness of any kind. It makes no difference if it is physical or emotional. It brings an opportunity to create healing. The next time a situation brings you distress, instead of blaming another person or a situation, let it be a healing moment.
Close your eyes, put one hand over your heart and one on your stomach. Breath deep and slowly. Ask yourself what feelings this issue is bringing up for you and if you would like to decide to heal yourself instead of react. If you want to heal yourself, sit with God and tell yourself the words that others never seemed to ever say. “I am valuable.” I am enough.” “Others’ opinions or thoughts of me don’t have to be made my own.” “I am deeply loved and admired.” “I am unique and God sees me as powerful.” There are many you can say. Maybe write down some of your own and keep them in a place where you see them every day. Then when shame comes to call, open the door with a self love bomb that sends it packing for good!
Practice makes perfect in this case. Let it become second nature to you. Refuse to pass shame down through family lines. Refuse to allow others words, actions, or thoughts of you make you feel less than what you really are. Instead of blame, heal. Instead of lash out or react, reaffirm. Instead of shame, brilliance!
Loving you from here,
Dr. Rev. Jenine Marie Howry
If you struggle with shame or if you tend to take on others thoughts of you, please call and make an appointment. I can guide you through a course of healing that can reaffirm who you really are!