Crying was your first sign of being alive. If you didn’t cry, doctors made sure you did because you were supposed to live. Cry to live. You had to learn to cry before you were supposed to learn to smile.
As babies, we used to cry to communicate anything and everything. Then with time, we learned to express ourselves with words instead of tears. But until now, when words fail to express feelings bursting inside, tears replace them.
When feelings are beyond words, tears take over.
Extreme joy, suppressed anger, helplessness, sorrow, loneliness, regrets, repentance, pain, stress, loss, disappointment, empathy, smothered tears etc; all can result in crying.
They are not a sign of weakness. Just a mode of communication. A silent one. And not all tears mean depression or sadness. True weakness isn’t acknowledging your emotions by crying: it’s hiding from them.
Too often, we feel ashamed, silly or weak when we cry in front of anyone. Perhaps it’s because we feel vulnerable when we don’t want to. Though havoc, the unacknowledged feelings may wreak is greater than feeling of vulnerability.
In reality, we are simply connected with our feelings. It’s also an opportunity for people to become closer. If we cry in front of someone, chances are we either feel attached to that person or will eventually be attached.
Which is why shedding tears for the sake of Allaah brings us closer to Him. Tears in sujood (prostration) or tears in du’a are one of the most beautiful feelings.
Tears are our way to connect to Allaah in the closest manner possible.
And those are the tears that make us feel afloat above all our burdens.
It feels like this was the reason why Prophet (PBUH) was ever smiling even when his life had hardships upon hardships. He shed tears and it didn’t make him any less manly. He just knew how to blow away the heavy load with the power of tears. Smiling is sunnah and so is crying (not equivalent though). Hence, it’s nothing to be ashamed of.
…Allah does not punish for the shedding of tears or the grief of the heart, but punishes or bestows mercy for the utterances of this (and he (PBUH) pointed to his tongue). [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
So next time when you try to suppress your tears, let them flow. Fall in prostration and let them reach Allaah. What others can’t understand and sometimes not even you, Allaah will. Tears will strengthen you instead of making you feel weak. So let them flow…
If you’re a parent, then know that this message starts at a very young age! So we need to know how to deliver this message across to them that tears are not a sign of weakness!
Whenever the kids start crying at something that seem like such a manageable emotion for most of us adults, we say thing like:
‘Stop crying! There’s nothing to cry about!’
“Don’t be silly”
“Shh, everyone is looking at you”
“Stop crying or I’ll give you something to cry about!”
We’ve all said it, or at least thought it. And did you hear these words as a child too? Which still makes you afraid of crying because you think it’s a weakness? When we dismiss or minimize our children’s feelings, we actually make our job harder. We very RARELY succeed at making them stop anyway, and it’s more likely that they will need more support from us in the future rather than less.
So the idea is to help them regulate their emotions and direct them the right way.
1) So one of the things you can say instead of stop, is that it’s ok.
كوئ بات نهي
2) Repeating what they are upset about helps them feel reassured as well.
3) Reminding them of the hopeful perspective on the situation (and listening to their hopeless response) helps as well.
In short, simply LISTENING can help A LOT. Because sometimes – yes! the kids are crying at something completely ridiculous 😁 and you’re lost as to how to even respond!
So if you’re in that situation, simply listen to them and let them find their own answers by letting them know that you’re here as they figure out what is making them upset! It gives them the control and also some sense of responsibility that their emotions are in their control and they CAN regulate them by deciding what to say and not to say from their tongue even if their eyes can’t control the tears.
and of course, a hug of empathy has no better replacement when emotions feel overwhelming!