Girls Night In

the blog for single, over-40 women

Never Be Ashamed of Your Tears

on September 2, 2014
Image courtesy of Boykung at freedigitalphotos.net

Image courtesy of Boykung at freedigitalphotos.net

Today I opened my Facebook and there it was, sparkling and beautiful, another engagement ring. The tears came and, honestly, they were not tears of happiness for my friend. Bitter, frustrated tears. They scalded my cheeks as they fell.

How many times in the last 30 years have these same tears fallen? In the early days of my singleness, they didn’t come as often. I could truly rejoice for my friends and family without thought of how long I’ve been waiting. As time went on, the reality of my extended singleness would, at times like this, press in and suffocate me.

Most days, I am okay with my life and my marital state. I don’t ever want to be like Miss Havisham from Charles Dickens’ classic, Great Expectations. She was left at the altar and spent the rest of her life living amongst the finery of the wedding that never happened. The beautiful white dress that she continues to wears is yellowed and decaying. Her whole life was pinned on that one event and when it didn’t happen, she gave up.

Our dreams of marriage are not just a minor thing. They wind deep into our hearts. For most of us women, the dream of marriage and family goes all the way back to childhood. It’s the way God created us — to be nurturers.

So, with each friend who gets engaged, we are reminded that that part of our lives is on hold. Each shining diamond taunts us with how long that waiting time has been for those of us who remain single. And each time, the tears may come anew.

Over the years, I have found that letting the tears come was cathartic. They would cleanse my weary soul and allow me to be truly happy for the engaged friend. Some people will refuse to admit the sorrow that comes at times, but I think it’s a part of life.

The tears that fell this morning will soften my heart and soul. They will help me go on with the life I have and not grow hard and bitter.

 Heaven knows we need never be ashamed of our tears, for they are rain upon the blinding dust of earth, overlying our hard hearts. I was better after I had cried, than before — more sorry, more aware of my own ingratitude, more gentle.
                                                                          ~Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

 

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2 responses to “Never Be Ashamed of Your Tears

  1. Carole Brown says:

    Great post! Tears are healing. 🙂 I know. 🙂

  2. sharynkopf says:

    Beautiful article, Tammie. Thank you!

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