I've always admired women who could tear up (as in cry) at a sad story, then seconds later act normal as if nothing had happened. Those kind of women exuded femininity, softness, tenderness-- qualities I admired but which I seemed to have in short supply. My tearful moments more closely resembled that of a dam bursting open producing long, drawn-out, blubbery boo-hoos with the red eyes, runny nose and a certain woebegone Eyore look. I'm an all or nothing person, so I guess I shouldn't be surprised that it shows up in this emotional area of my life as well. However, it has bothered me so much (like the fact that I never cried at my father's funeral) that I have actually prayed about it--and wondered if there was something wrong with me! Then a neat thing happened. After writing my blog about my grandfather, I had an insight. Certainly a child is influenced by his parents and grandparents, and in my case, a grandfather who didn't even hug me after a scary, choking incident sent me a message not to show emotion. Moments after writing that blog I remembered another incident when I was nine years old at my maternal grandfather's funeral. I never had any emotional attachment to him; in fact, my only recollection of him was of that day in his casket. I sat through the funeral service without feeling any reason to cry, but after the funeral as people were leaving the chapel, I began to cry. My father saw me, put his arms around me and said, "Don't cry! Don't cry!" So I stopped right on the spot! He didn't explain his reasons and I never asked for them, because asking was something I didn't do.
I have analyzed how I handle situations involving good-byes or moments for expressing emotion and I've discovered that I'm very good at stuffing those feelings so I don't have to face them. Could these two situations be windows God is allowing me to peek through to help me understand myself (and not condemn myself as well)? I think so. Human beings are a complex tangle of wires like a mother board on the computer and only God knows how we are wired up and how we got a blocked-up connection along our walk through life, yet his love for us is so great that he yearns to work with us to remove all the blockages to allow his love to flow out in its widest dimensions through us to the world.
And oh, I actually cried at a film we watched the other day and I didn't get blubbery or end up with red-rimmed eyelids and a runny nose. I'm making progress!