Like rain, tears can act as a cleanser, washing away the buildup to reveal a new foundation.

The last time I had a good bawling session was January 12, 2020, to be exact. How do I remember? Because it was the day after the release of my memoir and first book, “Half the Battle.”

I was feeling an entire range of emotions and cried for the majority of the day. Through those tears, I was eventually able to find clarity and peace.

But first, I had to go through it.

With the memoir, I’d hoped to share my personal story with mental illness, but I also worried about how the book would be received.

It wasn’t a perfect story, but I tried to be as transparent and honest as possible. After releasing it to the world, my anxiety meter went through the roof.

To make things worse, my childhood best friend felt I had portrayed her as a bad friend after she read it.

I felt overwhelmed and started questioning everything. Was my story going to be an awakening for people? Is it clear what I am trying to convey in these pages? Will people receive my story the way I intended, or will they judge me?

I felt more skeptical every moment and started overthinking everything. Fear got the best of me, and tears followed. I racked my brain trying to decide whether I should have even shared my truth in the first place.

After taking time to sit in my feelings, I felt stronger and ready for the world.

The tears said everything I couldn’t. With that emotional release, I felt I could stand firm in my truth and confidently let my art speak for itself.

I’ve always been an emotional person. I empathize with people easily and can feel their pain. It’s something I believe I inherited from my mom. She cried watching movies, TV shows, talking to strangers, and at all of our childhood milestones growing up.

Now that I’m in my 30s, I’ve noticed that I’m becoming more like her (which isn’t a bad thing). These days I cry for the good, bad, and everything in between.

I think it’s because as I get older, I care more about my life and how I impact others. I think more about what I want my imprint to be on this Earth.

Crying is often looked upon as a sign of weakness. However, there are several health benefits to having a good cry now and then. It can:

  • lift your spirits and improves your mood
  • aid sleeping
  • relieve pain
  • stimulate the production of endorphins
  • self-soothe
  • detoxify the body
  • restore emotional balance

I once heard an elderly woman say, “Tears are just silent prayers.” Every time I cry, I remember those words.

Sometimes, when things are beyond your control, there’s not much else you can do but release. Just like the rain, tears act as a mood cleanser, washing away the dirt and buildup to reveal a new foundation.

Shifting your perspective can help you see things in a new light.

These days, I don’t hold back if I feel the need to cry. I let it out because I’ve learned that holding it in doesn’t do me any good.

I welcome the tears when they come because I know after they subside I’ll feel much better. It’s something I would have been ashamed to say in my 20s. In fact, I tried to hide it then.

Now that I’m 31, there’s no shame. Only truth and comfort in the person I am, and the person I am becoming.

The next time you feel like crying, let it out! Feel it, breathe it, hold it. You’ve just experienced something special. There’s no need to be ashamed. Don’t let anyone talk you out of your feelings or tell you how you should feel. Your tears are valid.

I’m not saying go out into the world and find things to make yourself cry, but when the moment arises, embrace it without resistance.

You might find that those tears will act as a healthy tool to assist you when you need it most.

Candis is an author, poet, and freelance writer. Her memoir is entitled Half the Battle. She enjoys spa days, traveling, concerts, picnics in the park, and Lifetime movies on a Friday night.