The Gift of a Woman’s Tears – the power of presence in life and lovemaking
If there is one thing I wish I knew when I was younger it is this:
A woman’s tears are a gift.
Until I was about 27 years old, my reaction to a woman’s tears was to try to do anything to make them stop: comfort her, reason with her, hand her a tissue, whatever I felt would calm her down as quickly as possible. Apparently I am not alone in this. According to Time magazine, “Men tend to hate it when women cry — for reasons that they often have difficulty articulating. Now, new research suggests why — men may be biologically primed to react to a woman’s tears. According to a new study, even a whiff of these tears can dramatically reduce men’s testosterone levels.”
In my experience, her tears, the visible manifestation of her emotions, made me incredibly uncomfortable to the point of scaring the hell out of me. I tended to take everything personally, relating everything to myself. If she’s crying then I must in some way be responsible right? Her tears highlighted the difference between me and her, as man and woman. As they tumbled down her cheeks these trails of emotion showed me the mysterious nature of women. Her tears triggered the darker, deeper aspects of myself: my fears, sufferings, sadness and anger.
Now I have a different perspective.
A woman’s tears are a gift. They are an opportunity to hold space for her. It means that she trusts enough to be vulnerable, to unveil the deeper aspects of herself.
I had this powerfully demonstrated to me in an experience when I was practicing mauna, or spiritual silence, a number of years ago. My girlfriend, at the time, showed up at my house in tears, and threw herself into my arms. My normal reaction would have be ask, “what is wrong?” But I couldn’t talk… so for a few minutes I just held her.
While doing so I tried to figure out what why she was upset. At first I wondered if it was something I did. Men know that often we hurt women by things that we are not even aware of. I scanned back through my memories of our interactions to see if there was something that I missed, but couldn’t find anything. Then I realized that most likely, if her tears were caused by me, she wouldn’t be coming to me for solace. What did I know of her day … what could have happened? After continuing down this line for a few moments I realized that it this too didn’t matter.
Even if I knew what was wrong for her there was nothing I could do to change it. I couldn’t offer her any words of silence, I couldn’t ask her what she needs, I couldn’t offer her any advice – I couldn’t do any of the things I would normally do.
All I could do was hold her and send her love.
So that’s what I did. I turned off my mind and thoughts. I consciously and actively held her and sent her as much love as I could. Her tears changed from intense and powerful, body raking sobs, to a gentle tenderness. Her breathing slowed down, and her heart beat calmed in the face of my presence and my love.
After maybe 20 minutes she got up, gave me a kiss, said, “thank you” and left.
To this day I still don’t know what it was that caused her those tears at that moment. She told me later that my response was the best possible. That she had never felt so held, or so supported.
On that day I learned 2 very important things:
- That her tears were a gift. A woman’s tears are not something to be afraid of, to try and put an end to. They are rather something to feel incredibly grateful for.
- The best response is often just to be, to listen, and to love. Words are often not helpful. If you do use words, then choose them very carefully.
Tears in Lovemaking
This lesson is especially important in the act of lovemaking. Have you ever had a woman start crying during sex? The first few times that I experienced this it filled me with terror! What did I do? Did I hurt her somehow? All the same fears as above but magnified a hundredfold. After practicing Tantric lovemaking I have learned that this is also a gift. It usually means that she is open and vulnerable enough, in that moment, that she trusts enough to really open.
When she really opens it is scary, and often painful.
The vast majority of women in our culture have experienced sexual abuse of some type, and this is stored in the body especially in her most soft and vulnerable places: the yoni and especially in her cervix.
And even women that have not been the victim of such abuse have still experienced: the pain of a callous lover, the constant objectification and subtle violence of men around them, and the collective pain of the feminine in this world. All of which is also stored in the body, much in that most secret and soft places.
This can happen in any lovemaking that is deep, powerful and filled with love. In Tantric lovemaking especially much of this pain surfaces while going deep for long periods of time. She is invited to slowly open her heart and body, more and more. Perhaps she is experiences more and more pleasure, your loving presence inviting her to relax into the inter-being, the intertwining energies and souls.
It is in this sacred union that the threshold is crossed through her residual fear and pain. She may break down into tears. This happens quite often for women actually as they are first experiencing Tantric lovemaking, often with new partners as these women are taking that incredibly beautiful, and scary act, of trusting. Something that we men are so grateful for.
It will happen even for women that have been to this depth again and again. Women who have done years of Yoga, Tantra and healing work will experience this deep emotional release.
And men, when it does, be present, hold her, offer her unconditional love and gratitude, and remember: her tears are a gift. They are a recognition of your presence and her act of surrender.
Why God Gave Women Tears
A little boy asked his mother
“Why are you crying?”
“Because I’m a woman”,
she told him.
“I don’t understand”,
His mum just hugged him
and said, “And you never
Later the little boy asked
his father, “Why does mother seem to cry for
“All women cry for no reason”,
was all his dad could say.
The little boy grew up and became a man,
still wondering why women cry.
Finally he put in a call to God; and when God got on
the phone, he asked, “God, why do women cry so
“When I made the woman she had to be special.
I made her shoulders strong enough to carry the weight of the
world; yet, gentle enough to give comfort
I gave her an inner strength to endure childbirth and
the rejection that many times comes from her children.
I gave her a hardness that allows her to keep going
when everyone else gives up, and take care of her
family through sickness and fatigue without
complaining. .I gave her the sensitivity to love her children under
any and all circumstances, even when her child has
hurt her very badly. I gave her strength to carry her man through his
faults and fashioned her from his rib to protect his
heart. I gave her wisdom to know that a good man never
hurts his woman, but sometimes tests her strengths and
her resolve to stand beside him unfalteringly.
And finally, I gave her a tear to shed
This is hers exclusively to use whenever it is
The beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears,
the figure that she carries, or the way she combs her
hair. The beauty of a woman must be seen in her eyes,
because that is the doorway to her heart – the place
where love resides.