Are your tears sometimes fake?
I just had a wrap-up session with a client, which is a time of great celebration and gratitude for all the learning, change, and growth that's happened during a season of coaching.
What surprised me the most was when this person especially thanked me for calling her out about "fake tears".
She said that now she can easily recognize when her tears are a helpful movement through real grief or joy, and when they're a sign of believing falsehoods. She even tells her friends, "Oops, those are my fake tears," and she pulls herself back to reality.
One reason I was brave enough to call her out on fake tears is that I really love this client. A lot. Like all my clients.
And the other reason is that I know my own fake tears.
Maybe you've seen the epic film Amélie (also known as Le Fabuleux Destin d'Amélie Poulain), which follows the life of a lonely girl with an active and mischievous imagination. In one scene, she enjoys wallowing in her tears, entering into a world in her own thoughts where she will always be alone and never find love.
I indulge in similar pity parties. It's so fun to feel worthless, hopeless, and helpless sometimes. The thoughts that can bring me to tears include, "I'm so far away from my family. I will never find a true home. My kids are growing up and leaving - and I didn't do enough for them. Nobody really understands me....." And yada, yada, yada.
That's all fine and wonderful. It can be so enjoyable to savor some delicious fake tears from time to time. As long as you recognize them for what they are. It's normal to cry (and have all manner of other emotions) when impossible and untrue thoughts fill the mind.
When I'm ready to dry my tears, the thoughts that help are, "I'm a part of this big, beautiful world. We're always connected. My home is right here with me all the time. I can understand why am feeling this way, and love myself through it. I'm so grateful for you."
So, go ahead and watch tear-jerker movies. Indulge in some liberating fake tears from time to time. Just don't stay there for 8 years (I've done that, too). Reality (one of my favorite words for God) is much bigger, more beautiful, and true than any fake thoughts you may be having.
What thoughts are you ready to release, even if they feel true? Which ones are starting to feel more doubtful? What other thoughts would be more true? Which thoughts bring you joy and freedom? What happens to your emotions now?
With great love,
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