Thursday, January 05, 2012

Why Movies Make Us Cry

First things, first - I have confessions to make. Sure, I haven't been here for a while. Yes, I know because of that, I am talking to myself. Finally, this particular blog post is somewhat of a revisit. I addressed this before, but I got to thinking about it again. Living alone, sometimes all I have are movies and songs to make me cry. Maybe that's a good thing.

Those of you who have read much of my blog know that I am a spiritual kind of guy. I think most questions in life have a spiritual component. This one ESPECIALLY does. I could be wrong about it; I'm no expert (on anything, for that matter). Feel free to disagree without consequence. But here is the reason movies, songs, books, etc. make us cry, as far as I see it:

I think it is a matter of communication and a reset of the soul. Life is difficult. We witness the hardness of the world on a daily basis; we see our soldiers dying in Afghanistan, car crashes that kill mothers and their babies, etc. We just can't stop and feel for these things all the time at the moment it intrudes into our brains. We have become calloused for survival's sake. Oh sure, every now and then it stops us in our tracks and touches us if the tragedy is particularly powerful or we are having a vulnerable moment, but for the most part, we simply do not have time to stop and cry over every tragedy and/or touching news story.

Movies, music, books, etc. grab us when we are not as busy. We are relaxed and have our emotional guards down. Our minds and souls get real with us and reset our emotions. It reminds us that we are feeling, compassionate beings. Without this outlet, I believe that compassion would wane altogether and the world would spin violently out of control.

What about the non-tragedy tears - the "tears of joy" phenomenon? I believe it is the same principle, different stimuli. The most significant part of the soul is the part that connects with other souls. There is something that transcends known science here that deeply effects our well being. We need to care about others. We need to feel connected to others in life, love and loss, dreams reached or shattered. Our humanity depends on it.

I believe God made us this way for our own survival and to remind us that there is something bigger than our own life and circumstance. It is mind-blowing when considering that there is something "unreal" by physical life standards that has more power than our current physical life state. It is this type of illogical emotion that humbles us and forces us to admit there is something bigger going on inside. The fact that there is something bigger than life makes us admit the possibility that something will ALWAYS be bigger than life - even when life as we know it ceases for us.

Admittedly, we often find a connection with fiction to our own lives and dreams that can prompt emotion. It is the attention getter. However, it is still fiction and we have our own lives to deal with. Yet, here it is - the passion, the tears, and the connection to the One big Mystery that created us this illogical way.