Unshed Tears


me and John Travolta in NYC

I have poofy bags under my eyes.  I have had them for as long as I can remember.  As a teen, my mom always used to ask me if I had gotten enough sleep no matter how early I went to bed!  Unfortunately, it seems like they have gotten larger as I’ve gotten older.  I tell people, I don’t need to pack my bags, they’re already packed!  I laugh, but often cringe as I look in a mirror, wishing they weren’t there because that’s all I can see.  And now that I wear glasses a lot, that makes them look even bigger to me (or maybe it just means I couldn’t see them before!).  They are what cause me or have someone else to delete many photos.  People have told me they don’t notice them.  I think they lie.  🙂

Why do I have these things, I have frustratedly wondered at times, and why can’t I get them to go away no matter what I do?  Only recently has acceptance blossomed and I can ignore them, if not exactly love them, and change my focus when I start obsessing because I know that’s not a loving path to follow.  That’s just beating myself up.  The thing is, I know I don’t really notice them or judge them on other people, so why am I so hard on myself?  It does seem like such a little thing to be bothered by when looking at it objectively.

Last week I read something from Jean Haner that blew me away about these bags under the eyes.  She calls them unshed tears.


I was dumbfounded when I read that definition from Chinese Face Reading from her.  I had had that very same insight last Fall!  I even shared it with one of my fellow Eloheimers.  We were chatting when that topic came up and I wondered out loud if they were unshed tears.  But really I thought I was making it up.  It sounded like a silly reason for poofy eye bags.  Now here is the same forgotten sentence I had made months ago confirmed by a thousand-year old study of face reading!

Jean said that the decade of our thirties is one of introspection, where we go inward and experience some of our life’s most difficult times.  I didn’t cry much in my thirties, I sucked it up all the time.  I had things to do, kids to raise, a daycare to run, a marriage that was falling apart as well as a body trying to tell me things I was ignoring.  No time for tears.  My childhood was also full of repressed tears.  So, it’s no wonder my undereye bags have always been present and packed if they are based on unshed tears.

I have done a lot of crying since I started this personal journey of transformation.  I rarely cried before, I just didn’t.  I was the cool one, the one who held it together for everyone else.  Things “didn’t bother” me.  No big deal, you just get over it, you handle it, there are worse things in life, I would say or think.  I didn’t let people see my pain, I swallowed it.  Over the last 14 years, I have purged a lot of emotions via tears.  Sometimes I felt like my heart was cracking open and I really didn’t like the feeling.  It’s been so challenging for me to let go and show “weakness”, especially by crying.  (Note: Vulnerability is not weakness.)  Crying is a big deal for me.

During the past two weeks, more tears were shed, for various reasons.  Lately it seems like I am a virtual water faucet set permanently on open.  My emotions appear to be near the surface all the time and they trigger tears for laughter as well as for sadness or disappointment.

Maybe one of these days I will wake up and the eye bags will be gone.  Wouldn’t that be great!  I certainly have done my share of crying in this decade, so at least my bags could be nice enough to shrink a bit …  😥

Watch Jean Haner work as she reads Colette Baron Reid’s face in this video series.  I love Chinese face reading and have started to notice qualities in people that correspond to their facial features and lines.


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