Tear of joy?!? That’s a phrase I haven’t used/heard in a hot minute. As a therapist Im obsessed with specific ways that we describe our emotions, and I was today years old when I realized just how intricate and articulate this phrase actually is.
I’m well aware of what a”tear of joy” feels like. For me, it’s not like a full on happy -cry session, it’s more a momentary jolt of positive emotions that’s so explosively intense that is a bit uncomfortable and my heart usually feels like it skips a beat. Like being electrocuted by a happy wire. In the past I’ve experienced this feeling when someone brings up a very good memory or when I see something that reminds me of my grandparents. Since leaving the school system, I get this feeling when reminiscing some of my favorite elementary school counselor memories. When i do use this term, I typically associate it with something from the past.
But it makes sense that there are also tears of joy in the present, even if I hadn’t identified them as such. Like today, watching my mom interact with my dog and cat with such love between them all. Or the feeling of gratitude that i experienced after spending all weekend with her. These things did not bring actual tears to my eyes but there were definitely a few skipped heart beats where there were no words to express how much joy I was experiencing. To me, that’s a tear of joy.