A few years ago, a Cherokee medicine woman shared with me the meaning of white roses and tears.
“We never wipe away our tears; we are not ashamed of them.” She said.
On the Trail of Tears, many of our ancestors were shoved and pushed and made to walk, often times until they died. It is said that when their tears touched the ground, a white rose grew. Others say that the white roses grew to give the mothers strength.
Regardless, we never wipe away our tears. We are not ashamed of them. We do not stop ourselves from crying because of sorrow or joy.
Tears are not shame. They are pain, they are joy, struggles and hopes. We are human and we feel. If we do not feel the urge to hide our smiles, why should we feel it necessary to hide our tears?
I mean, when did human emotion become something we’re supposed to be ashamed of? That doesn’t make any sense to me.
(And just in case you’re wondering, there really are white roses growing along the Trail of Tears.)
Ironically, I never cry in public. I’d be too embarrassed. Tears are personal to me. But I no longer consider them something to be ashamed of.
(And don’t get annoying. I’m talking about sincere tears here, not people who are immature and cry over everything or to manipulate others.)