For many years I was a peer counselor and taught Re-Evaluation Counseling (co-counseling, as it’s also called).
We clergy spouses find ourselves responding in the midst of so many crises… and then sometimes the stress of responding to those piles up a bit, as our own unrelieved stress.
This especially happens when we forget– in the sudden closeness people will leap into in our presence– that it is not we who are responding but our dear Lord, through us.
Sometimes I forget to take these stresses straight to the Lord, but sometimes the tears of release come up (for me) right in the midst of my studies. And when they do, I thank the Holy Spirit for them– and let ’em rip! And then I remember to pray… and Jesus is always quick to hold me close.
These “Good News”-type tears (AKA gospel tears) are a great way out of a hole, no matter how it got dug…. but it’s also important to take on extra vitamin Cs and Bs (and water!) after heavy tears… because those do wash out in the tears.
Also it’s good to take breaks, even from Good News tears, every now and then, to focus one’s attention back into present-time– smoothly and with less dragginess/preoccupation with whatever hard memories have come up.
And any attention given to improving anything will spark those good-news tears, and, if one persists, some wacky-laughter– because that is one way human beings discharge pent-up fears.
Much more info here: at http://www.rc.org (RC = Re-evaluation Counseling, not Roman Catholic, LOL!)
ALL THE BEST,