Musings: Cry Me a River

9:17 AM

A little play on a oldie, but goodie from JT!
via Pin
It's taken me 30 years to feel comfortable crying...

I read an IG post that put it more perfectly than I ever could -- "People cry not because they are weak. It's because they have been strong for too long."

I always wonder what I can write about next and then BOOM, inspiration out of nowhere!

I don't know where I got the idea that crying made you weak. That crying meant you were soft. The stories we hear as kids, the teasing we receive if we cry in public growing up, movies, media, basically everything. That, coupled with the fact that I've always been part of 'the guys' group, everyone assumes I'm just as emotionally invested in things as most of them. This is the perception I was living for a long time. That crying meant you were weak. When I fell in a game or during any sport, I would try my hardest to fight back tears. No matter the pain, it was seemed worse to cry than physically feel pain. I think at times, I even prided myself on being that strong. I'm pretty sure over the last couple of years, you can even read posts where I talk about my lack of crying in most situations.

I think funerals go without saying, that tears would flow. I'm not immune to sadness, at all. I just processed it differently, I had a coat of non-crying armor on that made me hold in any tears when I was angry or sad. To be fair, the anger or sadness that had tears behind it was not very often, but in the instances that it would have been helpful to lean into the tears, I held strong. Not realizing the damaging effects I was doing to myself emotionally.

I don't know if it was my body changing at 30 or me evolving as a person, but within the last few years I've accepted and embraced crying when I need too. Don't get me wrong, I have no desire to be the 'ugly crier,' but sometimes that just what you need. Also, it could be that I finally allowed myself to be in a relationship and that in itself has given way to many different experiences and emotions I think I was hiding from during my nine years of singledom! I find myself tearing up at movie scenes that I used to mock my Mom or friends for crying during. If I feel the urge to cry, for whatever the reason is, I let them flow. I have no desire to stop them, sometimes it is the most cathartic thing to let whatever emotion I am feeling flow out of me through the hot tears rolling down my cheeks. It feels as if I'm releasing whatever emotion is behind the tears. Obviously emotions don't just leave us that simply, but they do help me work through whatever I'm going through.

I don't feel weak when I cry. This is a huge step for me. I do try to be the 'strong' one in so many facets of my life, that I let that cloud a lot of what's going on inside. I hold my stress internally, normally most people have no clue I'm stressed out. I realized I internalize a lot more than I should. Communicating and being vulnerable doesn't mean I am weak, nor do my tears. We all emotionally grow at different rates, mine just happened in my 30's. I'm learning to embrace it, learn from it, and be stronger because I know the difference now.
Side Note: Why does crying seem to also mean your nose can start leaking like a faucet too? TMI, but for real though...

I have a feeling there are plenty of people out there who will find similarities in what I used to do. I feel that it's ingrained in us, from every which way, to be strong and don't always show emotion. That's a huge generalization, but I'm okay making it. I think we don't nurture the ability to allow ourselves to feel and embrace emotions (specifically crying) from a young age. When you're a baby you cry because you need something and cannot communicate any other way, from that moment on, people try to soothe you when you cry. No one tells you to embrace the act of crying, most people around you want you to stop, because it's uncomfortable. It's because it is uncomfortable to see someone hurt and that's normal, even understandable. I just wish we nurtured the act instead of trying to stop it. Again, I realize not everyone is like this and that there are people out there to embrace it, but I think they are the minority.

Sometimes being strong means letting the tears fall, not holding them back.

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2 comments

  1. I certainly don't think there is anything weak about crying, I definitely think there are times when it is inappropriate to cry but crying as a whole isn't wrong! I see crying as an expression of emotion which definitely is not weak. In fact, I've always seen being able to be true to yourself and your emotions as both brave and balanced!

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    1. It took me a long time to get where you are. Kudos for always having that mindset, I took the long route to get there. Yes, there are inappropriate times to cry, I agree! You are wise beyond your years, friend! xoxo, ganeeban

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